On day 1 of teacher training, I listened as Jenn, our leader, talked about teaching in a way I’d never quite heard before. She advised us to say “YES” to whatever we are called to give. In her instance, if I am remembering correctly, it was a call for a very different kind of teaching; one that would make her struggle to learn how to work with a client with physical limitations regain function through yoga. Not knowing how she would do it, she said “yes,” then found the way. I sat there listening and felt, in my heart, that there was a reason I started down this path and decided it was time to stop letting fear get in the way of me seeing it through. Now, on day 7 of my 10 day yoga teacher training, I feel like I might actually have what it takes to do this teaching thing.
All of the teachings that I have been hearing, reading, and trying to absorb over this last year or so is finally starting to sound familiar AND make sense. I’m excited to have learned the components of a well rounded class (for mind, body, and spirit), the magic of stringing a series of poses together which lead to the peak pose of the practice, and the importance of incorporating a theme/message which invite the students to journey within. It’s pretty cool to see the puzzle pieces as they fall into place. Suddenly, it doesn’t seem as if all of the pieces are blank.
Different from the exhaustion I experienced during my last time, I leave the studio energized and completely jazzed about some new aspect of this amazing practice. Did I mention that our day has started at 6:30 AM every day this week? I’m totally psyched — not to mention SORE! Ideas for class themes have begun to bubble to the surface and suddenly completing the certification process is more important than it was before.
It’s good…really, really, REALLY good.
In the wee hours of the day, before the newspapers land on the driveways, and the cars crowd onto the highways, we sit in silence and breathe. Candles flicker in the darkness as the light within each of us begins to ignite. This is how we start the day on our mat.
This feeling of uncomfortableness is familiar. As is the overwhelming feeling of a need to escape it. My low back is sore and tight. The fleshy areas surrounding my sit bones are tender. Everything in me wants to fix it.
But I know that I can’t.
Therefore, I sit here and try to simply breathe. Hopefully my mind will settle. Perhaps my body will too.
This morning I pray to Ganesh, and all the rest of the gods, for a little help in getting through the next phase of training. No only have I not completed all the reading that I set my sights on finishing, my body seems to be rebelling about my recent leap forward into a fast-moving, full on, powerfully good and hot class.
As I sit quietly, my emotions as palpable as my pulse, I remind myself that all emotions are good. This fear, apprehension, feeling of defeat, and sadness is a valid and important as the excitement, anticipation, hopefulness, and pride for how far I have come (even if it is not as far as I think I should). The mixture of emotions is not all that unfamiliar to me. It’s a lot like the feeling I’ve had just before toeing the line for a big marathon where uncertainties about preparation, residual effects from injuries not quite healed, past races where my performance fell short of my goal compete with all positive affirmations and preparations put down to pave the way to success.
It is important to go into these challenges remembering that any and all movement forward is good. Just like missing the goal of qualifying for the Boston Marathon was not really a failure but rather another 26.2 miles of forward movement towards a goal, so too will be completing these 100 hours of yoga training. The time is NOW! Ready or not, here I go.
Lately, I have felt a lot like a turtle hiding inside my shell, just waiting for the right time to emerge safely. Like many turtles you may have watched, I have timidly poked my head out (into the yoga class and mysore setting) a couple of times and, a bit more frequently, let my legs explore ground (or mat).
Each time, I feel more and more courageous as I test the waters. I feel like, sometime very soon, I will be able to emerge from within and continue my journey at a slow but steady pace.