Half way there.
Can you believe that? I’m half way done with yoga teacher training. I honestly wish we had more time together, much more time. If I had it my way, we would keep meeting for one weekend a month until the day I die, not just until May. I love this training and the people I’ve met through it.
I feel so lucky.
As you know from my last post, the yoga side of my life has been lacking for the past month or so, it’s like it got lost in the oblivion of traveling and holidays and change. I didn’t really understand why my motivation and inspiration was whittling away, every day a little more, until this past weekend at training. Understanding came to me in the not so rare form of sweat and sore muscles.
I got my ass kicked at training, via an ungodly amount of sun salutations. Don’t let the cool cosmic name or your past experience with sun salutations fool you. When I say ungodly amount, I mean it. Three or four of these will usually get your heart pumping, but we did far more than I could even count.
Each one of us had to teach three rounds of sun salutations. The first few rounds felt solid, like I was hanging out with an old friend–after all, Sun Sal and I go way back. The sweat was beading up, heart beat became more pronounced, breath audible. All was well in the body and mind of Georgie, in the beginning.
Then, as I kept going, breathing, sweating, moving, after we had all lost count of how many rounds we had done, stuff started happening. I had a recurring thought, not an enlightening one, not something that you’d like to think comes from practicing yoga but actually springs up surprisingly often:
I read somewhere that doing yoga causes one to swear less…I haven’t experienced anything quite like that so far. Oh well.
After a few Fuck This and Fuck Thats, it hit me, as sweat (or tears, who really knows) poured down my face and I could barely even lift my arms above my head. It was time for me to quit thinking that all of the things I want to get out of this training are going to be handed to me in a nice little package tied up with a bow. Yoga isn’t like that.
Life isn’t like that.
I’m going to have to do the work. More work than I have been doing. Whether it’s practicing as I travel (to go climbing, see family, visit friends) even if I forgot my mat and don’t have a sports bra and I’d really rather just lay in bed for the extra hour in the morning…or by doing 83740126352 sun salutations in one day, I must do the work.
Yoga is a practice. It’s a daily practice. A lifelong practice. It’s insane of us to think that we can change or get a desired outcome by just sitting around, half-assing, trying just a little bit–but we all have had this mind-set at some point. We are disappointed when our lazy efforts don’t translate into astounding results.
Yoga is different from other forms of practice like with sports or a musical instrument, because there isn’t some big event where you must display your mastery, your hard work, your practice. There is no Yoga Olympics–and thank God for that. The yoga practice, like life itself, has peaks and troughs, and any given day can offer an awesome yoga experience or a really shitty one. What if the Yoga Olympics fell on a day of shitty yoga? I so admire competitive athletes.
I think that this little phase of laziness came from being very let down by yoga. At the beginning of training, I was learning so much about myself–well, learning that there was so much more to learn about myself. Then the discovering started to happen. For some reason, (and I feel kind of silly even admitting this) I thought I was going to be realizing how wonderful of a person I am, how brimming with love and compassion and kindness my heart truly is, how I am made of divine material. Instead, I was shown some not so awesome things about myself. The further I go in to this training, the more I realize my ego controls my thoughts and actions. When I listen to my thoughts, I realize their common origin of negativity. As I look around with more attention, I see my constant stream of judgement.
Yeah…when I was told that I was going on a journey of self-discovery, I didn’t think I’d be discovering BAD things about myself. That was definitely not in the teacher training acceptance letter.
It was all pretty disheartening. I didn’t want to do yoga anymore because I didn’t want to face any more truths about myself. But I got over that fear this weekend, somewhere between a Fuck This and a downward facing dog.
If I don’t practice, I won’t get through all of the muck that’s been covering up what I’m really made of. Despite everything, I still believe that deep down, layers upon layers down, maybe even a million miles down, what lies within me in is not negative. It is something quite positive, the most positive of all, it is love.
I just have to keep digging, and I’m half way there.