spiritual self-exploration through health, fitness, and nutrition

Posts tagged ‘ytt’

Weekend 1: Reflection and Reason

After completion of the first weekend of workshops, all I can say is…WOW 🙂

Inspiring. Intense. Informative. These are the words that come to my head when someone asks me how the first weekend went. I love Nikole’s style of teaching, allowing her students to learn by doing. With the huge volume of reading assignments, we can only learn so much from what text can offer. Actually seeing each pose, applying what we read, practicing teaching cues to one another, and learning how to make proper adjustments — that’s where the real learning takes place. By the end of each workshop, I was so mentally exhausted, I was asleep by 9PM! Monday was my off day where I didn’t do any studying or physical exercise…just watched some good ol’ Monday Night Football (GO EAGLES!).

Mentor selections are due this Friday. I’ve been taking as many classes as possible to meet the 13 available instructors and explore the various styles. I’m most drawn to the more advanced, athletic/heated styles with the occasional gentle class here and there. I really hope I get paired with one of the mentors I’ve selected (so far, I’ve connected with 2 incredible yoginis). Only time will tell, but I’m sure whoever I’m paired with will be an excellent match.

In my last post, I explored the reason I do yoga. So…why do I want to teach yoga? I want to share the benefits that yoga has shown me, and share that with others. Ideally, I’d want to help professional women of all ages escape from the stresses of their daily jobs, and help them seek relief from symptoms of anxiety and depression. That said…I’m really open to teaching any and everyone the joys that yoga can bring. My biggest challenge is getting over the mental barrier that I’m not a natural teacher. I’ve tried private tutoring English to foreign students, and casual swim/piano lessons to young kids here and there. But for some reason I never really got into it. Perhaps it was because I wasn’t passionate about what I was teaching. After six years of personal yoga practice, I can honestly say that I’m passionate about it and ready to share that enthusiasm with others.

On a final note, I studied underneath a beautiful tree in Balboa Park this afternoon. I periodically would look up from my book to absorb the material, to breathe deeply, and to take in the utter beauty of the world around me. With each breeze that swept through my hair, I felt more and more gratitude radiate throughout my entire being. Looking up for a moment, I noticed the branches of the tree dancing above me and snapped a quick picture. This summed up how I felt at that very moment, and thought I would share it with you.

Tree in Balboa Park, San Diego

Tree in Balboa Park, San Diego

Namaste ❤

 

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The Beginning of an Era

This past year has been filled with many ups and downs. With the inevitable downs, I’ve consistently stepped out of my body to evaluate myself and what I want. Since 2005, the answers to my own questions have been the same — I want to travel and explore new places, perhaps living in a new area at some point and inviting new experiences. So with the many signs pointing to moving out of my comfort zone (including numerous failed short-term relationships and getting laid off at my job), I took the leap last week and crossed across the country to do my passion: YOGA.

Yoga has been a spiritually healing tool for me for the past 6 years, originally with the purpose of coping with a bout of depression and severe anxiety. With yoga, I found peace by letting go of the past, and I learned to love myself more and more each day. Many years of experimenting with various styles brought me back to the core practice of Hatha and flow yoga.

I found the most amazing studio and teacher training program, Pilgrimage of the Heart, located in the North Park and Normal Heights areas of sunny San Diego, California. From the moment I stepped foot in the studio, I immediately knew this was where I needed to be. After some meditation, I followed my heart and put down the deposit for Fall 2013 Yoga Teacher Training (YTT) led by the beautiful Nikole. One week later, I found myself sitting in a room surrounded by 3 teachers, 2 admins and 16 other students chanting the cosmic sound “Ohm”.

But this wasn’t just any “Ohm”. With the direction of the studio’s founder, we were all gazing with half open eyelids into the center of the room and I witnessed the circle of beautiful souls around me undulating…almost vibrating…to the voices and radiant energy around me. I’ve never experienced anything like this in my life and so many emotions came up as a result: excitement, nervousness, hesitation, fear, ambition, calmness. The next day consisted of a 6-hour workshop where we broke down in meticulous detail the first half of Sun Salutation. Although the volume of information was overwhelming at first, I was constantly brought back to feelings of awe for the positive, supportive, non-judgmental energy around me. In fact, I kept stopping to reflect and count my blessings for this incredible opportunity!

So with the intro class and first full workshop day complete, I continue to bring myself back to my intention (which may or may not change while I embark on this  transformative journey):

Let go of the past, and make way for new and positive experiences.

Namaste ❤

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