The Big Race: My First Yoga Class

My first yoga class is 2 days away and I have gone through all the preparations I would do if I were getting ready to run a marathon.

My playlist is selected and complete. My songs are inspirational (of course!) and align with the pace of the class and set sequence of poses. Here are the songs in my playlist:

  1. Expositions in the Sky, Your Hand in Mine: This 8 minute song was featured in the Friday Nights soundtrack and was always a song I listened to the first couple miles of my long training runs for the marathon.
  2. One Republic, Say (All I need): I am a huge fan of One Republic and the theme of the song—all you need is to breathe—coincides nicely with getting my yoga students focused on their breath as I begin to take them into sun salutations.
  3. Beyonce, Halo: Love this song and it’s upbeat while not being distracting. A perfect combination for getting my students pumped to do some planks and chaturangas!
  4. Cold Play, Paradise: At this point in the sequence, I am having my students do some challenging poses with chair and crescent lunges. I felt that this song would give them some motivation.
  5. One Republic, Good Life: This is my husband and I’s wedding song so I had to include it. Again, upbeat and not distracting which I felt would serve well to get my students energized for some more heat building poses.
  6. Sex and the City Song (in French): A very fun and funky song. I thought it would be nice to break up the pop and rock mix of the playlist. It’s also featured in Sex and the City so I had to include it!
  7. Cold Play, Every Tear Drop is a Waterfall: This is another meaningful song for me—the introduction song for our bridal parties at my husband and I’s wedding. This song is slower which I thought would work well with the balancing poses.
  8. Sara Bareilles, Uncharted: A fun and upbeat song which I thought would work well with back bending.
  9. Sara Bareilles, Gravity: This song is slow and soft which is a perfect fit for the “letting go” portion of class.
  10. Sara Bareilles and Ingrid Michaelson, Winter Song: I am a huge Sara Bareilles fan if you could not tell! Anyways, I thought this would work well for savasana. Nice and soft….

I have selected my teaching outfit and have worn it while practice teaching; just like how you wear your running outfit on your last long run to make sure it is comfortable. I definitely do not want to repeat the Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake Super bowl half time show! 😉

I know my meal plan for that day. My breakfast will be heavier (oatmeal of course!) with a light snack an hour or so before my class; giving me plenty of energy yet having me feel light and ready to go. The worst mistake you can make is eating a big meal before the race. Trust me, I have learned the hard way!

I have gotten familiar with the room I will be teaching in. I have taken several yoga classes in the studio to get a sense of the vibe and also where in the room I should I teach. Like running, “knowing the course,” is essential. 

I have established a get psyched up and grounded pre-teach routine. My pre-race routine includes the following: trip to the bathroom, sitting and closing my eyes while doing some breathing exercises and listening to my training song that served as inspiration during my training. My pre-teach routine will be the same and will be even more important since I will be coming from work.

I will be wearing my good luck charm. When I run a marathon, I always have a good luck charm with me. In the past it has been a piece of paper with an inspirational quote on it, a bracelet my sister has made me and a phiten necklace (inspired by Kara Goucher). As a good luck charm for yoga teaching, I have a Alex and Ani bracelet that represents inspiration and will be wearing pearl earrings that my husband gave me.

I have finalized and practiced my yoga sequence. My sequence and queues are memorized and I have mastered using my playlist as my guide for pacing and timing. This has served as a great tool for me when running marathons; allowing me to know when to hold on my pace and when to excel.

I could not be more ready to teach! This routine has made me feel prepared, excited, grounded but most importantly, just like preparing for any race, it has given me confidence; knowing that I will be able to cross the finish line since I have done everything I could do to perform my best.

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