Rites of Passage
Crazy as it seems, we are nearing the end of The Yoga Sanctuary Teacher Training Program of 2012 – 2013. I’m not yet at the point to sit back and try to summarize the experience. Next month, perhaps. Or maybe never, as summary would most certainly fall short of any meaningful assessment of what this entire process has been for all of us. But, I’m getting ahead of myself.
Somewhere over the past few weeks, we have passed through some kind of invisible door – bringing us all to a more confident space, where we are able to relax a little, have fun, to laugh at ourselves and, yes, at each other. The big thing – the really BIG THING – has been our Community Class experience, where we each choose a local Charity and teach a class for donations. As I write this, only 3 of us have not yet completed this rite of passage. I’ve been fortunate to attend all my fellow students’ classes and can say that, to a person, life BEFORE your Community Class and life AFTER are so different – it’s like you’ve moved to another planet.
Leading up to doing your Class, there is so much apprehension and preparation that, even those who have taught in the past have found it a challenge. We all want so much to integrate what we have learned, and aspire to do The Yoga Sanctuary proud! For me, well, I was terrified. This business of teaching a class has loomed in front of me since December, as I imagined myself forgetting the names of body parts, when to inhale, when to exhale and making a complete fool of myself. Or worse. Tears might come.
So, I worked on my sequence diligently. Practicing on my generous victims. Leaning on Jennifer’s advice and wisdom. Writing out everything I hoped I would say – editing, questioning, refining, finalizing the sheet of paper I would use as my cue card, my crutch, should memory completely fail me during my “routine”!
Then, as surely as the birds leave in Spring to fly north, it was suddenly MY DAY. In a vague fog, I found myself walking into the studio under my own power. Then after a lovely talk about my Charity, the Peace River Wildlife Center, I was “up”. Miracle of miracles, as I looked out at all those lovely, goodhearted people, and felt them ‘with me’, it was as though Tinkerbell waved her little wand and I knew that whatever happened was going to be ok. As one of the other ‘girls’ remarked after her Class, “I felt all that good energy, saw all those friendly faces. We were all there for Yoga and for a good cause. I knew it was ALREADY perfect.” That’s the peace that comes with LIFE AFTER your Community Class!
Now we are approaching ‘crunch time’ – review of our work and demonstration of what we have absorbed over the past few months. It has become obvious that each of us has brought some strengths to the program – some have a real knack for Asana, some have had experience with the philosophical aspect of Yoga, and some are near experts on anatomy. Safe to say, though, that everyone has been challenged – perhaps more than they expected to be. And, haven’t we all faced the challenge! Haven’t we all grown!
Haven’t we all opened a window and let the light shine in on us a little brighter? It IS already perfect.
Love the Work and See Where it Takes You
Over the past few months we “TT’s” have been deeply entrenched in the work at hand, perhaps at times feeling unequal to the task, and understandably rather self involved! Now, as we prepare to turn the last page of this life chapter, we can glance up beyond our noses and consider ‘what happens now?’. We all have some ideas……
Laura is inspired to bring the peace of Yoga practice to women who desperately need peace. Carol has more tools to enhance her work in Wellness Management. Dea’s seniors will be the beneficiaries of her new skills and refreshed commitment.
Julie is full of characteristic enthusiasm, ready to bring new things to her students at home. Ashley’s goal was to deepen her own personal practice and has found, along the way, the desire and confidence to teach. Brandy has a dream to combine her love of Yoga with her Art.
Sally says the program has exceeded her expectations in developing her personal practice. Sonya will infuse the wisdom of Yoga into her professional life and her photography. And, I predict that Lynn, after she’s had a chance to percolate on the Bhavagad Gita, will soon be emailing us from Long Island, saying “can I ask you a question….”.
Me? Well, this experience has certainly changed me and I guess I need a little time to assimilate – sort of an extended savasana! One thing I know for sure: the limitations I had placed on myself have been significantly altered, my comfort zone expanded, my sights lifted. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be able to help others find that? Perhaps bringing Yoga to people who may never have imagined it is “for them”? We’ll see where the path leads.
We all have some ideas, yet I think that every one of us embraces the belief that the work itself has been the reward. We are left with open hearts to whatever may lie ahead, as we take our places in the Yoga community, accepting the responsibility and joy of sharing what we have learned.
Very soon, the exams will be over, the celebratory gatherings will pass. There will be hugs, well wishes and promises to stay in touch, to have lunch, to see each other in class. Regardless of how much or how little we see each other in the future, we are forever connected and we know this is not an ending. We’ve hardly scratched the surface on the subject of Yoga. And the answer to the question “How long will it take me to ‘get this’” is “The rest of your life”.
I couldn’t possibly sign off on this Teacher Training Blog series without expressing our deepest gratitude to Bonnie and Jennifer. My, they are patient! They are wise. They are loving. They are kind. They are fun. They are charming and beautiful. We are blessed to have them in our lives. Our immediate community and our extended Yoga community are blessed by their presence. I could go on and on, but they are also humble, and they know how we feel.