Nerves and Namaste

Hi yogis,

Sadie Nardini here. I’m the founder of Core Strength Vinyasa
Yoga, which is a set of anatomical, energetic and core living principles I offer
to teachers and students of any style, in order to bring the yoga practice back
to true center.

This year, I’m joining the yoga touring circuit, which means
I’ll leave my New York City apartment, three cats, and hubby for half of every month
to lead workshops and trainings at conferences and studios across the country.
I love being home, and luckily, I adore adventuring to meet new students and
share my take on yoga with my community. 

I’ll be writing some blog
posts here at YJ to share my experiences as a teacher moving onto a more
national stage, and offer you ideas on how we can all access the inner strength
we hold in our poses, and in our lives, to make our yoga goals more attainable
and our present moment more empowering and effective. All this, and more, I will
do…

… But right now, I’m freaking out.

It’s 10:44 pm on Friday, and I’m sitting on the bed here at
Kripalu, writing out my three hour “Core Strength” session for tomorrow by hand.
After tonight…I have no choice.   

I was teaching my first session ever as a faculty member here
at this huge and impressive hub of mind/body education, and I quickly realized
that 20 pages of notes for an hour and a half class was slightly over the
top.  So I had to close the book halfway through, and wing it.
 

It went better than expected. In fact, I didn’t really need
the book at all.

Tomorrow is 3 hours, and I have 30 pages of typed notes. I
can’t read and teach. What was I thinking?

Here’s what: It’s my first time here as an instructor, there
are a whopping 40 people signed up for my weekend, and the over-preparation I’ve
been exhibiting is due to one main factor:

I’m nervous as hell.

Yes, I’ve studied, prepared, taught thousands of hours, teach
at the Yoga Journal Conference and others, have two DVDs out and a third one on
the way, thousands of students each week in person and online–and yet I still
believe that writing every sentence down on paper is going to serve me better
than trusting my own knowledge, and going with the flow.

This is how I began teaching yoga 15 years ago: me, a mat and
10 sheets of laminated paper spread out in front of me with every pose written
on it.

Font size: 22. 

I must’ve looked insane (and nearsighted) sitting there,
surrounded by a sea of huge notecards, yet the students kept coming back for
more. Eventually, I gathered the courage to shelve the big type and write some
new classes in a journal. These days, I just quickly jot down a few main points
on the subway while traveling to the studio, and I’m good to go.

Every new level of experience I reach is another doorway into
Center, yes, but my doorway always has a really tall bouncer standing at the
threshold asking me, “Are you sure you know enough? Are you really good enough
for this?” My first answer, from years of self-conditioning, tends to be,
“no”.  But I know, from years of yoga conditioning, that’s not the
whole truth.

I love what I do, I have a unique teaching to impart, and I
offer everything I have to my students, yet it’s not until I can relax past the
fear, draw deep inside, and allow myself to access Satya, or my inner truth that
the answer the bouncer hears becomes a resounding yes.  

This circling into who we really need to be, then taking
action from there, instead of from that fearful ego-self cowering in the corner,
clutching all her notes, is a centerpiece of core strength, the one that helps
us go that extra inch into handstand–or back off an inch–because we know it’s
how we really need to express the pose.  Next time you find
yourself at that doorway, ask yourself, “WWCD” (What Would Center Do)? And make
your move from there.

The fastest way to let out my inner voice, which at times
like this threatens to stick in my throat, is to take a deep breath in, all the
way down to my belly, and then HAAAAAAAAH!  Stick out the old
tongue, and roar like a lion.  I do it until I laugh, and then I
know I’ve gone deep enough. 

Now, it’s back to my writing project, only this time….it
won’t be nearly as many pages.

I’ll let you know how it goes this weekend! Wish me…well, not
luck, but to express the most of me. 

Namaste!

Update: Well, I have to say, the Immersion was a
resounding success (I know, because they let me read the comment cards)! Every
session was easier than the last, and tonight, as my week-long teacher training
gets underway, I feel confident that I can totally represent.

Now…I just have to tell that to The Bouncer when I’m
writing out the Immersion for YYoga in Vancouver next month!

Core Question: Do you ever have trouble speaking your
truth? Teachers, how do you overcome your nerves in class?  Everyone: How do you
find the courage to express yourself even so?

Share your victories and strategies, and inspire us all to
express from Center today!