Eight weeks and 200 hours of yoga later, today is our graduation ceremony and I will officially be a certified yoga teacher! Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would get to check this off my bucket list this year or even in this decade. Becoming a yoga teacher has always been a dream of mine and as I mentioned in my first post about yoga teacher training (YTT) I can’t believe I have had the opportunity to pursue it.
Words cannot describe what a whirlwind of emotions these past eight weeks have been. Each of the eleven beautiful ladies and I got to share our stories, opening up our hearts and becoming vulnerable with each other. Each week I could feel us become stronger and more confident in ourselves, on and off the yoga mat. It was a bumpy road at times (read about my YTT update here) but it’s not about the destination but the journey itself right?
Aside from the emotional growth that I have seen in myself from the past few weeks, I am amazed at how much my body has changed physically. Never have I been this fit. Throughout childhood I played a few sports and took dance classes but I would not have considered myself athletic in any way. Now I catch myself looking in the mirror going “wow are those my biceps? – damn I look strong – look at my six pack!” My body feels so much leaner and I love how it feels. Going to yoga almost every day and doing at least a hundred chaturangas a week has sculpted my body into an incredible physical shape and I love it! We will see how I keep this body with the upcoming holidays and adventures I am going on =o)
It is true that I have never stared at my body so often. Our yoga studio has mirrors on two walls and throughout class I am watching my body, checking to see if I am aligned correctly and seeing if my joints are stacked properly. After class we dive into our training where we continue to study our body and the postures. I feel like I know my body so well now after learning to watch its every movement and seeing how it transforms from shape to shape.
About a year ago I started to meditate a few minutes a day. I learned a breathing technique on how to focus on your breath and would incorporate it into my practice. Then my schedule became too busy and I stopped taking the time to sit and meditate. A few weeks into our YTT I carved out five minutes every morning to sit and mediate. Since then I have been meditating every morning. I love starting my day with those few minutes of quite time, focusing only on my breath and how my body is feeling. If you don’t meditate I recommend giving it a try. Sit with yourself for five minutes, trust me they will go by faster than you think. I turn my phone on airplane mode and set a timer with a calm alarm sound. Begin by taking a few deep breaths in and focus on your breath. Inhale, exhale – One. Inhale, exhale – Two. Inhale, exhale – three. Do this until you get up to ten, then start over again at one. This is a great way to learn to focus on your breath and if you lose count simply start over again, remember to not be hard on yourself. If a thought comes up imagine that it is a cloud passing by and let it float away.
I used to have anxiety when speaking in front of a group of people, especially giving presentations in architecture school. I would get so into my head and nervous that when I went to present my project I would stumble over words and stress myself out. We had a friends and family day during YTT and I had two of my friends come to the class. Each of us had to teach a part of the flow we were learning and usually I would have been extremely nervous to be guiding a group of thirty people. But this time I remembered to breath and take my time when speaking. After the class I asked my friends what they thought of my teaching. They said I did an amazing job, my voice wasn’t shaking, it was clear what I was saying and I only needed to speak up a bit over the music. I was so proud of myself that day. This YTT has taught me how to calm my nerves and be confident in my voice.
Going into this training I knew I was not going to be making a career out of yoga. Honestly I had no idea what I would be doing with my certificate once I graduated and I still have no idea. I may teach a class at a studio or work on finding clients who want private lessons or I may never teach. I am leaving this YTT with an open mind and letting the chips fall where they may. I am grateful for the emotional and physical growth I have experienced and will take away so many lessons from this adventure.
“There will be a few times in your life when all instincts will tell you to do something, something that defies logic, upsets your plans and may seem crazy to others. When that happens, you do it. Listen to your instincts and ignore everything else. Ignore logic, ignore the odds, ignore the complications and just go for it. – Judith McNaught
x the Adventurer
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