Oh, yeah! I have a blog, don’t I? You’d think with this unemployment thing I’ve got going on that I’d have more time to write here, but I’ve actually been pretty busy.
Truth be told I’ve been immersing myself in my yoga practice on and off the mat. I’ve been taking a lot of classes each week and I’ve been doing my teacher training.
I am almost finished with the first part of my program. I have three more classes to assist and then I will have completed my mentorship. I’m going to miss that a lot. I’ve learned so much about teaching by observing my mentor’s classes and helping her give adjustments to students. I struggled so much with adjusting in the beginning—I wasn’t sure what to do and I was nervous about putting my hands on students, but last week something clicked and I realized it’s finally becoming more natural, more instinctual and it’s exciting.
Two weeks ago the second part of my program began and it’s been amazing and overwhelming. On Wednesday nights I attend workshops on pranyama (yogic breathing techniques for my non-yogi friends), meditation and philosophy. On weekends we have workshops on everything from how to teach beginners to backbends and inversions. This weekend’s topic was Subtle Body and the Chakras, which we only slightly touched on in my 200-hour training so I thought my head would explode by the end of the weekend.
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t intimidated by this group. I haven’t been practicing nearly as long as a lot of the students in my program, and quite a few of them have studied in India with gurus. They’re well-versed on the deeper, finer points of these esoteric topics that I’m struggling to wrap my head around. There’s a high percentage of students who have been teaching for a number of years and are looking to refine what they’ve been doing. There’s also that random guy who walked away from a $100,000 a year job in finance to teach yoga. He’s only practiced for a year but has the most breathtakingly beautiful practice I’ve ever seen.
And then there’s me, who came to my practice later than a lot of people in my training, and is struggling with the limitations of my aging body (I turned 44 this weekend. Did I tell you that?) and injuries that I constantly have to work around. When I learn something new from a new teacher and put it into practice, it’s as if I have never stepped onto a yoga mat before. Last weekend I found out I tilt my pelvis too much when I come into handstand. I’ve been working to keep it more neutral, but now I can’t do a handstand anymore. I’m back to square one.
I’m trying to remind myself that this will only elevate my training, but my insecurity comes into play much more than I’d like to admit. I’m still more comfortable setting up in the back of the room where I can feel hidden, but yesterday I was convinced to come up to the front row and practice next to a friend who’s also doing this training. I felt naked and obvious, like you could look around the room, point to me and say, “One of these things is not like the other.” I didn’t actually die of embarrassment, but I was self-conscious because I got more than my share of adjustments from our teacher, which made me wonder what the hell my body was actually doing.
The more uncomfortable I feel, the more I know I have to do something, but this may be the biggest challenge I’ve taken on yet.