My life has changed so dramatically since January, and it’s all for the better. I began my teacher training then, and I’m receiving my certificate at the end of August. I haven’t been as active on the blog as I had planned to be when I started writing, but I made a choice to have a singular focus and to dedicate myself to the training.
As soon as I allowed yoga into my life on a daily basis, I have found the benefits of the practice seeping into all aspects.
Teacher training has begun a great force in my life – a force that has pushed me toward unabashedly declaring my goals and putting momentum into achieving them. It has rounded out three broad aspects of my being and brought me into a lovely balance. It’s a balance I have to constantly work toward, but one that I’m grateful to have, nonetheless.
The benefits of yoga for the body, mind and spirit are well documented. Here, I can only add the ways in which it has personally touched me.
My Weary Mind
Yoga has calmed me. It has given me the gift of a discipline. I actually want to meditate every day. In the beginning of the program, I was resistant. I didn’t like the way my body felt, and my brain felt like there was not only one voice inside me, telling me that this was ludicrous, it takes too long, or bringing up past/present/future situations; it felt like there were multiple voices. Like my brain was an onion, and I would peel away distracting thoughts only to find another layer of them.
Now, meditation feels pleasurable. I made it over some hump of challenge and can now take true joy in the practice of letting go of thoughts, expectations, hang-ups, memories, anxieties, etc. It all doesn’t serve me in the present.
A Body of Work
The benefits of asana for the body are some of the most obvious. It’s easy to see that a few weeks ago, maybe you couldn’t stretch as deep as you now can. What I am so grateful for is healing. Through the physical practice, I’ve seen huge improvement in the hip, knee and ankle pains that I’ve had in the past. Old injuries sidelined me from lifting heavy weights or doing cardio. However, diving deeply into the practice made them feel good. I can walk the streets of New York City without pain! That is a tremendous gift that felt nearly impossible not long ago.
I also know that not only is my flexibility slowly increasing, but my strength as well. I was not always able to enter into a controlled supported headstand, but now I can. I have gained the strength in my core to do so through consistence. These changes only encourage more consistency!
It’s like abundance – once you start to identify and appreciate the abundance in your life, you suddenly realize that you have more than you could have imagined!
Strength of Spirit
This has been such a lovely effect of a yoga practice. It was not something I knew I needed until dedicating myself to the mat. I see looking back that part of my entry into teacher training was actually because I was, deep down (and still am), a spiritual seeker. I wanted to find something that truly spoke to me, and something I could support. I didn’t always have that in my life… I often felt like an outsider among people who could affirm up and down what they believed.
Now, through the practice and studying the teachings of yoga, I have taken small steps on what will be a lifelong spiritual practice. I have taken parts of teachings and applied them to how I look at life and how I participate in it. I have taken a deeper interest in making my life one that is spiritually connected, and helping others who may find themselves on a similar path.
If you are considering participating in teacher training, I hope this post convinced you to take the leap. I firmly believe that yoga teachers, as well as other healers, are light bringers. As my teachers have said, this world can use as many light bringers as we can get. If you're inclined to better yourself, help those around you and build a community, this is a valuable step on the right path. Your energy is needed. Your presence is wanted.
Love and light.