As the saying goes “If you want to make God laugh, make yourself a plan,” and a year ago when I applied to Mara’s teacher training program I definitely had a plan. My plan was to study hard, learn a lot, and get some credentials. Then I would happily return to my life which was fine just as it was, thank you very much. I had been teaching free gentle yoga classes for seniors for about a year . As a volunteer certification was not required, but at some point it became very important to me have official training. I planned to finish the program with some tools to improve my teaching and a piece of paper that said I was a “real” yoga teacher – THAT was the plan. And then I met Mara Healy.
Mara is dedicated sadhaka who continues to study with her teacher Andrey Lappa and others, constantly seeking to deepen her own knowledge. She is a gifted teacher with the ability and desire to pass that knowledge to others in a way that is methodical and thorough. With the Universal Yoga system of sequencing, Mara taught me to create classes that are balanced, complete and feel good, regardless of the style of the class or level of the practitioner. That alone is wonderful, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
The YogaFlex website says “join an exclusive group of yogis that exclaim participating in Mara’s training was a life changing experience.” Honestly, it’s hard for me to remember my daily life just a year ago. The experience was such a turning point for me, I think of my life in terms of before teacher training and after teacher training. I thought I wanted credentials – knowledge and credentials. What I got was so much more.
Often you begin down a path for one reason and then realize you are continuing on the path for a very different reason. It became apparent during the 2nd week of teacher training that I was in the program for much more than a nice piece of paper with my name in calligraphy. The first clue was the uncontrollable water-works, quite the experience for this non-crier. (Not to mention for this non-crier’s poor husband!) Turns out it was time for me to go through some internal “purification.” The second clue was the changes in my asana practice. In a short time I began to do things I never thought I could do – some poses I had never even heard of and others that I adamantly refused to even try in the past. Within a short time, I knew my life was changing in ways I never expected. I experienced a deepening and honing of my values and priorities. I began to feel confirmation, affirmation of my spiritual beliefs and a new hunger for spiritual growth. And to satisfy that hunger, I was given the wonderful yogic tools I never even knew I needed.
The thing I’m most grateful for is that the training, study and growth didn’t just abruptly end with the graduation ceremony. I feel so blessed to be practicing and teaching as part of the YogaFlex family where I continue to learn and be inspired by Mara and the other wonderful yogis, all in the environment of the most beautiful yoga studio. I am so very grateful for my beloved traveling companions and for the continued guidance and support along this path that began with teacher training.
Life changing, for sure….