Sorry for the posting gap last week. I needed a little time off from the blog to recharge and deal with some non-yoga things. Now I’m planning to get right back to our regularly scheduled 3-5 posts per week!
We just had our second-to-last teacher training weekend. We’re all starting to feel a little bit sad that it’s almost over – it’s been such a journey. At the same time, I do feel ready to move on, get my certificate, and start on the next big project (because of course there are several big projects in the works). My poetry manuscript ain’t going to revise itself, nor will my poems send themselves out to journals or book contests. I’ve already learned that my house doesn’t clean itself (to my great dismay). And I’m really looking forward to reading some books that aren’t related to yoga, spirituality, or meditation. Don’t get me wrong, I have a lot more yoga reading to do, and during this year my To Read list has just grown exponentially for books I want to read in this field, but I’ve done very little literary reading this year, or poetry reading, or archaeology reading, or even sci fi reading (I don’t think I’ve made any progress at all in 2011 on my “Read Everything That’s Won a Hugo Award” project). There are a lot of ways to challenge my mind, and I miss the ones I haven’t been doing.
In any case. On Friday night, we started off with a discussion with N about the Upanishads. (Haven’t posted a book review/description here yet because I’m still finishing up the Afterword.) We also did teaching practice with Kate, another teacher at the studio, and it was good to hear someone else’s voice.
On Saturday, we had our morning hatha yoga class, and then some of us went to the Thai restaurant next door for lunch, which was delicious: lemongrass soup and a spring roll and tofu pad thai. We’ve made plans to go back there for a little celebration next month after our last YTT session.
Once lunch was over, we headed back to the yoga center for some Upanishads talk with J. We covered some of the same topics that we covered with N, but J always has a different perspective, and we covered some other topics too. I’m sorry to say that I was so sleepy that I totally dozed off mid-discussion, but I don’t think anyone but Joanna really noticed, although Nancy commented later that I looked sleepy. At our mid-afternoon break, some of the girls ran across the street for coffee and picked me up a hot tea, which helped a lot.
We spent the later part of the afternoon reflecting on our teacher training journey. J asked us to think about who we were when we first started YTT nine months ago: where were we with our yoga practice, what were our hopes for what we’d get out of YTT? And then, to look at where we are now: how have we grown and changed? What’s different about our yoga practice now? And where do we see ourselves taking this in the future once YTT is over?
I really feel that I’ve changed in some subtle but important ways. My personal practice has changed greatly: as I’ve written about here before, I’m much less interested in vinyasa style yoga, doing advanced poses, and getting a great workout. I’m less interested in teaching only advanced students. I really like the slower, classical hatha that we practice, and I really want to teach beginners. In my personal life, I’ve seen a lot of changes too. Before, I struggled with a lot of fear and depression, and that’s greatly lessened for me. I feel that I’m calmer, more content, better able to roll with what life doles out. I feel a lot more comfortable living in my own skin. As for the future, I started this YTT knowing that I wanted to teach, and I still do. I feel like the next few months could bring a lot of changes for me. The simplest thing is that I’d like to find some local places besides my front porch where I could teach yoga once or twice a week. I can envision much bigger changes (like trying to teach and freelance full time), but I’m not sure what’s even possible. I know what I’d like to be possible, but I don’t know if I have the courage and drive (and time!) to make those bigger changes a reality. I’ve worked really hard this year, and I see a lot of payoff to that hard work; I need to finish up where I am right now and then see where my path takes me next.