In a few weeks, I start a six-month yoga teacher training course that, strangely, falls firmly in my comfort zone and yet also wildly outside it.
I feel at home on a yoga mat and in yoga studios. I go to a place in my head during practice where most everything and everyone fades and only the sound of my breathing and the teacher's prompts remain. It's not uncommon for me to finish a class and be surprised to see the person next to me for the last hour or 90 minutes was a friend. I typically don't see past my own mat unless I seek out the teacher for help with alignment.
In other words, I'm in my element as a student. The thought of standing in front of the room, however, terrifies me. I can't help but think about the time I stood in front of a large crowd of friendly faces - neighbors, all - opened my mouth to speak and froze. Another friend stepped in to address whatever it was I was supposed to address.
Yoga teacher friends tell me this is exactly how they felt before they started, but I don't believe them. They seem like naturals, so smooth and at ease. They insist, though. One told me she was so nervous leading her first class she was drenched in sweat before she even started. Another told me she farted in one of the first postures she demonstrated, then fell to the floor in a fit of unstoppable laughter.
I keep telling people that I might not teach once I've completed the course, but I'll definitely enjoy the months of intense study and the opportunity to take my practice deeper. Regardless of whether it's true, it seems like a cop out, doesn't it? I should stop saying it.