Wednesday, August 21, 2013

What I learned in Yoga Teacher Training

I started to write this post last week, and then I had to stop.  Honestly, putting this experience into words is nearly impossible.  So I reflected a little more, took some time, and decided that it doesn't have to be perfect, it just has to be me.

When I started this journey I had no idea what to expect.  I've always had this idea around yoga and thought it would be something I would like, but I didn't know much about it.  Let me just say, I know a lot about it now - 34 pages of a written exam to be exact.  I know the 53 poses in a Baptiste yoga class.  I know some of the business aspects behind opening a studio and taking on clients.  I even know a little Sanskrit.

But, most of all, I know so much more about being a powerful woman.  And through that power and greatness, I can make others great.  That's what we do as yoga teachers - we help others see their greatness; we empower.

My "Shereadstruth" devotions this month are about fresh starts and how "He makes all things new." Rev. 21:5  I love how every time I step on my mat God reminds me that there's always a fresh start; a time for renewal - to walk away from the old and step into something new; a time to reconnect to who I am and who I want to be.  William comments all the time saying, "I thought you were just learning to teach an exercise class, yet you never talk about the exercise.  You talk about all this other stuff."  He's so right.  The other "stuff" is why I love yoga.  Yoga is a way of being inspired, and it's so much more than exercise!

Teacher training also taught me the JOY that comes in simplifying.  I tend to put meaning around everything!  Sometimes, it's better to just listen, be still, and relax with what is.  Not everything has to be complicated or followed with worry and anticipation.  I learned to shift my vision to simplicity and joy.  Let me tell you, it's so much easier and less exhausting to live this way.

In the past 8 months I was challenged to set BIG goals.  Shelley, one of the leaders of the training, is such a possibility junkie and says "if you are reaching every single goal you set, you aren't setting them high enough."  If your goals don't scare you, change them.  I have quite a few goals on my list - some scarier than others, so I'm putting a few out there.  I will write a novel, or better yet, I will finish the one I've started (barely).  Then, I will write another one.  I will grow a huge garden and feed my family from it.  I will do a handstand.  One day, I will lead a yoga teacher training.  The only thing standing between me and what I really want, is me.  What am I waiting for?

I became a part of an incredible community throughout this process.  The friends and relationships formed are inevitably some of the strongest I've ever had.  We shared, loved, cried, complained, laughed, and encouraged one another each and every time we were together.  I have to admit, I struggle with endings, and this one was no different.  I was overwhelmed with feelings of sadness, relief, and joy all at the same time.  In the end, I'm thankful I was sad - it means we made connections.  People live longer when they have community and make connections.  Teacher training taught me this.

After our 7 am exam on Sunday, we all celebrated with 10 am beers on the dock.

Later that afternoon, we had our graduation ceremony and celebration.

I've said it before, but for probably only the second time in my life, I dropped my fear and stepped into something bold and new...not because it made perfect sense, or was the right timing, but because this is the only life we get.  And it's happening, right now.

Lastly, teacher training taught me a different perspective on love.  Sometimes we love with expectations.  And although it's okay to have expectations of those around us, it's important and crucial to be supportive and open to their possibilities.  I don't want to have mediocre relationships; we were created to be in relationships - why not be in them powerfully?  It's important for me to hold space for people, to listen without always bringing in my point of view, and to let people be who they are and then decide to love them right there.  It all comes down to love; and in the end, that's all we really need.

I couldn't have done this without my family and our friends who played such a huge part in helping out with Wills while I was in Beaufort, studying for the test, and practice teaching at the studio.  Knowing he was taken care of and loved, made every weekend that much better.  I am also so thankful to Mark, Shelley, Dancing Dogs Yoga, Mind Body Yoga, and these 50 amazing yogi's that joined me on this journey.  Watch out world!  This is an inspired group of people.

Lastly, my encouraged me and gave me the space to chase my dream; thank you. Times a million.  

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