It’s taken 6 weeks to write this post. My nerves were high, my fear great. Somehow, I thought the friends & family who knew me from the corporate world, would think less of me when I told them about my new life. Somehow, I felt judgement before the judgement was really even there.
Says a lot about me, eh?
So…here it is. I’m a yoga instructor. I no longer have a 9-5 job. I no longer work at a desk. Instead, I guide people through physical postures while breathing in a specific way. The students become transformed. They are transformed NOT because of anything I do, but because they seize the opportunity I provide them & run with it.
I really don’t do anything. People come because they want to feel good. All I do is provide a space & a particular technique for doing that, and share some of my own yoga experiences along the way. Each student gets out of yoga what they put in.
Needless to say, I am deeply, thoroughly humbled by my new “job”. It’s a calling, really. I witness human transformation on a daily basis. People ask me for help, for advice. I get to guide them back to their internal experience, and help them to trust in their own inner knowledge.
It’s beyond words. It’s difficult to express the enormous honor it is to act as a guide to someone’s Life Journey. The sheer joy this new life has brought me is…indescribable.
“Wow”. That’s all I got. I’m so blessed.
Teacher Training – The Basics
My primary teacher training was at Chicago Yoga Center with a long-time yogi Suddha Weixler. He trained under an enlightened yogi for many years in Europe, and his knowledge is deep. We barely scratched the surface of yoga’s greatness, but I feel it was one of he best foundations I could have received.
The best part of Suddha’s training for me was the lack of judgement. There was room for everyone’s opinions, and experience. Suddha is not in the business of creating “cookie cutter” instructors. His humility and honor of the ancient science of yoga allowed each of us to discover ourselves, and create yoga classes that fit our own personalities and interpretation of yoga.
When it comes to anyone telling me what to do, or how to be, I’m a prickly cactus. All of you who know me, understand this. My mom knew it the best! 😉
So for me to say, this guy is the “real deal”, and won’t fill the space between your ears with a lot of high-falutin’ yoga mumbo jumbo, says a lot. If you are ever in the Chicago area, I highly recommend you seek out his classes. You will leave having benefitted, no matter what.
Teacher Training – The Power
My other training was at Power On Main with Karen & Mick, the owners. It was a completely different experience than Suddha, and was difficult for me to get used to. The practice itself, a set series of 30 or so poses, was quite beneficial. I did begin to feel different, more flexible, and really challenged on the mat.
Taking the training taught me many things, but the key was taking responsibility for myself. I learned that trying to be something I wasn’t fell flat. The trainers in this class called me out on everything that was fake. It stung, but I learned.
The classes themselves were highly detoxing. Heavy energy was forced out of my body like a plunger. I could no longer rest on my laurels and wallow in what my life was. I knew everything was up to me, all my choices were my own. It was deeply transformative.
The next key thing I learned was what worked for me, and what didn’t. The Power Yoga series queues headstands and inversions throughout, in a way that doesn’t feel safe to me. When I teach power yoga, I don’t queue these poses. Instead, I bring in the inversions in a safer way, one that is comfortable to me.
So, I took what worked for me, which was great queuing during vinyasa sequences. I took some great pose series out of this class, and especially, authenticity of my voice. Being able to pick & choose what was best for me, and how I wanted to teach was incredibly empowering. It allowed my creativity to come out in an unexpected way. Just like my students, I came back around to my inner knowledge & experience, drew from that, and created a class. Scary, but cool!
Thank goodness there are so many styles of yoga. Not every style is for every person! Yet every person can find their style…
It IS All About Me
My own personal journey through this has been tremendous. The Big Picture of my over-arching life is coming into perspective. I’m becoming the person I know to be in my heart: cheerful, happy, funny, positive, supportive of others, and full of the spirit of Life. I go several days in a row (one time even an entire week!) without fear, lonliness, rejection, depression, & sadness. Anxiety is still there a lot, though…nobody’s perfect!
Learning my authentic “voice” while teaching, my authentic way of viewing the world & taking the risk, the absolute RISK, of sharing that with others, has opened me up to vulnerable places like I didn’t expect.
Overall, my view on all situations is calmer, I take less personal offense at other people’s words, actions, behavior, etc., and I’m much more accepting of Life on Life’s terms.
Every day I continue to give thanks for the amazing stuff in my life. More “coincidences” occur, people I meet that I felt I’ve known my entire life, deep learning & knowledge of myself, the physical body, yoga, and spiritual stuff too, occurs on a daily basis.
Am I scared? Heck, yes! Never in my life have I truly unanchored from a “sure thing” like a 40-hour a week job, and really tried to make a living through self employment. Sure, I took off for this project last year, but I wasn’t actually putting my own knowledge out into the world to share with others. Somehow, it was different.
Anyway, pockets of grief still surface. What’s so cool is, I’m discovering where these pockets live in my body. Just this last weekend at a workshop, I discovered 2 more. Big releases, and big changes occured. I can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings!
Since I began my new life, every day brings something new & interesting. The first several weeks I was scared out of my gourd, pushed myself too hard, and injured my back badly. My back is still recovering, and I’m learning to slow down & trust. Yup, I trust.
I trust that I’ll have enough money to pay my rent & bills.
I trust that exactly the right students and private yoga clients will find me & experience great benefit from what I offer.
I trust my path will continue to unfold exactly as it should.
I trust being in Chicago is exactly the right place for me to be, for now… 😉
Slowly, but surely, I trust that my own death, the time when my own body falls away and my spirit goes to another place, will actually be alright. It won’t be painful, and I might even enjoy it!
Most of all, I trust all of the above same things for all of you! Whether our paths cross again or not, all will be right for you.
Stay tuned – a new website will be launched soon!