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Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Walking an Old Path with a New Heart

For a long time, since my college days way (waaaaayyyyy) back when, I've dabbled on and off with yoga. I have always felt a pull to become more informed about the yoga practice, and I've always wanted to make moving through yoga postures a regular part of my day to day routine. I never took the steps to do either, though, allowing other things to seem more important. After completing the cross-country cycling trip last summer, I finally opened myself up to the idea of fully allowing yoga to take a more prominent position within my life.

To start my journey, I went through a program offered at a local studio, learning some basic postures, language, and theory. With each class, I grew more convinced I had found that something I'd been yearning for: a place to look inward and check for areas that need a bit of nurturing, and be supported by others who are doing the very same thing. Before the program finished, I signed up for the next level, hoping to have the opportunity to continue learning. Unfortunately, the program was canceled since I was the only person to sign up.
I knew I was more than ready to continue, so I bought enough passes to go to the studio at least once a week for the next year. But even that didn't really satisfy the need I was feeling to learn, truly learn, about yoga. I knew the only way I would be able to satisfy that need was to undertake a yoga teacher training.

Over the weekend, I completed Level One of a yoga teacher training program held at Purdue University (my way, waaaaayyyyyy back college stomping grounds--lots of things still the same; lots of things have changed). 

While the teacher of this program said those of us (16 individuals, ranging from college sophomores to thirtysomethings in the midst of raising children to a grandmother of several children) completing the training this weekend are now "qualified" to begin teaching, I will not. There is still much more I believe I need to learn before I will allow myself to step in front of a group of people relying on me to lead them through a class. I want more time on the mat myself. I want more time to read about yoga and its history, along with the theory behind it. I want more time to figure out how I want to present myself as a teacher. I want to finish Level Two and an anatomy class. When all of this is completed, then I might feel a bit more "qualified" to begin teaching. Maybe.
This weekend definitely showed me I'm on the right path (I kind of had a deja vu moment when we took a street down to the river--I had dreamed this very scene not long ago and had awakened wondering what it meant that I had returned to where I had begun my life as a scholar). I left knowing I had improved in two areas I was hoping to strengthen: bringing either foot up from plank to go into low lunge (my foot usually fell short of landing between my hands--now, I know how to move my upper body more efficiently to allow my foot to land where I'd like it to land), and Warrior III (I tend to fall out of balance while turning my gaze upward--by the end of the weekend, I was holding Warrior III).

My heart feels so full right now, like I've reconnected with an old, old friend, and I only want for that friend to stay for a long, long time.

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