It’s been a while since I have written, and I have so many things I would like to write that the words are pin-balling around in head to the point that my brain is total chaos…nothing new around here, for sure!
I think I will begin today with a bit of good news: Four and half months after completing my Yoga Teacher Training, I finally made time to finish my Yoga Alliance registration. I am officially an official RYT200 designated yoga instructor.
Until now, I’ve been too scared to teach, so the certificate was not of huge concern. See, I came away from teacher training feeling very knowledgable, very well-practiced, and very unsure about my abilities to lead a class. So much so that I have been stuck in a self-inflicted “yoga paralysis” that not only kept me from feeling qualified to teach, but also made me feel inadequate to do any of the yoga practicing and/or sharing in which I used to find so much joy and pleasure.
I tried to “fake it ’til you make it” at the beginning of the year. I had grand plans of teaching my friends online via blog posts and Instagram pictures:
It lasted 6 days before the self-doubts took over. I figured, Who am I to be teaching anyone else when I am so clueless myself?
So I quit.
I also stopped participating in online yoga challenges. These are uber-popular ways for yoga teachers across the globe to build their following, promote their craft, and round up business for their workshops. These “yogalebrities” are firmly frowned upon in many yoga circles. They are viewed as attention-seeking, exhibitionists who wow the masses with crazy physical contortions but never lead those masses to their personal path of enlightenment, which is “supposed” to be the purpose of yoga practice. These are considered to be bad, bad people.
Except that I like them. In fact, following a few of these “yogalebrities” and their daily challenges was a tremendous motivation to me when I began attending yoga classes and attempting to practice at home on my own. I can see how flouncing into an advanced posture without knowledge, warm up, nor a plan for getting out of it is quite dangerous. It is also dumb, and while I am certainly ignorant and unknowledgeable about many, many things in this world, I am not by definition DUMB.
Each day these “yogalebritites” share a new pose for their monthly challenge. I, being the information-hound-slash-know-it-all that I am, would google the pose, read the entry for that pose in Yoga Journal’s online posture dictionary, and even watch videos and scroll through images to better learn how to do it safely and with maximum benefit. This would lead to my mat where I would warm up with my reliable and steady old standby – Sun Salutation A – and spend a few minutes stretching (that is also no-no terminology in some yoga circles). Some days this took 5 minutes while other days it took 50 minutes, just depending upon what felt good and what my body seemed to need in that space and time…I learned to let the moment be my guide, and it was pretty fabulous. Next I would work on that day’s prescribed yoga challenge pose, and when I got it mastered as much as was going to happen, I would grab a family member to snap a photo for me to share online.
It never felt like I was putting on a show, craving attention, or committing yoga sin, but after being so entrenched in the yoga community during my teacher training, I really began to doubt these activities. I did not want to cause harm or injury, and I definitely did not want to appear phony or fake.
So I quit.
To further muddy the waters, I woke up to find myself a yogi with no studio in which to feel at home. I had just spent 4 months attending yoga teacher training about 30 minutes south of where we live; it is an incredible facility with amazing yoga classes and extremely talented teachers, but the reality is that I don’t want to drive that far. I know that a 60 minute class becomes a three hour day-swallowing adventure by the time I drive there, allow time to set up my space and use the restroom, complete the class, clean up my spot, visit with classmates on the way to my car, and drive back home. Sadly, I can’t get my “To Do List” done as is, so I sure can’t afford to lose three hours per day driving around Tulsa County. On top of that, my annual membership to a yoga studio just minutes from our home expired, and while I find it a good studio, there were little things that seemed to keep me from going regularly. Those “little things” are my own hang ups, and thus, my problem, but ultimately that type of membership is too expensive to NOT use. I felt very displaced.
So I quit.
One of the main reasons I wanted to receive yoga teacher training was to feel qualified to lead myself in home practice. So, now that I had quit sharing and quit attending classes, I turned to my home practice…
Except that I didn’t.
Instead, I spent these last two months going from a school fundraising auction project to fighting the flu to planning our annual football family dinner after the Spring Football Game to helping throw and enjoy an absolutely delightful 5-Bride Bridal Shower, back to the auction project to a small relapse of flu to more auction project (which was – thankfully – a big success!) to a National Charity League project to work for my membership with the Junior League of Tulsa to Alzheimer’s Association AWARE board, back to NCL project to a craft project to another craft project, and now on to hosting an AWARE event. I thoroughly enjoy my volunteer work, and I DO believe that my service makes a difference, admittedly not for the masses, but at least for a few. There is not a single one of those involvements that I want to – or am willing to – give up, and yet over the past 9 weeks I have managed to put all of my most precious and important priorities on the back burner, including my family, my home, and myself.
And it stinks.
But today I am beginning again.
Today is Day 1 of “May I Begin Yoga 2016” on Instagram, and I am doing it!
This is a sequel to the very first challenge that I completed two years ago when I was just starting to discovered my passion for yoga:
I had so much fun back then…learning new postures, trying the poses, and having my family by my side as my professional photography troupe:
Day 1 for both years is Downward Dog, or called Adho Mukha Svanasana in Sanskrit:
So, it’s officially official…I am back in the saddle, again 🙂
With hugs and love,
PS: Here are a few outtakes (sporting the Yoga Teacher tee!) that my photographer (Coach) caught on camera 😉