Spend some time with me and soon you'll come to learn that I am constantly running late. It is most definitely my very worst habit; one that ceased to be endearing when I became a grown woman who should know better. It's not just that I am incredibly busy as a single working mom and overwhelmed at times with life, it's that I don't make being on time a priority. I know that that is rude, obnoxious, and bad mannered, and also that it probably makes me an asshole. Believe it or not, I am doing my best to overcome it. But this is a story when me being late created an opportunity for a handful of strangers to become unlikely friends.
I am a yoga teacher by profession and teach in local studios, but mostly I teach yoga online. For the past three years I have taught virtual yoga for an online fitness company called Wello. Their format allows for me, and up to five yoga students to be on screen at the same time. Students are in their own remote locations, and often are from all over the world and different walks of life.
I teach a Saturday morning yoga class which starts for me at 8:30 am. On this particular day I was running late because...well...sigh...I'm really sorry I was late!!! While I was rushing to set up my laptop and find my power chord, the five clients in my class were logging on and waiting for me. The Wello format allows for participants to see and hear each other. So there they were, four women and one man, waiting for their yoga teacher. As they told me later, one student started the conversation by asking everyone if they had ever done yoga before. This was going to be her first class and she was feeling nervous. The other students, all of them repeat clients of mine, immediately jumped in to ease her anxiety and let her know they were all newer to yoga and that the class would be taught to everyone's level.
As they began talking they discovered that their locations spanned the globe. One woman was in Canada, another in California, another in New York. The man was on a business trip in Louisiana and was logged in from his hotel room. And the woman brand new to yoga, well she was in China. Their conversation turned from talking about yoga, to talking about Wello, to talking and joking about me! One student mentioned that I love to learn details about my students before we start class. They compared me to Hannibal Lecter, who required Jodi Fosters character to divulge personal info before he'd help her. They agreed that I, like Hannibal, want to hear their news before I'll instruct the class.
They were laughing about this when I logged on and joined the class.
"Hi everyone! What's going on? Why are you all laughing?" I asked smiling, relieved they were still there and that they seemed happy.
The woman in California, a long time client turned friend, told me how they think I am like Hannibal. What can I say? I like knowing what's going on with my clients before we start breathing and moving through, what I think, is a very personal practice. We all had a good laugh, began settling down, and finally, began class. The energy and vibe of the class was amazing. Because the proverbial wall had been torn down between these strangers, there was comraderie, support, and the beginnings of friendship which helped fuel a postive yoga class.
At the end of class, the girl in China thanked me and all the students for their support.
"You did great!" they told her. They chatted about which class they were going to take next and agreed it would be great to practice together again. Then we logged out and went about our days and separate lives.
I wasn't proud of being late to my on-line yoga studio, but I was glad that my tardiness gave these people, otherwise alone in their houses (or hotel rooms) an opportunity to connect with others and make new friends. All of the students in this class remain my clients and remain friends as well. I know they have connected through social media, and the man said if he came out to California for work, he and the woman there were going to meet for coffee.
Does all of this sound too happy valley, valley happy? Maybe. But whether you think it's cheesy or not, all of us, deep, deep down long for connection. There are hundreds of yoga videos and pre-recorded yoga classes you can download or do on YouTube. They offer world class instruction, yes, but what you don't get is that live, personal interaction. With my live classes you get someone who can see you move and help make adjustments for your body. You get a teacher who will listen to your concerns and questions. And you get access to an online community of supportive people who can quite possibly become your friends.
If you have ever felt intimidated or stressed by the thought of joining a yoga class, please consider doing yoga with me online. I am so happy to announce that I can now coach you through my very own website which makes it even easier!!
Click on this link to my website where you'll see a button called Vcoach Scheduler. Here you will find my schedule. You'll be able to create an account, book a session with me, and then do yoga with me live. Whether your goal is to lose weight, de-stress, stretch, or recover from an injury, I can teach to your level and energy. I look forward to doing yoga with you...and to hearing your story. :)