When I started yoga teacher training in early September, I went in wanting to learn more about the philosophy behind yoga and a vague desire to teach as a side job to my regular non-regular job as a freelance writer.
It was a rough week leading up to the start of training – can’t even remember why now – but I remember smoking a cigarette before rushing off to training (I know!). I had receded to some long extinguished habit and went in thinking this was a bad start. I arrived near the last minute, without a notebook and pen to take notes, and feeling anxious and not entirely wanting to be there. But I put on a happy yoga face and sat down on a bolster in the circle with the other students and tried to relax.
Each of our five teachers then started with a brief introduction of themselves and how they came to yoga. I remember feeling after that this was where I needed to be. These weren’t perfect people who came to yoga because they were vegans whose lives were all light and joy and they could speak in New Age talk. They were people who were sometimes still struggling with life. They came to yoga, some reluctantly, after trying acting and other jobs. Through yoga, they found where they needed to be.
Since then, my view of yoga has completely changed, several times. Two weeks before completing my 200-hour training, I don’t know what I think of it because it’s kind of blowing my mind. Every new thing I read and learn – whether it’s philosophy, alignment, anatomy, chakras, brain science, etc. – changes my perspective. My mind can’t keep up, but I just want to digest more and more. Every book a teacher mentions, I immediately sample on my Kindle, usually to quickly buy it to read more. I’m in the middle of reading about 8 different books on yoga.
I’m coming to the end of teacher training in some ways feeling more of a mess than when I came in. Not because I wasn’t as messy when I started, but I was more contained and maybe more oblivious to my own life. But I’m also feeling more grounded, like I can deal with my mess. I’m feeling less in control of the outcome of my life but more in control of how I choose to live my life.