Last night I taught my second Hip Hop yoga class for the year. The theme of the class was:
“Escape your inhibitions and free your mind by getting into your body and out of your head. Join Tracy Matthews in a fun, athletic, powerful vinyasa style class choreographed to Hip Hop beats and cool jams designed to create space internally by allowing you to release, let go and draw in whatever it is that you desire.”
Before I taught the class I was really afraid that no one would show up and that I would totally bomb. I don’t know why. I teach full classes all of the time. I even taught a similar Hip Hop Yoga class a few months before which was packed. However, something about it being the middle of summer, on a Saturday evening at 6pm (when people are either primping to head out to dinner or taking a long weekend at the beach) made me second guess myself, made me nervous and made me afraid to put myself out there.
I love Hip Hop music, I love yoga and I love creating interesting sequencing in my yoga classes. However, this time around, I thought my booty shakes might not be well received. A few hours before, I was really anxious and even procrastinated putting my playlist together. Even though I was excited to teach it again, a few hours before the class, I was actually dreading my commitment. I even took a long nap in the afternoon (sometimes called a “defense mechanism”) to escape for a bit. Literally, I was creating some insane scenario in my head about my class being a total flop!
The hour of doom was closing in (ha!), so I decided to take a few moments before I headed into teach to just sit with my fear and to breath into it. As usual, my fear started release and began to transform into excitement. As soon as I walked into the club, one of my favorite students was there and had brought her whole family! By letting go a bit more, I realized my anxiety was something that I created in my head. Once I got the room prepped and started playing some great tunes like “All My Life” by Florida and “Day n’ Nite” by Kid Cudi, the room started filling up. Minute by minute, more familiar faces came into the studio with huge grins on and I realized that I had created this fear by making up this supposed failure in my head. Class started and I reiterated the theme of the class to my students-get out of your head and into your body. I took another deep breath and I was back in my body and out of MY head.
Needless to say, we all had a great time practicing and listening to some great grounding beats. It was such a fun event and I was stoked that I had a classroom full of people ready to get down with their “as*s-ana” and a few booty shakes to boot!
My lesson learned: when I create a scenario of what COULD POSSIBLY go wrong, I create fear with no basis. That fear created a story that was not true but I that still fully believed. The breath is the truth and it helped me transform my fear into excitement and brought me back to reality and back into my body.
Additionally, I am starting my playlist for my next Hip Hop class and I need your input. Tell me your favorite Hip Hop songs and your thoughts about fear in the comments below.
I’ll end this with a quote:
“I think all the silence, is worse than all violence
Fear is such a weak emotion, that’s why I despise it
We’re scared of almost everything, afraid to even tell the truth
So scared of what you think of me, I’m scared of even telling you
Sometimes I’m the only person I feel safe to tell it to
I’m locked inside a cell in me, I know that there’s a jail in you
Consider this your bailing out, so take a breath inhale a few
My screams is finally gettin’ free, my thoughts is finally yellin’ through”
Lupe Fiasco-Words I Never Say