"I just want you to know I don't like gym yoga."
Her words hung there in the space between my breaths. As they sunk in I realized two things at once, oh my gosh she just put me on alert that I better do this right or she is going to hate this class (and me) AND hold on...she signed up to join this community yoga class. It is her choice to be here.
Thankfully that second thought stopped me from moving into panic mode. In my transformation from type A overachiever I have worked hard to respond rather than react (overreact) to life's unexpected situations.
Not so long ago the thought that someone was judging my ability to lead a yoga class would have kicked me in the rear and pulled me completely out of the moment. I think it shows growth that this time it made me smile a little on the inside. I knew this was about her and not me; she wanted attention. So instead of letting her words derail me with worry about whether or not she was going to like me and the class, I just paid her a bit of direct attention.
I asked her to get in the front row so I could keep an eye on her. And then I went right on leading my "community" yoga class the way I would normally do it, not even worrying that this person might compare my class to a "studio" yoga class and find it lacking. If she did, there was nothing that I could do at that moment to change it.
I have learned that you can't please everyone all the time, and maybe more importantly, I give myself permission not to always try. And at the end of the day (or yoga class in this case) my best is indeed good enough.
To my delight at the end of this particular class my new student told me she loved it and said that she'd be back the next week. I know it won't always work out that way, some people will find me lacking -- but I'm gradually getting more comfortable with that as well.
Later that night I received an unexpected text from the owner of a small company where I had led a yoga class at lunch. He said "Great session today. I think you have discovered our collective need. You're very good at what you do."
Thank you universe for reminding me that just being me, and doing it to the best of my ability is enough.