Maybe I should have actually titled this “How long does it take before you can say ‘anus’ as a yoga teacher and not laugh?”, because I don’t actually know the answer yet.
I’m a serious newbie. It’s only been a few months since I finished my teacher training, and unless you count me teaching my aunt in her living room (which I do), tomorrow will only be my fourth public class. I’m starting a series on the chakras, and am still trying to decide if I can actually put the Ashwini Mudra in my sequence and keep it together.
It’s not that anuses (ani?) are funny. It’s not that I don’t understand the benefits of this mudra, or that I don’t have deep reverence for all my bodily parts and functions. I do. But I teach in a very small community, both yoga and elementary school. Two of my students are high school students, who used to be in my homeroom back when they were in grade 8. One of my students is a parent of a girl on the basketball team I coach. One is the secretary at school. Three others are dear friends with whom I worked at camp with for years, where butt jokes are the norm. I can say anus- but can I say it in front of this group? Will they laugh at me? Will it turn the new students off of yoga? Will the 16 year olds be able to take instruction on how to contract their anal sphincter from a former school teacher? Cause you have to admit, that feels wrong in a lot of ways. And trying to establish myself as a yoga teacher in a class half-full of friends who know a different version of me- the louder, camp-counsellor, song singing, antic-filled me- will they think I am just a poser? A new age hippie yogi-wannabe? Leave it to anuses to finally make the new teacher anxiety kick in.
For now, the mudra is staying in my sequence- But I still have 22 hours to go. Whether I actually put the ass in my class remains yet to be seen. Stay tuned.