Reflections from Yoga Teacher Training
Yesterday I had the bittersweet honor of gathering (for the last time, formally) around ten women I have grown to love and cherish deeply over the last seven months. Friends and family joined in on the celebrations of completing and graduating from our 200 hour yoga teacher training, offered through YogaDen of Jacksonville, Fl. and Hot Yoga Tallahassee of Tallahassee, Fl.
When I walked into the studio for the first day of training, and for several days beforehand, I'll admit it: I was a nervous wreck. [For those that know me personally, I know this isn't a surprise ;) ] I am not sure what exactly made me take the push into training - most likely a mix of many factors. All I know is from the moment I set my eyes on the poster announcing the training, I couldn't think about anything else.
I was not truly interested in teaching, except perhaps incorporating some aspects into my full time job (art instructor for adults with developmental disabilities).
I was motivated to learn about and discover yoga on a much deeper level than just the physical practice, or asana.
I was looking for community.
I discovered that I love and receive an abundance of joy for teaching and sharing the physical practice of yoga. Helping others find comfort in their bodies, relaxation after a stressful day, being able to let go and tune out of everything but their body and their breath. That is what this is about. One of the first things yoga helped with was to slow my racing thoughts and to become more present in each moment and each day. I have seen a great deal of transformation in those I have had the joy of connecting with to teach, both with my full-time job students and with friends and acquaintances, and know this is just the beginning.
What feels like sacred connections were quickly formed throughout out group, and each weekend together was a treasured one. Graduation weekend was almost dreaded because I knew it would be over, and that the connection would be lost. I have high hopes that this is not true, and can't wait to see where life takes each of these girls.
I was told by many people before embarking on this journey that it would be a life changing experience, and they were exactly right.
Throughout this training, I have been able to explore and let go of some fears. I have learned to trust myself, to trust others. I've gained a newfound belief in myself and the strengths I have that didn't exist before - as well as physical strength that I certainly didn't have before. I've discovered that what used to be nervous energy expressing itself as tears and shakiness (that first mini teach, anyone) has replaced itself with humor - much better trade off! I have begun to truly believe that I matter and have a place in this world, a place in this community.
Maybe I was looking for myself - and I believe I did just that.
Find what sets your soul on fire, and don't ever let go. Please feel free to share that possibly scary leap you are considering, whether big or small, in the comments below! What sets your heart and soul on fire? What's the next step? Putting it out into the universe can make all the difference.