2015 is turning out to be one of my best years for accomplishing goals. I recently completed yoga teacher training. The fact that I completed something that vaguely resembles school is a miracle within its self. I am the student that took the scenic route through undergrad. A two-year graduate program was extended to four because I was paying for it myself and working full-time. I told myself after looking at my student loans I would never again pay for formal education. Any training I have had since is and was on someone else’s dime. But yoga is different. It was as if the universe lined everything up for me in a way that I couldn’t say no. Although it was a financial sacrifice, it was bearable. The process was transformative.
I learned that I am flexible. You are probably thinking, knee to head flexible; which I am but that is not what I mean. I buffed out my rigid corners. I had to learn to move in spirit. Excuse me, what? I had to learn that during training there might not be an agenda. We may stray from the syllabus and never check homework. And there will be crying. Lots of it, well more than you are comfortable with. I had a lot of preconceived ideas about what yoga teacher training would be like. I had to let go of them. I had to release expectation and be open to the process.
I deepen my practice in patience. My practice has certainly improved since training but there are things I still cannot do. I’m working on my head stand and forearm stands are dreams and wishes. I have a solid practice that is appropriate for an intermediate student. I may even be able to challenge an advanced yogi but I still have miles to go with perfecting a sequence for beginners. I am okay with spaces where I need to grow. That is new for me. I accept myself where I am. I must also note that the more patient I become with myself, the more patient I become with my loved ones, the toddler included.
Fear only exists in my mind. I roll my eyes at the cliché as I type this but it doesn’t lessen its truth. My regular yoga practice began in Bikram. It’s an acquired taste but it works for me. I didn’t notice this before training but the class only offers amplifications. From tree pose you are offered toe stand. I told my self I couldn’t do it and I never tried it until recently. My body did not resist, with ease I bent down to touch the floor from tree stand into toe stance. My body was able to do it all along. During training we had to take power yoga classes. The ones that have a high male turn out and the ones where mats are so close people are sweating on you. These are the classes that I run from, well I used to. Tough teacher lady pushes me to try new things, she encourages falling. This class is above my skill level but I keep coming back. Tuesday I took her class and in my opinion had a piss poor practice, my muscles were fatigued. I mentioned my displeasure with my practice and tough teacher lady said “every time I see you, you’re stronger than before.”
I made friends. I was myself and I was loved. On the Meyers Briggs personality test I am an INJT. Three percent of the population falls in this category and even less than that are women. 2 Chains is rhyming about me. One of my favorite yogi sisters told me she liked me because I was real. She has no time for fake ones. She admired the fact that I could initiate difficult conversations. She also critiqued me. I need to use more Sanskrit and she has no problem pointing that out. Even though I suffer from resting b*tch face someone always had something uplifting or nice to say. They loved me without judgment. Yoga makes people nicer maybe its because we study the sutras.
Yoga helped my insomnia. The first time I experienced Yoga Nidra and actually fell asleep; I wanted to kiss my instructor in the mouth. I don’t take naps and I don’t sleep at night unassisted. Since my yoga practice has increased I can fall asleep more often on my own. I don’t know if it is the attention to breath, the physical practice or the meditation. All I know I am having more quality rest and that makes me less crazy.
I thank the universe for the gift of yoga.