Updated: Jul 2, 2020
My journey into yoga teacher training, the expectations were simple. I'd be learning a physical practice. I'd be able to get into some cool shapes & learn a traditional practice. How I was so blind! Being a gym based, athletic guy has always been about how I looked, or how fast & strong I could exercise.
The whole idea of me delving into a teacher training course was just for personal growth really, never sure on whether I'd teach at the end. Maybe at the end I'd have a better understanding of the practice, to become more mobile & flexible, to help my other gym activities. Yoga was going to be my foundation to build everything else on top & I knew it would be something to keep me supple & young into old age.
When I arrived on the first weekend of the teacher training last year, we all sat around to introduce ourselves. All from different backgrounds, different body types & ages but we all had the same goal of learning & deepening our own personal practice. This was a good place to be. BUT, then Vicki started chanting my ego took straight over a hundreds of doubts rushed me at once.
After the chanting came sitting, gratitude & breathing techniques (Pranayama). I had a huge resistance against the breath work & sitting still, this was not what I signed up for & I thought I'd wasted a huge amount of money & committed a year of my life to something that was not for me. I didn't think I'd gain anything from this part of the practice & this would be a huge part of the course. The ego wanted to be strong in a physical practice & that was it.
But I'm very aware enough not to be afraid of being the worse person in the room. This would mean you are about to learn & grow from the experience ahead. I knew the ego would take knocks & I surrendered to this by the end of the first weekend because I'd travelled far enough to learn not give myself a pat on the back for learning a new "move".
This journey went deeper into anything I'd ever anticipated. Who knew sitting still & upright could be so hard. Who knew that breathing had so much power! The breath is everything, without it we wouldn't even be alive. Connecting with your breath can calm the nervous system which directly impacts our emotions, we definitely take this power for granted. The subtleties of the body in asana is beautiful & enlightening, never would I have realised placing the hand here/there, drawing back, grounding the foot etc would create such a empowering connection within.
Forever grateful for the teachers I have in my life to help guide me upon this journey. This practice has helped my peel off layers, taken my attention inwards to see that I am not my mind or my thoughts. It has created a connection to my breath. Never would I have realised how special & powerful this basic function of life is/was for personal development.
I thank all my classmates from last year for helping me bridge the gap between my ego & this practice. Grateful to have been apart of the group & shared this experience with them all.
For my mentor/coach/friend David Tilston who opened this door for me many years ago. Thank you for pointing me on this path of discovery & growth. His knowledge, enthusiasm, calming nature & drive is truly inspirational. He has wisdom beyond his years. This man has literally changed my life & continues to do so every time we speak. Very grateful to of met him.
To Vicki & Donna for taking my understanding of this practice deeper. I believe we've barely scratched the surface in the 200hrs TTC.
Vicki's passion of teaching the connection to the breath & is very inspiring. Her knowledge & understanding of pranayama is staggering & her ability to show you what she feels, so you can in turn feel what she feels is empowering. She showed me every weekend how powerful the breath can be. Her teachings revealed to me that I'm constantly "on guard" (braced at the core). I had no idea this was a thing & I thought it was something we all shared being as human beings. She showed me how to release this tension during her Pranayama sessions. A breakthrough I wasn't aware I needed.
Very grateful I made a decision to surrender that first weekend, as this course changed my life. I'm excited for what comes next.