A Yoga Teacher in Training
It’s hard to believe I am more than halfway through this amazing journey that is my yoga 200 hour teacher training at Yoga on High. I came into yoga teacher training with the goal of wanting to deepen my own practice. That goal still remains. Halfway through I am still not sure whether I want to teach, but I am 110% sure I have accomplished my goal…with still so much more to learn and absorb from my teachers and fellow students. If I teach, my purpose and motivation will be to spread the power of yoga to as many people as I can. Observing a roomful of students settling into Savasana and relaxing as consequence of your voice is pretty freaking amazing…thinking about it gives me the chills.
My own regular practice began about 5 years ago, when I decided I should start stretching more after I exercised. At the time, to me (and still to so many), yoga was merely a means of becoming more flexible and stronger. I would power through a class, cranking myself into the deepest adaption of each pose I could. The sweatier I was after class, the better. The sorer I was after a class, the better. I look back now and smile with gratitude that yoga entered my life at all…and at the fact that my practice has taken a 180 degree turn since then.
I realize now the profound effect yoga can have on the mind, body, and spirit. That flexibility and strength I so desired before is only a component of the larger picture of yoga. Yoga can do wonders for the physical body, but it can also easily injure the body with improper alignment. I have met too many teachers who were once at a similar place I started and learned only to dial back due to an injury caused by a too intense and dangerous yoga practice. I believe starting yoga from any place and with whatever goal(s) is powerful. Continuing that practice and truly exploring without judgement and without constantly pushing yourself to your edge can open up so many other doors and opportunities for self-exploration and self-awareness. My teacher training has taught me the background of yoga, and given me the confidence to share the knowledge and beauty of it with others. I had the opportunity to study with well-known yogi Rodney Yee, who seemed so divine I was surprised he didn’t start levitating off the ground while he spoke-So in touch with his mind and body, I could feel his energy radiating in the room.
Yoga has become such a spiritual practice for me. It quiets my ever busy mind in this fast paced world. It has taken me these 5 years (and counting) to slow down more and more; to be attentive to the small and beautiful things in life – a pink flower poking out from a snow covered ground, a bird’s morning song, or the calm expression of a loved one sleeping. I realize now, more than ever, how happy I am to wake up each morning, another day I am alive and breath is within me. Most of the time, I am still going a million miles an hour, but I always have my yoga practice to back come to. Sometimes my practice for the day consists of me lying on my mat for 10 minutes rubbing essential oils on myself and sometimes it is still playing with my deepest edge. It is reflective of whatever I need in that moment.
Yoga is for EVERYONE. As I have learned, yoga isn’t necessarily about strength, or moving in tandem with your breath, or even flexibility, it is about loving yourself and self-care. If you haven’t tried it, I encourage you to take a class! Or if that seems intimidating, try some YouTube videos out at home. Or even try a class if it does seem intimidating, (most) yoga studios are amazing communities of welcoming and non-judgmental people. If you live in Columbus, feel free to leave a comment, I’d love to help you find a class that fits your needs!
I long for those brief moments (that are slowly growing longer) where I am completely in touch with my physical and mental body – a difficult feeling to describe where I feel like I am speck floating in a poofy cloud. May so many more come my way (and yours). 🙂 I look forward to this second half of my yoga teacher training with my wonderful teachers and fellow teacher trainees.