“In yoga teacher training, I feel myself unfolding.”
Perhaps you’re wondering why I started teaching yoga in the first place—the above quote is one of the first things I wrote at the beginning of my training in 2018. The first time I ever took a yoga class was in 2008, in Tallahassee. I went because a friend invited me, got really into it for a few months, and then when I moved to Spain to teach English, completely dropped it. For ten years. And the reason I came to yoga again in 2018 wasn’t because I wanted to teach, but because I was depressed.
One of my good friends suggested I sign up for class pass, to get some endorphins and feel proactive, and maybe even have fun. I did, and eventually, found myself back in a yoga studio in the grove. I started going a few times a week, and eventually took a class with Joan Varini, who surprised me with her mixture of candidness, elegance, strength, and silliness. I would never call her a guru (because she warns against it, and really, no), but I do call her a mentor and friend.
I’m lucky to have yoga back in my life, because it has allowed me to open up more. One of the Sutras from The Yoga Sutras of Pantanjali that we studied in YTT was the second: yogas citta vrtti nirodhah. In other words, ‘the restraint of the modifications of the mind-stuff is Yoga.” Or, “If you can control the rising of the mind into ripples, you will experience Yoga.”
I have struggled with controlling of my mind stuff since I was a teenager, beyond melancholy and brooding. In the past, it brought me a sense of shame (why am I like this? Why can’t I be normal?) but I am learning, however painfully, to restrain from those thoughts. Spending almost five months learning about the history and philosophy of yoga, the asanas (poses) and breathing, the way to teach and learn, has helped.
So, what I mean to say with all of this, is that I am imperfect, and I am bent into ways that may have worked at some point in my life, but not anymore. Yoga is a tool to help me unfold.
Come unfold with me this Wednesday, May 29 at OM Movement for Yoga Basics at 5:45 pm!