I don't know when you are reading this but on the day that I wrote it I woke up feeling suspiciously irritated; annoyed with Americas focus being on the incident at the Oscars while lynching just became illegal in the year of 2022, Russia is blowing up communities in Ukraine, and top of all of that my titties were sore.
If you are new here WELCOME, I'm Jin, in this blog my focus is always on self-care as it pertains to your whole being. That's mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I share things that have worked for me, things that others have shared with me that have worked for them, and things I've learned or studied as a way to help those who may want or need it.
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Now that we've had a laugh let's get to it. This month I want to talk about the power of one. Earlier in the week I went to a yoga class at a studio. I booked my spot for class about thirty minutes before the class was scheduled to start and when I arrived the only people there were me and the instructor. This made me feel some type of way because
as a studio instructor most times they are required to be at the studio about 30 minutes prior to your shift to set up, click in, and make pre-class connections. This does not account for the the teachers travel time to the studio they may teach at. This seems like a lot of time to chance possibly showing up to teach an empty class.
Had this not been a studio class the instructor would have had the options to cancel the class do to low registration numbers, with me being the only student registered for class if I would have been late the studio would have cancelled the class and sent the instructor about that a studio their way. While I felt for the instructor I was excited that she showed up with such welcoming energy for what quickly turned into a private lesson. As the student this excited me because I was receiving a private lesson for price a group class. Private lessons are usually more expensive than group class because they require more attention to detail and the teacher tends to zone into the student as they guide them through flow teaching specifically to the abilities of the student. I spent an hour allowing myself to be stretched to my appropriate edge meeting myself where I was in that moment. During that time I felt moments of frustration as I fell out of poses that weren't hard for me to hold days before. When I fell I was reminded "it's okay to fall and feel frustrated about the fall as long as you remember that while the fall just happened it's now a moment in your immediate past; you have an opportunity to get up and try it again in this present moment if you choose to." This carried me through a couple more falls as I connected with my breath and kept trying until we go to our last pose.
At the end of class I thanked my teacher and told them how I really enjoyed her class and how her alignment cure helped me activate muscles that I had trying to turn on for months, she thanked me for showing up and as we parted ways I left feeling ready for the week a head of me.
The very next day I went to teach my own class which is usually a group at 6 elementary school teachers. This week it was only one. She said "I feel bad because it's only me" I said "what if instead of feeling bad that its just you, you think about how much more you are going to get out of individualized instruction from a teacher who can focus on your specific needs and body type". That change of narrative shifted her thought process and we went on to have one of the best classes in the series.
On my drive home I thought about how many times in the past I'd shown up to classes and was the only student there as well as times I'd shown up to teach and no one showed up. I thought about how it made me feel and then I thought about my friend Maya.
Maya was one of my first friends in the yoga industry who happened to be a woman of color. When we met she'd just finished her yoga teacher training as I was getting ready to start mine. We connected on Instagram as she shared her journey into the world of yoga. I attended some of her very first classes and as our friendship grew we started to share our "beginner teacher" stories with each other. One day she called me and said "Jin, sometimes you were the only person that registered for class when I first opened the studio. If you wouldn't have done that I wouldn't have shown up." This blew my hair back because I attended her studio classes live via Zoom. You see Maya lives in Jackson Mississippi. Upon graduating from her yoga teaching program she opened the first black owned and operated yoga studio in her home town. To think this woman was getting up, driving to her physical studio, then logging into zoom just to teach me had me like.
Listen as Maya shares a little bit of her story here.
I remember listening to Maya as she would tell me how she had to cancel classes because no one registered and watching as that transformed into having to turn people away and add time spots to her calendar because her studio was too small to hold all of the people who wanted to attend her classes. Which brings me back to the power of one. After I graduated I didn't open a studio but I did start offering virtual classes. My class sizes fluctuated but I knew there would always be at least one person there for me to teach. Even if that person was me. This kept me encouraged and gave me the confidence to eventually start teaching in a studio space where I take a 40 minute drive to get there, show up 30 minutes prior to the start of my shift to make pre-class connections, set up, and teach for an hour to a full room of sometimes only one student. On the surface it sounds like a waste of time but after its all said and done and my student is thanking me for helping them reach heights they didn't know they could reach nothing else matters. Not even the price of gas it cost to get there ( I'm lying gas prices matter but I complain less about them). These moments are priceless to me because I'm actively living a dream I dreamt two years ago at the beginning of a pandemic. The dream of helping people heal through the power of inner peace.
I was told that teaching was a thankless job and I believed it until I became a yoga teacher and the thank you's became deeply personal from people I probably would have never met if I didn't decided to show up and keep showing up. I'll be transparent and say sometimes it fucking sucks to devote time, money, blood, sweat and tears and show up to an empty class and be sent home, or to hold space for classes during times people begged you to hold and no one logs on. Sometimes I'm discouraged and really want to quit but I promise you every time I start thinking that way I get a notification that someone has booked a class with me and I'm brought back to the power of one. One person can make a difference and the ones add up quicker then you think so keep doing the things.
Before I go I want to tell y'all about a thing I've been doing. I've been in the running to be crowned Yoga Warrior 2022 and raise money for the Veterans Yoga Project. The Yoga Warrior Competition supports veterans recovering from post-traumatic stress and other psychological difficulties. That's why they partnered with Veterans Yoga Project to join their mission of recovery and resilience among those who have served and sacrificed. By providing support to all veterans, whether they are currently struggling with severe symptoms, or they are focused on increasing resilience and giving back to others, Veterans Yoga Project (VYP) is doing its part to serve those who serve. To help me raise money and awareness I need you to vote for me by clicking the link below. You are allowed one free vote EVERYDAY. You also have the option to purchase votes and all money will serve as a donation for towards VYP. If I win I will be crown Yoga Warrior 2022, be flown to Sedona Arizona to be featured in Yoga Journal, and awarded 10,000 dollars. I plan to donate a portion of the winning for PTSD training for school teachers and staff. Again to help me do that follow this link
Alright now I have to go pick up some honey pot products and get back to minding my bald headed business.