On Wednesday, I taught yoga to a new-to-me student…
…yeah, that’s Dr. Mehmet Oz with me and Ylonda, the Director of Operations at Nishkama Yoga.
Let me step back a bit.
Friday night before the #believeinCLE event at the Rock Hall, a WEWS NewsChannel5 staffer (& Twitter/Instagram friend) Janet reached out to me via a direct message on Twitter, then we connected for a phone call. She asked if I was sitting down because she had a very special celebrity coming to town looking to shoot some promos with a yoga class. That celebrity would be the one and only Dr. Oz. She didn’t have a ton of details confirmed at the time, so while I was very excited and shocked that she called me, it didn’t seem real because so many of the components were so uncertain.
It all got real real fast around mid-afternoon this Tuesday. Before I knew it, we had a special 12:30PM class added to the Nishkama Yoga schedule for the next day. Working with Ylonda, studio owner Laura and the rest of the Nishkama staff, we promoted the complimentary surprise class as we could (#socialmediaFTW) to ensure a great turnout.
Here was the “class plan” based on our planning call with the WEWS staff the day before:
- I would start class at 12:30PM as though I was teaching a 60-minute yoga basics class
- The special guest would show up to join the class at 12:45PM #whocoulditbenow
- We’d continue the class for some poses before stopping to film some promos for his show’s new season.
And as this video from WEWS’ Facebook page shows, he arrived right as we were curling our toes under for our first downward facing dog:
Me sassing the Doctor – because only I can get away with such things…
With Dr. Oz in place, I took the class through a few Sun Salutation A’s. I nearby passed out when I game him a down dog assist. While I was pretty nervous in the half an hour before the class started, his grounding energy keep me steady. I also have a strange love of teaching Sun A’s (probably because I love doing them so much), so the cues came out as though I was just on auto-pilot. The camera crew members gave me the cue to get the students to stop a few minutes in, so it wasn’t long until I had them resting in child’s pose.
From there, we spent about 30 minutes filming promos for use on NewsChannel5. Depending on the promo, we held poses such as tree, mountain and crane as Dr. Oz said his lines for the camera. I had the students switch sides on occasion to keep balanced – and reminded a certain red head not to show off – video proof HERE!
Nishkamis take their yoga seriously – but we don’t take ourselves seriously!
As Mike Brookbank from The List interviewed Dr. Oz about not stress eating during Browns games (which I had to chuckle at), I ran the class through some Sun Salutation Bs – because it isn’t a yoga class without a chair pose!
With just a round or two, the television crew had their shots and we were ready to wrap up. Dr. Oz kindly posed for group shots, and then one-on-one with anyone that asked. He was gracious and kind the entire time he was at our studio, thanking me again for allowing him to attend the class that day. If he only knew – the pleasure was all ours!
So with Dr. Oz on his way to continue his schedule for the day, I finished up “class” with a savasana and eventually a series of thank yous which I will share here as well.
- I first thank all those beautiful people in the photo above — Hans, my fellow Nishkama teachers and students, Jen from WhyCLE?, my trainer Chris (who is now on Twitter at @EffisforFitness!), my long lost friend Sara for coming to Nishkama for the first time
- our studio owner Laura and studio director Ylonda for their support in making this happen so quickly
- the wonderful team from WEWS NewsChannel5 (especially Janet!)
- and finally the one and only Dr. Oz for such a wonderful experience – and quite the incredible Wednesday lunch break!
As you watch WEWS NewsChannel5 keep an eye out for the promos for the new season of The Dr. Oz Show – you might see a familiar face or two!