When the Music Wouldn’t Play

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This morning, I had a weird feeling I was going to teach.

I’ve had this feeling once before, when I went to work front desk at Just Be on a Wednesday I wasn’t on the schedule. It was a weird morning, right before our studio/tribal leader was heading off to Costa Rica for a retreat, and needed a sub to prepare. I knew a different Just Be sub was on the schedule to teach for her, but I’d spent the morning convinced I would be teaching. I was surprised when Jenni herself came through the door, and asked her if she was taking class.

“Did I get a sub? Oh, thank goodness. I really need to get ready.”

We laughed off the mistake, and she went home to get ready for her trip. Meanwhile, the clock was ticking away, and the sub hadn’t yet arrived. Luckily, I happen to not only specialize in front desk management, but do some yoga teaching on the side as well. So I hopped in and taught the class with no problems.

This morning, I had the same feeling. I knew I’d be teaching the second class of the day, but a different sub would be teaching the first class. I opened up the studio, and brushed aside the feeling. But the same thing happened- it was time for class to start and no teacher was in sight. Luckily, I had spent my free time before work stalking my friend’s Spotify and had a new playlist I was excited to put to use. I went to plug in my phone to the stereo and get ready for class, and…nothing. It wasn’t registering that my phone was plugged in. I couldn’t postpone the start of class, and knew music shouldn’t be the backbone of a good class anyway, so I went head and began in silence.

And as I began teaching, I realized something.

I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. When I’m supposed to teach, the universe will make it happen. And when the universe wants me to teach, there’s something that I’m meant to share, some lesson I was meant to deliver. Coupled with the misfiring stereo, I suddenly knew what that was meant to be. It was not only meant to teach me not to rely on music to create a certain energy in the room, but to reconnect us to our breath and our intention on our mat.

It’s easy to seek distraction from what goes on inside when we practice- especially when the music is so loud we can’t hear our own breath. Ujayi pranayama is an intentionally audible breath that serves as an auditory cue in our practice, reminding us to stay present to our sensations and reactions. Once again, I was given an organic theme for the class, one that we needed more than anything I could have planned myself.

At first, the silence was awkward. It was unsettlingly quiet, with only a few practitioners really breathing and a tension filling the room. But as we built fire and I spoke to really using our breath to find focus and release, a powerful energy took over. Breath filled the room where tension had once hung heavy, and the class astounded me with their ability to adapt their breath to their sensation. I heard it grow slow and deep during long holds, and build with their practice through the flow. They truly embodied the spirit of the practice by nourishing themselves and their movement with their breath.

I kid you not, the moment I ended class and the students began packing up, the stereo turned back on and began to play the music I had been so excited to play.

Message heard loud and clear, Universe. Thanks for teaching my class.

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