Variety Is The Spice of Life, Right?

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“Variety's the very spice of life, That gives it all its flavor”

--- William Cowper
Triangle pose at the lake.
I had the opportunity to sub for a yoga class last week. One that I have never subbed at before.

My confidence began wavering as the date got closer. I started getting nervous that this particular class would not like my style. That maybe I wouldn’t be “good enough” when compared to their normal instructor. That somehow, heaven forbid, I might disappoint them.

As confident as I may seem to people who know me, there is a weird part of me that is still a scared little girl who doesn’t feel like she has grown up. She wants everyone to like her, and she absolutely, positively does not want to let anyone down. Heck, I'll be honest, she does NOT want to fail.
But the mature part of me has learned that it is just not possible. You cannot please everyone or be liked by everyone all the time. So, it would be ridiculous to think that everyone in this yoga class would like me and my style, right?


I'll admit that I'm a bit of a "routine" person myself. I do seem to always have a schedule or a plan, and I am not so great with change. For example, I may frequent different restaurants, but once I find something I like, I seem to order the same thing from that restaurant every time I go. Is that weird?

The way I see it, I know what to expect at each restaurant, therefore I am not disappointed by trying something new and wishing I had just stuck with what I know and like. I still get variety because I go to different restaurants, and of course I do not order the same thing at each place. That would be very boring. So this way I get the best of both worlds, good food that I like, a little variety and no disappointment in choosing something I am later sorry I tried.

Okay, it might be weird, but it is me.

Routine = Safe = Happy me.

For all my love of routines, and keeping things same/same, one place I love a little variety is in my yoga practice. Trying out new yoga classes and new instructors is something I regularly do. Variety is a perfect spice for yoga because who wants to do the same routine every class? Or who wants to hear the same phrasing? That would also be boring. As a student, I welcome the opportunity to experience a new instructor. It inevitably shows me a new perspective, a new style, a new way of getting into a pose, whatever it is, the variety equals a better experience for me.
Even if, by experiencing a new instructor, I realize I learned something that I don't like.

So as I mentally prepared for this class, and my case of nerves got even worse, my sweet husband looked me square in the eyes and said: “Stop it. You will be fine. I'd better not hear you get up in front of this class and apologize for anything. Period. Just do the class your way and have fun. ”
Can I just say that he was so right?

Having fun is exactly what I did. And even though I felt like I should, I didn't apologize. I encouraged them to appreciate the variety in instruction.

A funny thing happened on the way to "fun" for me.…. my nervousness, my fear, my competition with the regular instructor (which was only in my own mind anyway) vanished.

It left room for yoga. And some spice. And fun.

I thought it went well. The instructor may never ask me back, but hey, I had a good time.

For those of you who like their yoga routine the same/same. I get that. But don't forget to be open to the possibilities and new perspectives that a sub may bring. Who knows, a little yoga spice might be just what your practice needs.