Cue the party music, I graduated! I’m sure you wondering what I could have possibly been in school for, so let me not leave you in suspense any longer….I just completed my 200-hour yoga teacher training. And trust me it was a family affair! There was studying multiple books on yoga history and philosophy, yoga practice, entire weekends at the studio, and practice teaching. My husband and my son’s teacher have truly been troopers helping me with the little one over these last 9 months. You can learn more about my training here.
When I started this journey, I wasn’t exactly sure when or if I would actually teach yoga. I knew I loved yoga and wanted to know more about it, but I didn’t see myself as a yoga teacher. To be honest, I’m pretty nervous about teaching yoga because truth be told, it’s out of my comfort zone. I’m an excellent student, but can I be a teacher?
Have you ever had that internal dialogue with yourself? Thinking that you really want to do something, but not sure how you’ll actually use that thing you want? Or maybe not even being sure if you can actually do the thing?
What usually happens is we just don’t do it. If we think we can’t “justify it” with something logical other than you just want to, we tend to opt not to do the things we want to do. Or we opt out because we let the fear of failure hold us back. Taking a yoga teacher training did not seem like a logical next step. But I decided to do what I wanted to do instead of what I thought I should do. I have no regrets and I actually gained more than I expected.
I expected to enjoy my yoga teacher training experience, but I didn’t expect it to change my life. That statement may seem dramatic, but it in fact did. The training was so much more than just the physical aspect of yoga. The physical side is actually only a small aspect of yoga.
Below are the 3 main ways my life was changed in my yoga teacher training:
It forced me to look at areas of my life that I’m not super satisfied with and those areas where I’m not living my dharma. Dharma can have many meanings, but here I’m referring to dharma as your duty or selfless service. It’s basically your gift you share with the world. It’s quite easy for us to get caught up in someone else’s dharma. We pattern ourselves after other successful people, right? That’s often what we’re told to do, but more often than not, striving to be like someone else leads to comparison and feelings of inadequacy.
“It is better to strive in one’s own dharma than to succeed in the dharma of another.” Nothing is ever lost in following one’s own dharma, but competition in another’s dharma breeds fear and insecurity. (The Bhagavad Gita)
The yoga teacher training also helped me to develop a consistent meditation practice, that I am convinced is the reason I am able to manage the many facets of my life, being a mother and a wife, working full time, and running a nonprofit and a coaching business. “The untrained mind is restless, constantly wandering here and there trying to fulfill its desires.” (The Bhagavad Gita) Meditation focuses the mind and allows for better concentration and when done in regular practice prepares you to achieve the desires of your heart. Through meditation, I have been able to deal with the stress and overwhelm that can often accompany my to-do list. You can read more about my meditation practice here.
Finally, the training also taught me patience, both in my body and in the many areas of my life. In the physical, I used to get so frustrated with not being able to do certain poses, feeling like I should be able to do that pose by now, I’m going to be a yoga teacher for Christ’s sake! Now instead, I relax, have patience with my yoga practice, understanding that it is, in fact, a practice. It is now easier to see the progression in my poses because I’m not clouded by my frustration and my ego. I have applied that same patience to other areas in my life. Patience with my son, my husband, my job, my business. I now have another tool to deal with managing expectations in each of those capacities. I can appreciate the effort needed, but be detached from the outcome if it doesn’t go exactly as I planned.
You can be so focused on your goals or desires, that you then become anxious about the results, which robs you of peace of mind.
“Effort never goes to waste, there is no failure.” (The Bhagavad Gita)
Those are my main 3, but there are many other physical and mental benefits of yoga, and I’ll share some of those with you too in another post. For this post though, I wanted you to know how it affected me personally and encourage you to find your personal journey with yoga. If you have never tried it, I invite you to join your local yoga community. It may offer you more than you expect too.
A few key lessons I hope you take home from this blog post…
You don’t have to have all the answers on the front end. Do what you feel called to do and the path will reveal itself to you.
Be open to being uncomfortable. Allow yourself to experience things that may be different than what you had originally planned.
Explore a yoga practice. It’s not just an exercise to check off your to-do list. You can do yoga on and off the mat.
I’d love to hear about your experience with yoga! Share with me in the comments below…