Last week I completed a portion of what will ultimately be one (I am sure of many) of my life's most challenging journeys -- Yoga Yoga Teacher Training (YYTT).
I made my pilgrimage to Yoga Yoga in Austin last Friday after work as my first day of class was Saturday morning! I was a ball of nerves when I arrived. The 2 weeks before I left I was anticipating the journey and when I arrived I was still feeling anxious and a bit nervous about what the week ahead of me would entail.
My anxiety subsided a few hours into our initial meeting and orientation. I began to get really excited about everything I could potentially learn. Saturday and Sunday were both 8 hour days that seemed to pass rather quickly. We were lectured on the 8 Limbs of Yoga, had around 5 asana (posture) practices and a lot of snack & yogi tea breaks throughout the day. Sunday evening we left the studio at 8pm and were to return the following day at 7am.!
Monday - Friday were 9.5 hour days with an hour for lunch and a few snack & yogi tea breaks. Monday was definitely the worst of all 7 days. I was tired, exhausted, apathetic, questioning my reason for being there, home-sick, and did I mention exhausted?? Monday was one of the hardest days of my life. I started to question everything in the world.
Why am I here? How did I come to this path? Who am I? Who will I become? Will everything feel "ok" again? Is there really a "place for me in the Universe?"
I was an emotional wreck on Monday. After a long conversation and much encouragement from Jon and my Sister I told myself to stand tall and complete this task in front of me. I knew that I had the full support from everyone in my life and it was too important to turn back now. My only choice was to move forward with an open heart. So I did. I slept and when I awoke I was ready to face yet another 9.5 hour day in Yoga Teacher Training. I quickly understood that I am much more interested in philosophy and history than anatomy. But by the 4th day I decided that I should open my mind and heart to all of the material equally. The anatomy of the respiratory system was much more interesting that the psoas and the spine.
I logged my feelings at the beginning of each day (except for Day 2, I forgot :)
Day 1: "Day 1!! nervous"
Day 2: n/a
Day 3: "exhausted"
Day 4: "rested, hopeful, calm, interested"
Day 5: "tired, ready, excited"
Day 6: "relaxed, connected, open"
Day 7: "educated, excited, happy"
During the first 7 Days of YYTT Module #1, I was completely immersed in yoga. All I could think about was yoga, the impact of yoga on my life, and just why I have come to this path in my life.
The last day of training all I could feel was relief that I HAD MADE IT. I survived. My brain was full of new and exciting information and could not be contained -- it felt like a balloon floating over my head -- not attached to my body anymore.
I felt an urgency to leave Austin. I couldn't have left quicker. I thought about leaving on Friday after class ended but decided that was a terrible idea since my brain felt unattached to my body. So after a crazy night of dreams and light sleeping I woke up at 7am and decided that it was time to go home!
Upon my arrival home, I hit the Lubbock city limits and my heart sank back down to where it came from (my throat) and I felt calm. Jonathan went to the local farmer's market that morning and bought fresh local veggies and honey as well as a beautiful new succulent. He gave me the gigantic hug that I had missed so much while I was away. He felt warm, strong, and like mine. I immediately started crying. My emotions and strength were finally broken down as I felt myself let go and accept my own vulnerability. I have never been so thankful for my partner in my entire life.
I feel lucky to have this past, present, and future life.
The first few days after my return were hard. I felt like a different person that was just going through a life that used to be mine. But, as all things do -- those feelings past. I feel different in general this week. Problems do not seem to be nearly as large as they would have before. And I can feel what can only be described as patience growing stronger. I am so very thankful to be at this point in my life. I am open to new ideas, exploring my mind and capabilities as well as learning how to spread the knowledge and teach others the practice that helped me find my true self.
In 3 weeks I will head back to Austin for Module #2 of YYTT. I feel more excited this time around because I know what to expect. And I know that as much as I feel like my brain or body has escaped -- it will come back to me and all will be well.