As I indicated last night on Instagram, I’ve been chewing on this Striking Truths image all week:
It makes me think about a lot of things, but specifically my yoga practice in the last quarter of the year.
There were several points in time this Fall that I wanted to run away from the process. Teacher training had officially cracked me and I wasn’t liking what I was seeing in myself. Trying to find time for yoga – and the self-study it brings up in the process – wasn’t going well.
I constantly questioned how I was supposed to do it all. Wanting to excel at my 40-hour-a-week career and trying to maintain the relationships that I have put a priority on were plenty enough for me. How would I find balance in work, my loved one, my hobbies and everything else that pops up along the way?
So instead of running away from the anxiety I was creating for myself, I came back to three words that kept appearing in the yoga studio and in my outside world:
Commitment. Intention. Contentment.
Those three things drove me through the last two months of teacher training.
Commitment: “the state or an instance of being obligated or emotionally impelled.” (Source) You gave your word. You made a promise. It’s time to keep it. As much as you did this all for you, you’re doing it for others as well.
Intention: “a determination to act in a certain way”. (Source) You intend to not let this anxiety drive your life’s purpose any longer. Do not let the thing that brings you the most relief from your anxiety bring you more of it.
Contentment: “feeling or showing satisfaction with one’s possessions, status, or situation” (Source) Recognize the bit of sweetness in every moment – even those that don’t seem so sweet. Chair pose included.
So, I bucked up. I put in my hours. I taught my classes. I submitted my assignments. And after 300 hours of reading, lectures, assisting, teaching, volunteering, report writing, I was presented with this last Saturday:
It’s sitting happily on my mantle, next to other remembrances of times in my life that tested me – that have made me a stronger person, a better person. I truly believe yoga is available to us to help make us better versions of ourselves. I know I’m a different person than I was back in March when this journey started.
I’m externally grateful for the lessons learned through my teacher training process. Now as a teacher myself, I just hope I can help others to do the same. As a warning to my students: those lessons learned might be through chair pose. But, as I always say: chair pose takes us to some pretty amazing places – and it’s worth the journey through it to get you to those sweeter places in your practice.