So, Friday night’s teacher training session began with group sharing. What did studying the yamas and niyamas bring up for each of us? We all also had the chance to practice teaching last month, and N & J wanted to see how we were feeling about that. It was really interesting, and also really reassuring, to hear how each of my classmates is doing with the workload. We’re all struggling in different ways, but studying the yamas and niyamas affected each of us. Also, we all have conflicted feelings about the difficulties of actual teaching, which I’ll get into more later.
My sharing moment was interesting. In response to another student, J gave us a speech about how we shouldn’t discuss what we’re doing and feeling in teacher training with people in our regular lives; he feels it’s best not to talk to others about your spiritual practice, because other people might misjudge or misunderstand and it could cause difficulty in your personal life. When he finished, I piped up with, “Well, actually, I started a blog!” I explained that I’m a writer and that’s how I process my experiences best, and that with the TT commitment I wouldn’t have much time to write, so I wanted to channel my writing energy into something that would be helpful for yoga. I described how useful the blog has been for exploring my feelings on the yamas and niyamas, and how committing to regular blog posts has forced me to examine events and emotions I might not otherwise have thought twice about. And I told everyone how wonderfully supportive all of you, dear readers, have been. J looked at me skeptically and said he hopes that works out for me. It was a little awkward, and not exactly how I had envisioned telling them about this project.
I do firmly believe that starting this blog was the right choice for me. I think best on the page, so writing everything out has been incredibly useful for processing all that I’m learning, and for keeping track of my progress. I think the blog is also a good choice for me professionally: I don’t have a lot of by-lines or articles to my name, so when I do want to freelance as a writer in the future, I’ll have this blog to use as an example of what I can do, and it may lead to more and better writing gigs. And finally, I’m really glad I started it because of all the feedback I’ve gotten from readers out there, who have found my words helpful or inspiring, and that really means a lot.
It’s interesting to me how the teacher training process has made me examine all my choices carefully, even choices that seemed easy or obvious, even choices that I’d thought carefully about before. I think too that I’m incredibly lucky in my friends and family and in the abundant support I’ve received. Not everyone is so lucky; becoming a yoga teacher isn’t as obvious a career or lifestyle choice as, say, becoming an accountant, and I’m sure there are many yoga teachers out there who met with difficulty or derision as they embarked on this path. The fact that writing a blog seemed such a natural choice for me possibly says less about me than it does about all of you, and about my parents, who may have loved for me to be a doctor, but who love more the person that I’ve become. They were nothing less than delighted when I told them I’d signed up for teacher training, because I’d wanted to do it for so long. At every new turn, they listen and do their best to understand, and they may think I’m crazy sometimes, but they also know how much thought and work I put into this decision, and they respect that and support my choices. (Not to mention my amazing husband, who is quite frequently too good to be true.) So I do think that I am lucky, incredibly lucky and blessed. If I feel able to write freely about myself and my experiences, that writing at least in part stems from all the support I’ve received, and I’m so very grateful for that.