It was just a few months ago that I said I would be slowing down blogging to focus on yoga teacher training and my book. I never intended to stop blogging and hoped to let you all know about the training as it happened. Something weird took over though and I felt like some of it was too much to share. Or maybe I hadn’t processed it enough to know what to say.
I don’t have a “5 things I have learned so far”…in fact much of it is still muddly.
I started off the journey with some nerves and doubts but mostly excitement. I was still feeling so passionate about yoga as it had gotten me through some very tough times, I claimed before that it saved me. The first training weekend was intense and emotional and beautiful. I was filled to the brim when I left and could not wait for the next weekend.
Then, yoga began to cause problems in my marriage. Apparently my enthusiasm was not so well-received. My husband did not understand what was going on with me, he didn’t “get” what I talked about, and he did not understand the spiritual side of yoga that I spoke of. It caused some problems. We have worked through many of these misunderstandings. Much of it is/was his understanding that because I was passionate about yoga and found something more than exercise out of it meant that I might leave my family and move to India with a shaved head. Ok, maybe he didn’t think that exactly, but he thought I might “take it too far.” This led to my recent post entitled, “Is Yoga Religion?” because in between working through yoga issues with my husband, which by the way, is very common for aspiring teachers and others who become passionate in their practice, I heard rumblings from various people who did not understand yoga or in extreme, were offended by it.
Onto the next trainee weekend, we drove to Mississippi to a Hare Krishna farm. (Yes, I notice the oddity and also beauty of it being located in MS) I had trepidations about this trip because I was in the midst of misunderstandings with my spouse. But I went and loved it. I enjoyed talking to the Hare Krishnas because they are so passionate about their life and about Krishna. They talk a lot and love to share their ideas. They are such loving people and we can all learn from their way of life. We went for the Save the Cow festival. It was a really lovely experience of yoga, community, delicious vegan food and 24 kirtan. I only witnessed about 5 hours of the kirtan. I was the early van back and I was eager to see my kids after being gone all day. But, even 5 hours of:
can be pretty intense; intense but also powerful and amazing. It can truly free your mind in its repetition. Mantra practice is a very useful practice.
Other things came out of this day too. The issue of the face of yoga that I posted about almost exactly one year ago arose again. I know very few yoga snobs (those who think their way is THE way and make others feel “less than”). I am lucky to surround myself with truly honest and beautifully loving people. But there are those who take yoga in what I consider the wrong context. They create an image, a persona, of themselves to reflect what they want to be. Maybe they change the way they dress, they add some accent to their words, etc. I have seen this happen in a few people and it turns me off, particularly the change in speech, wth? In fact, I find it so ridiculous that it has led me to question yoga in general.
This was my state of mind at my third teacher trainee weekend. I was not enthusiastic about being there. I began questioning the authenticity of the practice and wondered if it was all a bunch of hooey. We spent an entire day teaching our individually designed 10-12 minute classes. There are 16 trainees and we did about 12, 10-12 minute classes. That is A LOT of Oms, sun salutes and closing Oms. It was overload of breathy, extended “Innnnhaaalllle, Exxxhaaaaale”. The yoga language was really getting my goat. Needless to say, I was completely over it by the end of the day. I was over the language, over the cadences and in general, saturated with yoga.
It has been a while since I have had a powerful yoga session. Yes, I still love the practice and find the meditation helpful for daily life and still find clarity in a twist. But, months ago, which coincidentally were a time of great pain and heartache, I found such solace in my practice, it was like therapy. Questions became answers and I felt something bigger than myself. Even before the flood, during a time of family struggle, I had intense yoga sessions. And even further back, my early practice seemed to offer the most. But now, when I am more deeply entrenched than before, devouring Patanjali’s Sutras and rejoicing in the Bhagavad Gita, I feel my connection is further away than before. My teacher/friend and I discussed this and there is some truth in her words that perhaps my honeymoon phase with yoga is over and now the deep and meaningful practice begins. I hope so.
My husband and I are working out our differences which come to discover are not so vast. I am learning my authenticity as a yoga teacher, what I hope to impart and the language I will adopt. I continue to question the path and doubt my contribution. But one thing that never fluctuates amid all of it is my dedication. I continue to show up. In the past, I have ended whatever it was I pursued (yeah, I posted about that too) when I got fed up with it for whatever reason. This time, I am committed, for better or worse and will see it through. If yoga has taught me anything, it is steadfast dedication and for that I am grateful.