A wild mix of excitement and nervousness is pulsing through my system Wednesday morning from the moment I open my eyes to greet the day.
It’s a day I’ve been anticipating for a couple of weeks—a day I dared to dream might happen, but also wasn’t sure would ever materialize.
All the preparations made, gift bags packed and lavender scented compresses folded neatly in my handy cooler bag, I’m ready to head to the yoga studio an hour before my usual 10 a.m. arrival time.
I want to make sure everything is as perfect as I can get it for the 10:30 Basic Yoga class. I’m expecting some very special guests, and the butterflies fluttering around in my stomach are engaged in a wild flight that has me more tickled than upset.
I’m eagerly awaiting a visit from Dr. Porsche Van Brocklin Fischer and her latest teacher trainees.
Founder of the Functional Yoga Academy and of the non-profit Share the Yoga Foundation, Porsche just happens to be my yoga teacher. The one who helped make the life I’m living now possible. The woman who pushed me way out of my comfort zone and inspired and encouraged me to reach for the moon—in this case the Peaceful Moon.
Beautiful enough to be a model, funny enough to take center stage as a comic, and smart enough to be a senior adjunct professor in the social sciences department at Henry Ford College, Porsche is definitely one of a kind. She is ageless—when we met on the first day of my teacher training three years ago, I thought she was about 35. A month or so later, as her birthday approached, I discovered I was off by ten years (upwards!).
Throughout the somewhat gruelling but totally fascinating three month training session, Porsche kept me and the five fellow students in the class motivated and perhaps most importantly, laughing. Whenever I felt like I wouldn’t make it or didn’t have what it took to keep up, Porsche reminded me of my strengths and prompted me to do a reality check. Were things as bad as I was perceiving them? Was the sky falling down or the earth rotating off its axis? She had a knack for reminding me that a change in perspective changes everything.
I remind myself of this on Wednesday morning, as the clock is inching its way toward the 10:30 class starting time. With two minutes to go, I step outside the studio into the hallway to use the restroom. There’s a lineup, Porsche’s students have arrived already, having made the trip from the Clarkston area.
Hustling back into the studio, striding toward my desk I catch something out of the corner of my eye. There she is! Porsche!
We embrace for a moment. Class is about to start. She takes her place on her mat; I take mine at the head of the studio and begin to guide the students through the few minutes of seated meditation we always begin with. My voice wavers as I read Leslie Davenport’s ‘Blessing for the Journey’ as tears of joy and release make their way down my cheeks. This moment is the culmination of three years of hard work, and validation that what I am doing is indeed valuable and worthy of sharing with aspiring teacher trainees.
Atop my new, custom made ‘Peaceful Moon’ yoga mat (a BIG thank you Rick & Sue Liblong!), I feel honored and blessed to be exactly where I am. Grateful that the circle continues.
Email Catherine at firstname.lastname@example.org
Catherine Minolli is Managing Editor of the Tri-City Times. She began as a freelance writer with the Times in 1994. She enjoys the country life, including raising ducks and chickens.