As I am preparing to guest teach Ayurveda, the Indian holistic health care system that was developed together with yoga, in the Teton Yoga Shala’s 300 hour Yoga Teacher Training. I was reflecting on my past trainings and what I have learned through my investments in myself and my health.
5. Yoga is Deep
I don’t just mean deep stretching, getting into your psoas. But depth in it’s teachings, on the philosophy of what it means to be a human; to go through this human experience. Yoga offers many textured layers to guide me through the harder times in my life and there is no way to distill it all down to a one hour class once a week. Being immersed in a training gave me time to soak in more of this wisdom as I began to integrate it into my own life.
4. My Mat is My Science Lab
Every time I step into my laboratory, (aka my mat) I begin to observe what’s going on inside of myself, physically, mentally, emotionally, and with my breath. As I start to study and classify what is going on I am able to learn and figure my patterns and habits. This awareness then allows me to infer, predict and notice when my patterns and habits arise again. Here is where I have a choice, I can choose to communicate or act differently than how I have in past or just go with what I have always done, but it is my choice.
3. To Love Myself Exactly as I Am
It is so easy to compare myself to others in class. I do it all the time. I catch myself feeling smug when I think I have the “best” posture in the room, or berating myself that I’m not doing the pose well. Yoga teaches the practice of ahimsa, non-harm or non-violence towards others and this most definitely includes towards myself. The practice of ahimsa reminds me that we are all in different places in our life and in our bodies, and that I am exactly where I am supposed to be. Just because I am open in one part of my body or my mind, doesn’t mean I will be open in another. During teacher training I was able to look and observe different bodies and learn to appreciate them all. There is no such thing as perfection, it’s all a game our ego loves to play and society supports perfection by buying front row tickets.
2. To Relax in the Pose is More Important Than How It Looks
This seems a little strange at first, especially when so much emphasis can be put on the alignment of the pose. But when I can relax in the face of discomfort, to let go of my racing thoughts, my ego, my jaw even, when I soften, that’s when I learn more about who I am in the moment and who I can be when things are not going my way. It’s a constant reminder to stop look around and not take myself so seriously.
1. Practice Implies Repetition
My teachers Eddie Modestini and Nicki Doane say this often. At first it appears simple, of course practice implies repetition. It’s the doing part that is often hard, the commitment to myself. To honor and listen to my body. To slow down and get quiet and hear my own inner intuition. To step back to the mat day after day, even when I don’t feel like it, to put in the time, sweat, laughter, tears and most of all presence. To show up for all parts of my life.
Want to deepen your yoga practice? Join myself, Adi Amar, Angela Tong, Vanessa Sulzer, Niki Sue Mueller, Amanda Botur, and Heather Franklin for the 300 hour teacher training at the Teton Yoga Shala in Jackson, Wyoming, October 4th-November 6th 2015.
To learn more or sign up click here.
P.S. The early bird pricing ends August 20th!