When yoga and i found each other, i was just on the old side of 30. My first class was memorable…which mostly means i remember hearing “join your thumbs together at your sternum and spread your fingers wide”. I was proudly recreating “the butterfly” from Anne Cloud’s Vacation Bible School song about True Life and smiling a little to myself. then i peeked open my wee little eye. and i saw that everyone else had their hands in a prayer position. and the girl across from me (also with a wee little eye peeked open) was swallowing her giggle as she watched me confidently err.
No big deal. Shed your ego, right? Leave it at the door.
Over the course of the following 8 years, yoga and i were fast friends. 1 herniated disc, 2 pregnancies, 2 c-sections, a myriad of minor athletic injuries, good days, great days, bad days, terrible days, yoga was there for me. Not only did i appreciate how great my body felt, but also the validation of the messages conveyed through the teachings. i became a humble disciple. i attended as many classes as i was able in Dubois. i found classes in most of the places i traveled. and over time, i began to develop a practice of my own.
Dubois was without a yoga teacher for almost a year before i signed up for the yoga teacher training. once i finished my first 100 hours, i began teaching classes. at 6:30am during the winter…when i was quite sure only a handful of people would attend. i began to get the hang of it. after the new year, i expanded my class schedule. and more and more people are showing up.
but i’m not certain that i am – in the capacity that i’d like to be.
yoga has been a personal experience for me. a powerful one, but a personal one. there is a great deal of vulnerability involved in sharing out loud that which i find quite sacred.
while i’m plowing my way to class at 5:00am, i think about living in TRUTH. i think about magnifying AWARENESS. I think about the balance of STHIRA and SUKSHMA. i think about SURRENDER. i think about PRANA and CHAKRAS and VRITIS. but that practice ends once i unlock the hubs of the 4-wheel drive truck.
what i think about and what i say in class have disparity. in class, i talk about turning your left toes forward and grounding your back heel. i talk about rooting down through all 4-corners of your feet, about filling your belly and your chest and your throat and head with rich oxygenated blood. i talk about squaring your shoulders, finding length in your spine, folding at the hip, resting your shoulders down your back, softening, finding space, engaging mula bandha…and i know i’m missing a big part of the message.
i’m not certain of the block. is it vulnerability? is it ego? is it confidence? is it fear? or is it simple lack of experience and part of the growing process?
i have learned though, to trust in the process.
to know, with practice, it won’t always be this way.
to keep showing up.
to use my breath, to use myself, to create the space, and then move into it. occupy it. fully.
Yoga: the art and science, is thousands of years old. it does not belong to me. i will develop my way to share its teachings with others. and i will be patient. with myself.