Teacher Training: Week 5

It's starting to sink in. I am going to be a yoga teacher. The very thought makes me well up with joy and hope -- hope that I may, one day, be able support myself doing something that I am truly and utterly passionate about, something that I love. I never thought I'd be so lucky. A modest living is all I ask for (I'd be happy with the what I'm making now), and I'm beginning to think that if I work hard, that might be possible. I'm receiving enormous support from my teachers. They seem to have a lot of faith in me, and I am truly touched by their excitement. I never thought of myself or my practice as special -- I still don't -- but I have worked very hard and poured a great deal of myself into this practice. My teacher said "it shows." I was humbled.

You may have noticed how my own language has evolved. Until recently, I had always referred to these people as "my trainers." At some point, a shift occurred and they became "my teachers." I'm warming up to this student-teacher relationship, little by little. I came to this program with a very defensive attitude underlying my desire to learn. Part of this stems from my ever-present struggle with attachment to my practice. Teach me, but don't you dare touch my lovely practice. Hands off! It's delicate... This way of thinking doesn't really work. And I should know by now that my practice is not fragile, it is not built on nothing, as I have sometimes feared. This has been proven to me time and time again by the beautiful changes it has made in my life. Opening myself to the wisdom of others, no matter how near or far from my own ideals, can only lead to growth.

Over the weekend we charged through some more alignment and instruction workshops. People seem to find this stuff tedious, even the teachers. I think it may be my favorite part. I get downright excited about alignment specifics and sequencing possibilities. Can you say, "dork?"

As for the nutritional challenge this week, it's a Paleo diet... sort of. We're being asked to limit our diet to fruits, vegetables, and proteins (in the forms of meat, nuts, eggs, and beans). No grains, no corn, no dairy, and no artificial or refined foods. This is sort of a culmination of the past few challenges we've had: the first week was no dairy, second week was no refined sugars, third and fourth week were no gluten (though I failed this challenge miserably like the bread junkie that I am and quickly gave up trying altogether). But this week, no bread OR cheese. Not even rice. Or oatmeal. Or corn tortillas. But I can do this. I've had a resurgence of motivation. Even though I'm not entirely sure what the purpose is at this point, I'm having fun playing the game. So far, so good. Keep in mind, there are no consequences for not participating in the nutritional challenges. We're not even asked to report what we find, unless we care to, but my teacher actually inquired individually about my diet (privately), and seems to think that limiting grains would be good for my particular build. I'm very muscular and high energy (not bouncing off the walls energy, more like I can get through a 20-hour day rather painlessly-type energy). He seems to think it would focus my strength, not to mention get me looking lean and mean (my words, not his ;))... so I'm curious to know what this diet might actually do for me. I'm giving it a week.

We also have another awareness task: we have been given rubber bands to wear around our wrists. We are to "snap" ourselves back into the present if we catch our minds wandering into the past or future unnecessarily. Seems a silly, almost sadistic thing to do, no? Well, the first time I caught my mind reeling into the future, worrying about some stupid thing or another, I snapped my rubber band and felt immediately calm. Amused, even, by my mind's predictable, notorious misbehavior.

The last week was very busy for me, so the practice schedule lightened up just a tad. I managed to practice 6 days, but did not have time for as many home practice sessions as I would have liked. This week, however, should be different. I'm looking forward to it.


  1. ...and a modest living is all you'll get ;)

    It's true, but I mean it in jest because it doesn't matter. When you do soemthing you truly love it doesn't matter. Even if you have to have another part time job too, you kind of love that more as well.

    Good luck to you x

  2. I've experienced a similar evolution in my practice over the last few months. Like you, I was practising at home and felt very possessive about 'my practice'. After I started practising at the shala, I remained very reticent about the teachers in some ways. But I noticed recently in a conversation, I was referring to them as 'my teachers'. I was struck by that; a trust has been established. My practice is different now that it involves other people. There's definitely been a shift.

    I hope you'll be able to make a go of it as a yoga teacher! It's not an easy career financially, but it's an extremely rich one in so many other ways!

  3. Rachel - Thanks for the cheery reminder ;)

    You're absolutely right, though, that the income doesn't really matter. I know what I'm truly searching for is fulfillment, and already, the thought of branching out has made my current job much easier to swallow.

    Kai - It is interesting, isn't it? There's a softness that follows the cultivation of trust, and I'm seeing it in my practice, on and off the mat. I still feel the need to maintain my home practice, but I don't worry that scary outside influences will send it crumbling to the ground.