Faith Hunter: To answer this question, I had to pull out my old teacher training journal (pictured, above). My journal included a few thoughts of anxiety building up to my first real NYC teaching experience, and a complete list of postures for the class. Like most new instructors, my heart was beating fast, sweaty armpits, and my monkey mind was jumping from tree to tree.
The first sound of Om was steady and sweet, but I did hear a few cracks at the end of my voice. Fear, that’s all. I began teaching the flow I had written and memorized, smooth sailing so far. About 10 minutes into class, the butterflies took over and I couldn’t remember a single posture. I couldn’t even remember alignment principles. However in cosmic divine fashion, a few words flooded into my head:
“Teach from your own practice.”
“Watch the bodies.”
“Speak from your heart.”
Deep inhale, exhale, and all was fine. I continued with no concern of what I had memorized, and I gave my first class the practice they needed.
After that day, I never memorized another class. That’s when I started to ask in every class I teach, “What would you like today?” With that simple question, I know I am fully being of service to my students, and completely providing them with a class that comes from my heart, not my mind.