This Sunday night around 7:30 pm will mark the one year anniversary of my ATV wreck that resulted in numerous injuries, a lot of fear and worry, and my decision to leave the rat race I was living. I have literally been growing my backbone. Metaphorically, that couldn’t be more true.
I’m typing this from my couch with my leg in a baby blue cast and propped up on pillows. I am still taking care of my injuries, and I’ll tell you one thing for sure. Getting around in a neck brace was so much easier than getting around with a broken leg. The statistics I’ve read on hip fractures sharply decreasing life expectancy have never made more sense to me than they do now.
Over and over again I heard how I was recovering so well because of my years of yoga practice. I heard it…I didn’t feel it. What I felt was my entire belief system crumbling. What I felt was anger, sometimes full-on rage, at the lack of control I had over my own healing protocol and I rebelled every chance I got. In other words, I pushed back hard.
In that push I started to learn how much energy I was willing to devote to people, places, and things. I shed a lot of bullshit and am learning how to honor my truth, my voice. I’m learning to feel my strength and acknowledge my beauty. Simple, but not easy. Not. Easy. Breathing, meditating, being still although I want to crawl out of my skin; all personal growth requirements.
Our teacher training program is intense and despite everyone’s best efforts to keep it together…you have to actually quit the program to avoid the awareness and growth that comes with training. As leaders of the program, Beth and I are witnesses and keepers of the space our student-teachers need to dive into themselves. It is an extremely vulnerable time and it can feel overwhelming. That is why you have us, your fellow students, and your own deep inner strength. Pain is real. You didn’t screw up or fail and nothing is WRONG with you because you feel pain. Somewhere along the line we have to realize that so we can dispose of a victim mentality. No one escapes hard times. They are fundamental to our growth as human beings. It is where the most growth happens….(cue the phoenix).
So back to parking my ass on my couch…it is now that my yoga practice, my PHYSICAL POSTURE practice is helping me tremendously. Because of my training, I am very aware of my center of gravity, I can easily balance, I have a ton of deep core strength, and I am very flexible. This means I can hop around, get up and down stairs, climb in and out of the bath, a car, a couch…yada, yada, yada. At every point along the way I am acutely aware that if I didn’t have this level of physical adaptability, my mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual health would decline rapidly.
What this does for the teacher in me is make me want to grab anyone who wants to teach yoga and really let them see how much they can bring to the world around them. We take time to see our students as unique, individual, struggling, inspiring, beautiful works of art. Teaching yoga is NOT about postures. It is NOT about meditation. It is NOT about the best mats, clothes, and props. It IS about learning to love and accept yourself just the way you are today. Yoga is toolbox. Teacher training tells you how to use those tools. You end up with a plethora of options to choose from everyday.
Teaching this way requires a knowledge base of special populations that allows you, as a yoga teacher, to intelligently craft sequences that can be adapted to whoever walks in the door that day. Teaching this way requires the impetus to feel your strength, acknowledge your beauty, and honor your truth. We do that at Yoga Path. Our teacher training program teaches the tools that create the safety to go within and discover your voice and deepen your practice. Yoga Path’s yoga teacher training program connects you to a community of compassionate people.
Thank you for taking the time to read this. These blog posts always leave me feeling a little queasy once I hit save. Brene Brown calls it the vulnerability hangover. Feel free to comment and share your own story. If you’ve ever felt that tug towards yoga teaching…our doors are open and we are ready.