On the eve of my third (yes third! My husband thinks I’ve fallen off my rocker), teacher training in two years, I am feeling the first day of school jitters again. Those same thoughts I had just before my first teacher training with Mara: Is my practice good enough? Am I smart enough? Will I be able to get through this? The second time around, before my first teacher training with Andrey Lappa, these thoughts echoed even louder. I was about to train with a true master, my teacher’s teacher!
Once again, I am on the cusp of it all for my third round, and those old familiar doubts begin to sneak in. First denial, then nervousness…What if he makes us sequence in front of everyone again? What if I ask a stupid question? What if I don’t pass the exam? What I do know deep in my heart is that none of that is what it is all about. Even if all of those things happen, I will have learned something more about myself, and that is what is important.
Change is hard! And in the next few days, I will be back in, as Dena likes to say, “the yoga cave”. This change from my everyday duties: kids, home, classes, etc., is a chance to focus more intently my personal yoga journey for more than is possible in a 60-90 minute class environment or during the craziness of day-to-day life. Change teaches us more than we could ever learn in our daily routine. This is a chance for me to learn not just more about Universal Yoga, but more about myself.
What I have come to understand more clearly as my practice has deepened is that, of course I’m not perfect, and that is okay! I have found the capacity to accept that knowledge, and even laugh as myself with greater ease. When I come to class, set my intention, and breathe I find myself more able to let go, to remain calm when I slide a little further into hanumanasana or samakonasana. I think, “one day I will get foot behind the head.” And I will one day!
With intention, anything is possible. It is that intention, that inner calm that has helped me to find compassion for myself and to cultivate a deeper compassion for others. Like I said, I’m not perfect. And I get frustrated when people don’t act in the way I would like them to. But on a good day, when I am truly practicing my yoga, I might begin to feel some compassion for that person who cut me off at the light or the clerk who was rude. I breathe and know that I can never truly know what that person is going through in their life. It is these lessons, and those that I learn on my mat, or in the yoga cave that bring me closer to my true self. Be it life lessons or teacher training, I am determined to be a better person….and one day, the universe and my body willing, get my foot behind my head.