My most embarrassing teaching moment - EVER!

Jessica Dewar Yoga

Do I? Don’t I? As I left my yoga class this morning, the third for the morning to be exact, I wasn’t sure whether to laugh or cry. To pretend like it didn’t happen or share it with the world. Turns out, I’ve clearly chosen the latter. I figure, if I can’t laugh at myself then that’s not fun.

In my entire working life, I have never been as embarrassed as I was leaving my class today. And when I say my class, I mean, I’m the teacher. And if it weren’t for the fact that my students have gotten to know me having taught them weekly for over a year now, I’m not so sure I’d be invited back after what I just did. Yes, it was that bad!

But before sharing, I want to back myself up a little and put some context around why this might have happened. On an average day, I teach anywhere up to seven classes a day. It’s intense. I can teach up to 26 classes a week. Crazy right! Yes. I know. My day begins at 3.30am when I get up for my own yoga practice then head out the door for my first class at 6.00am. I’ve also had the added stress of my little Lola, our rescue pug, being in intensive care due to liver failure followed by repeated back and forth trips to the vet in Collingwood (in between classes) as she’s an outpatient who requires ongoing tests and reviews. With the stress of it all I’ve even gained four kilograms in the past month. Eek! So let’s just say I’ve been a little run down and over worked lately.

So what happened this morning… I arrived at my 9.30am class at an offsite location. A group of seniors who I just love to bits. Class was fantastic. A strong class followed by some beautiful relaxation at the end. One pose I love to bring students into is a supported ‘legs-up-the-wall’ pose. It’s deeply relaxing and has extraordinary benefits for the body.

I asked my students to bring their mats against the wall, my mat in between theirs so everyone could see the demonstration for how to come into the pose. We all settled into the pose, our legs totally supported against the wall, backs flat, eyes closed and palms gently resting on our bellies. It’s so lovely. I guided my students through a meditation to help them reach a deeper state of relaxation before being silent to give them an opportunity to focus on the instructions they’d been given. That was all wonderful. A beautiful, perfect end to our class. It was what happened next that I’m not sure I will ever live down…

Our class this morning started at 9.30am. We were scheduled to finish at 10.30am. When we moved into the legs up the wall pose, it was about 10.20am, so we could rest there for a good length of time. Well………………..

When I opened my eyes, somewhat startled, I noticed my students were up with shoes back on and getting ready to leave the class! I’d fallen asleep!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And I don’t mean I closed my eyes for a couple of minutes….. It was 10.55am! I’d been asleep for over 25 minutes. OMG!

I have never been so humiliated! It’s a worst nightmare as a teacher. And what could I say???? Oops. Clearly I’m a little tired…. I think the worst part was how awkward the students clearly felt, trying to come up with light hearted jokes to try and lessen the humiliation. Saying they know what posture to show insomniacs. I’m thinking… “Oh dear. I want to die! This did not just happen!” I tried the lame excuse that I’d had a rough night the night before with our Lola, urgently trying to change the topic, but I don’t think this one flew.

To make matters worse, I didn’t think about the possibility that I could have been lying there with my mouth open (like a dead person as my mother so delicately blurted out as she laughed uncontrollably on the other end of the line) and snoring (which I’ve been known to do when I’m absolutely exhausted). Before my confession to mum, I was at least visualizing me lying there looking peaceful and serene. Trust my mother to put this dreadful image into my head of what the more realistic state would have been as I napped in class. Mum always knows how to make me feel better. “Thanks mum!”

So there you have it. One of my most memorable moments in class, and I can’t say it’s a good memory. Rather, one of the most awkward, but also the funniest, I’ve ever experienced.

On that note, if anyone is so game to share something that has been utterly humiliating to the point of almost unspeakable – now is the time to share!

I hope this one gave you a laugh!

Sending zzzzzzz’s to you all,

Love Jessica