September 12th 2017
“Yoga is the space where flower blossoms” -Amit Ray
So this past weekend I start my RYT 200 training to become a certified yoga instructor. The training is 200 hours (taking place primarily on weekends in my case) and is an opportunity for me to explore yoga, myself, and the world around me. I decided that starting a Yoga Diaries series would be a great idea because I love to write things I could look back on as signs of growth. I would normally keep this kind of writing to myself, however, I believe that if I share my feelings with the internet, someone may stumble upon them and see my growth and be inspired to explore a similar path themselves.
Instead of writing the specifics of what happened on each day of training, I want this to be more of a reflection where I take what I learned and talk about how it made me feel and how it applies to my personal life. I want to keep it all as general as possible in the ways of course content. Just a warning, these posts are going to be a bit long, so get comfy and reach however much you want.
Day 1~ 9.8.17
The first day of my training was a lot of self exploration and intention setting. As with any class, the evening was filled with logistics such as expectations, course goals, and assignments. However, the entire purpose of the evening was to sort out what brought me to the point in my life that made me want to become a yoga trainer and what hurdles I am hoping to get over over the course of this training.
To be honest, I wasn’t as open as I wanted to be when expressing who I was and what brought me to this point in my life. I was nothing but truthful when I spent the 5 minutes given to me talking about my hobbies and my interests and how yoga was the first physical thing I ever moderately excelled at, but there was so much more that I (unconsciously) held myself back from sharing due to past experience and habit.
If I could redo the introduction portion of the day, it would probably go something like this:
“Hi, my name is Jessica and I have moderate to severe anxiety that disrupts my life on a daily basis and I was bullied a lot of my adolescence and even a bit in college and yoga is the first place I mostly feel accepted and noticed. I started doing yoga because I was searching for a way to find myself and felt like it was something I didn’t hear about many people doing and decided to give it a whirl and ended up falling head over heals with the practice and the feeling of oneness it gave me. I spent a lot of my young life feeling like I was constantly shunned for who I was so I never explored who I could be. Now I’m 22, fresh out of grad school, with literally no idea what I actually want from my life and yoga teaching has been the only thing in years that I have felt so passionate about.”
But what I actually said was something along the lines of:
“Hi, my name is Jessica and I just graduated college. I like music and writing and reading and I started doing yoga a few years ago because it was something I was actually pretty good at and it was nice finding something for someone flexible like me.”
I don’t know why I left stuff about my anxiety and my past out, but for some reason, in that moment my brain chose to repress those details. Part of me wishes I was able to go back and say what I meant, but I know that those words will come with time and will be said when they are meant to be.
Moving onto my intentions and what I chose to be held accountable for. I really had to deep dive to figure out what my true intention throughout the training was going to be, because I knew that my intention didn’t lie in the poses but something more.
After thinking for a while, i discovered that my intention was “to be patient with myself and open to growth and change while minimizing fear”. I chose this intention because, as my frustration with my introduction indicates, I can lose patience with myself quite easily. The second part, about being open to growth and change, comes from the fact that I fear both positive and negative change because both come with new obstacles and things to figure out and I tend to get very anxious when faced with new situations. I added that I wanted to minimize fear, because absence of fear entirely is impossible and honestly not practical either. Fear adds balance.
Lastly, is what I want to hold myself accountable for which is something else I mentioned before, which is, “not holding myself back”. I had this realization that I have missed out on so many opportunities in life because I didn’t believe I deserved them. Letting myself feel deserving has been an assignment I’ve been working on for years.
Day 2~ 9.9.17
Day 2 focused a lot on moral codes for both internal and external observation. Things like self respect, respecting your space, understanding that not everything is in your hands…and so on. I found it very interesting that moral codes of centuries ago still hold up so well today. It really goes to show and some things just never change.
The part of the day that I enjoyed most was an open discussion about our favorite yoga quotes. I am a deep lover of quotes so finding the “perfect” one was a fun task for me. I wanted to pick something that really resonated with me, but not a quote that I had heard a hundred times before.
“Yoga is the space where flower blossoms” -Amit Ray
This quote really resonated with me because it shows that I am a flower whether or not yoga is in my life, but yoga is just what helps me bloom. It shows that I have the potential, all on my own, to do great things and be beautiful. I just use yoga as a way to help me find that potential.
Day 3~ 9.10.17
This day was a day of detachment. Detachment is one of my personal hurdles. I let myself get down about things too much. It all goes along with my aversion to change. For example, I have my headstand, but some days I don’t. Some days I kick and kick and kick and kick and I get nowhere fast and I wonder why my headstand let me down or why I was getting worse at yoga. I need to learn to detach.
In some ways, I have excelled at detaching myself, from people, expectations, etc. But sometimes I feel as though I have detached myself in the wrong way. This day made me realize that in order to rebuild, I must first learn where it is appropriate to detach and where it is okay to hold on.
If I had to sum up this weekend, it has been a weekend of letting go, realizing when to hold on, learning that it is okay to grow, and pushing myself out of my comfort zone to change for the better.
I am looking forward to see further growth, not only on my mat, but off it~