It's difficult to believe that this week marks the halfway point in our yoga teacher training program. With four weeks behind and four weeks ahead, it's the natural time to pause, reflect and prepare for the weeks to come.
I've noticed as I've gone through this process that people, in general, are curious about Yoga Teacher Training and all that it entails. I know I was before embarking on this journey. I was filled with questions about what I'd learn and how I would grow. Of course, I wondered if I could really "do it".......I was both excited and trepidatious about what awaited me - often vacillating between wondering if the decision I had made to undergo the program was a sound one (considering my schedule and job demands) or if I had made a error in judgement. It was a decision I approached with a significant amount of thought and consideration.
Yoga, to me, has always been synonymous with balance - balance in my life, balance in my body and balance in my work.
I found yoga, originally, after a serious bout with a "work-life" imbalance. After transitioning from a local, community job to a more demanding corporate position, I found myself struggling to keep harmony in between my two worlds. The line between work and self had blurred to the point that I could barely tell where one stopped and one began. I began to search for something that would help me regain my equilibrium. Yoga was that answer.
Karma Yoga Denton took me in and, without even knowing it, gave me a safe space to heal, rebalance and thrive. Investing daily and weekly in myself and my practice, I slowly began to see a difference. I began to find balance. It was a precious process of self discovery - further cementing the importance of yoga in my life.
Because of this, I think I approached a Yoga Teacher Training (YTT) with a cautious desire to preserve this hard earned balance. "How would this training program affect my practice, my balance and the delicate harmony I had worked so hard to achieve?" --- I never expected the answer I would receive.
While YTT has been an amazing experience and one I am grateful I've had, it has been, for me, a "graduate program" in balance and self care. I have struggled with the demanding schedule and time commitment. The change in routine and how work, life and self all coexist during demanding times has opened the door to further self discovery. It has challenged what I thought I had mastered and pushed me to rediscover what balance means. It has deepened my appreciation for my practice - for the marriage of my breath and movement and how it heals. It has forced me to rest in the practice of mindfulness and simply be "present" - whether that "present " is in a boardroom meeting, a busy airport on a business trip or on my mat in Yoga Teacher Training. I have learned more fully to simply "be" wherever I am and make the most of that moment.
One of the Niyamas we discuss in our practice is that of Santosa, or contentment. Santosa allows us to accept things as they are in the present moment, allowing room for self-acceptance and the presence of all circumstances. I have found great solace in YTT through reflection on this concept. Through YTT, I have had the chance, not only to learn important foundations for yoga instruction, anatomy, cueing, and yoga ethics and philosophy but greater self acceptance, contentment, patience and mindfulness.
The road of Yoga Teacher Training has taught me so much more than how to connect movements together to create a class, although it has done an amazing job of teaching that skill and pushed me beyond my own belief barriers. It's taught me about myself, my practice and (as yoga always does) about life.
I am grateful for each step that has led me to this awareness, this moment and this place in my life. I am so grateful for the amazing fellow yogis who surround me, support and inspire me in both my Yoga Teacher Training and in my Karma Tribe. Their humility and love is truly inspiring and encouraging.
I look forward with a grateful heart to the weeks of learning ahead and the self discovery to come.