I taught my first full-length class today.

Set against a picture-perfect backdrop of clear blue skies, untrammeled woods and soaring palm trees, my nervous mind both soothed and steeled by Snatam Kaur’s pure, soaring vocals, I began class with a short meditation focusing on the chakras.

Almost two hours later, the class relaxed contentedly into savasana as Ra Ma Da Sa floated gently in the background.  I moved silently through the class with drops of lavender oil, massaging temples and adjusting heads, legs, and shoulders into more comfortable positions.

Somewhere mid-class, I had found my voice…then my confidence…and finally, my wings.  I looked out over these people, people who trusted me to guide them through a physical, mental and spiritual practice, and I knew I had the ability to do it.  Even more importantly, I discovered I wanted to do it: I wanted, more than anything, to create an oasis of stillness and peace for everyone in the room.

The class erupted into applause as I offered my final namaste, shocking me out of the serene state I’d entered.  Afterwards, several people asked me where I taught regularly.  Another asked about the passage I read from The Prophet, intent upon studying it when he returned home.  Still others simply gave me a thumbs-up or a high five.

I am still feeding off the high of that positive energy: I’m radiant, slightly stunned, ridiculously proud of myself (my ego at play), and I’m grateful, so grateful.  The overarching feeling is one of pure gratitude to those who allowed me to share intimate pieces of myself with them.

And I’ve learned that, by facing my fear of teaching, I never had anything to fear after all.  Whatever I thought I might lose when I taught is far outweighed by what I gain when I step to the front of the room.