One of my strongest desires as a yoga teacher is to deepen my understanding of the practice, of this world, this life so that I can bring authenticity, and the true power to help and to heal to my students. With that desire in mind, I decided to enroll in the five hundred hour teacher training offered by the same woman who taught my two hundred hour training. For one weekend a month, from now until December, I will convene with twenty-six other students (assuming everyone stays for the long haul) and we will deepen our understanding of the practice, of this world, this life, together. We will build a community, we will share our hearts, and move our bodies, we will practice being teachers and students, we will witness our strengths and our shortcomings. I look forward to the strong network of support that arises in such a community, the feeling of safe space, of being held within a bubble of compassion…I missed that when my two hundred hour training came to a close. I’m glad to be back in the same room, ready to learn and expand beyond my current understanding.
Tonight was the first night of our training. Full of many mixed emotions ranging from excitement to anxiety, I rolled out my mat, sat down and tried to remain centered as I took in the energy of the room. Our teacher began with a mini-lesson on the Sanskrit alphabet; she admitted she was stalling because one of our fellow trainees was having a tough time finding parking. I tried to listen during that time, but she was drawing the characters on a whiteboard about thirty feet away from me, and the light was quite dim, and I’m a visual learner, so I kind of tuned out from time to time. That’s okay, I told myself, because I can google “Sanskrit alphabet” any time I want and get the whole thing printed out with very little effort on my part. It made me feel a little smug to watch some of my fellows scribbling away furiously. It’s funny how the mind works.
We practiced a bit of asana together, and I was surprised to note how rusty I feel. I spend so much of my time teaching, so much of my time caring for my two children, and the house, and just being in a car getting myself here and there to the seven classes I teach a week…I leave very little time to attend to my own asana practice. I was flooded with more mixed emotions as I took this precious time to feel my body, breathe deeply and slowly, and notice where I’m out of practice, and also where I’ve grown. I could feel some of the benefits of my meditation practice spilling over into my asana practice tonight. Just the awareness of my monkey mind, and the realization that this chatter is normal was somehow so comforting. I’ve shown up for my meditation practice, sitting with the monkey mind, for 946 days now–so I’m quite familiar by this point of the lengths to which my mind will go to keep me from being present in this moment. This simple awareness that my chattery mind is normal made it all okay as I watched the judgments, the fears, the hopes, the sadness, the doubt, the relief arising, cresting, receding, over and over again.
A lot more happened, but it’s 11:38 pm, I’m tired, and I have to be up early to teach a class in the morning before I show up to day two of my training in the early afternoon.
Suffice it to say, I look forward to our next meeting.
Peaceful dreams, everyone in the entire universe. May we all be happy, healthy, and at ease.