Before every class I teach, I throw my phone on shuffle in the studio. I do this to set the tone for the class: if it's going to be higher energy, some good music can really get you in the mood for a fast flow. Or if it's going to be the dreaded slow burn, some slower, intenser music creates the right atmosphere. This past Sunday, I was shuffling some fun music, and when I walked in the room to start class, a student commented, "That's not your average yoga music, is it?"
I wasn't quite sure how to reply, until the student next to him said with a grin, "You clearly haven't been to her class before. We get energetic in here."
I love making yoga an experience, and to me, a good playlist makes all the difference. The right song at the right volume can push you right over the edge, or a soft and sweet melody makes savasana all the better. And sometimes, my favorite part is the stark contrast of silence after the high-power music of the arc when everyone's dropped to the floor sweaty and grinning.
I think a lot about my music. I have fun putting together playlists, and love it when students ask to raid my music after class. I've found that music connects everyone under a shared mood that benefits the energy of the class as a whole. It feeds my practice, too. When I can't make it to the studio, throwing on a good playlist makes a home practice that much easier.
Sometimes, though, when a certain song comes on in the middle of a flow, or I run sun B's to Started From the Bottom (surprisingly good combination, if you were wondering), I worry that someone won't like my music, and in turn won't like my class. One of the hardest parts about starting teaching is wanting to please everyone: but the fact of the matter is if someone doesn't like your class, someone else loves it for the exact reason they hate it. Some people don't like Drake involved in their yoga. Others love it. If they don't like your class, they won't come back, and that's the worst case scenario.
The guy who commented on my music in the beginning ended up having a lot of fun, and mentioned on his way out that he enjoyed the playlist. And while I'm glad that he enjoyed the music, that's not what I took away from the scene. The other student called it her class.
My class. 7:45 Sunday mornings. I'm not a sub anymore. I'm not a student-teacher. I'm not a TT. I'm a teacher with my own class.
And more than that, it has a definitive style that someone enjoys and comes specifically for.
A year ago, I never would have thought this was possible. I never would have dreamed that I'd be teaching, or that I'd be the person I am today. It's taken so much work, so much support, and so much luck, but I've gotten here. And that's what matters.