Sunday, November 23, 2014

Things I Learned in Yoga Teacher Training.

I started a Yoga Teacher Training when my life was in upheaval. I was getting a divorce, raising my son on my own while my son's father lived in a different country and worked full time. I am not sure who I would be without the wisdom I gained from my experience and I am so very grateful I found Yoga and particularly Yoga beyond the group class.

1) I became curious. Yoga teacher training taught me very quickly that although I was worried, anxious and grieving, I could laugh and feel gratitude. How could that be when the conditions of my life felt so dark? There were moments I really felt I would rather die and yet, somehow, I also recognized I was able to experience some joy. The curiosity kept me alive.

2) The importance of the people in my life. The women and men I met with once a month for a full weekend, intensely practicing and studying gave me a sense of community that was new to me. It was steeped in compassion and personal responsibility. On one hand I felt held close and on the other, held in check.

3) I learned to hold myself less tightly. As a professional athlete who has ranked pretty strong in my field, Yoga has been a very humbling experience. It was a humbling experience to realize I was not the most adept Yogi in the class. There was learning on multiple levels here for me. The desire for perfection, the pain of not being the best and learning that it is the movement of energy that expresses the pose. Taping into that energy and learning how to cultivate it; letting go of perfectionism and softening my expectations. All great lessons I am still working with.

4) I got glimpses of just how much potential I had. That lead me to putting myself first. Without me, my son would not have a mom. Without me, the people I work with would have to learn the way I learned; the hard way. I did have something of meaning to offer. Even with my ex-husband... he would not be where he was without me providing the daily support to our child. Now I put myself first.

5) I became inspired to be who I truly wanted to be. Yoga healed the parts of myself that limited me. It cultivated courage and resilience. It cultivated compassion and generosity. It softened and strengthened me simultaneously.

6) My love of learning and growing. I have truly discovered that the best life for me is the one that doesn't rest in the comfort of staying where I feel comfortable. Stretching my skills, stretching myself has always on one hand created some anxiousness and on the other, stimulated me to learn more about myself, to respect myself and to put the priority on giving and receiving rather than winning or losing.

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