Last weekend was…emotionally heavy.
The studio where I teach started their fourth teacher training on Friday night. I participated in the very first training the studio offered three years ago and have now been teaching yoga for three years. I wrote a post about my experience in teacher training.
Every year when a new yoga teacher training group starts I get a little nostalgic. Those 200 hours that I spent in teacher training were the most formative of my adult life. My yoga practice and teaching yoga has opened me in ways that I never thought possible. When I went through teacher training, I stated that I wasn’t going to cry. I had the walls built so high and my life arranged just the way that I wanted it. And while I managed somehow not to cry in teacher training…I’m fairly certain everyone in the studio has seen me cry at some point over the last three years since. The walls have slowly been crumbling.
This year’s teacher training is especially tugging at my heart because I had the opportunity to spend the first two days of their training assisting. One of my stated dreams since I started in fitness/yoga is that I want to train other teachers. I knew it from the first fitness certification that I ever participated in six years ago. I am grateful for the opportunity to help with some of this current training so I can begin to learn what the process involves from the leadership side.
We sat in this circle Friday night and talked about who we were and why we were there. We sat in another circle Saturday afternoon and talked about how yoga has changed our lives. I came home from training Saturday evening and went for a long run. Then came home and lost it. It was so beautiful to hear everyone’s unique journey, how they ended up in that circle and the role yoga has played. The stories covered the spectrum and it reinforced this thing I’ve been trying to accept for so long that we are all human and we all struggle. But there is also so much beauty in life and so many ways that we can serve and help each other.
In Sanskrit yoga means union or connection. I feel that all the time. I feel more deeply connected to my body, my actions and my thoughts. I feel in union with my students and the energy they bring to every class. I feel connection with a community in a family like way that I never thought possible. And I feel more union in this world as I seek to find my place in it. But I will tell you one thing…I know this is how I was called to serve.
Sunday I had to show up to teach my 9:15 a.m. class that many of my regulars call “yoga church.” I didn’t get out of bed until 10 minutes before I had to leave for class and I drove there with a heavy heart wondering how I could possibly inspire them on this day. I had received some hard family and personal news on Saturday night and I didn’t know how I would make it through class. I walked into the room to find 70 yogis on their mats eagerly waiting for class to begin and I took a deep breath and asked them to find a comfortable seat.
I went on to read the following passage that a friend of mine recently shared on her blog.
We chanted Om to begin class and then started to flow. I made it through class, sometimes fighting back tears, but with so much joy and gratitude for the students I was leading through practice. There were so many people in that room that have been with me since day one and that I care deeply about. I could literally feel them lifting me up.
90 minutes later I brought them back to the same seated position we started in to complete our practice. I sat there and told them how grateful I was for the beautiful energy they bring to class and then completely broke down and cried in front of the entire room. We chanted one last Om, bowed namaste and then I was overwhelmed by love. I received more hugs, text messages and facebook posts about that class than any I had ever taught. Everyone told me it was an amazing class and that all they felt was connection and union.
Last April I wrote a post about being real and letting go. In that post I included one of my favorite quotes in the entire world.
I have fought real for a long time. But what I shared with the teacher trainees in that circle and with my class on Sunday is that I am real. And I am vulnerable. And sometimes it’s scary as shit but at the end of the day the benefits of letting the walls fall down and becoming more open is the path to love and clarity.