Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The End of the Beginning

Back in August, after some prodding thanks to a two-by-four the universe aimed at my noggin, I decided to pursue my RYT-200 Yoga Teacher Training.  
Our first day started out like this.

The funny thing is that I hadn't committed to training by the time Padma set this up...and yet, she set a spot for me.  

She said she'd have been more surprised if I hadn't shown up than if I had.  We all know how that turned out.

It's been an intense ride.  I've balanced 17 hours of yoga teacher training on most weekends with my regular full time (and then some) job, marching band, and taking or assisting yoga classes.  Oh, and there's a dude at home who looks kinda familiar.  I think I saw him at my house a few times in the past four months.  

We learned about anatomy, alignment, the Eight Fold Path of Patanjali, the Sutras, the History of Yoga, Ayurveda, Chakras, Doshas, Koshas.  We had a Yoga Book Club.  We taught Yoga I, Mixed Level, Partner Yoga, Restorative, Yin, and Meditation classes.  We studied a variety of styles of yoga, and even some Tai Chi.  I'm rather proud that I can recite the first four Yoga Sutras in Sanskrit.  Ask me the next time you see me!

The best part was that I bonded with an amazing group of women who all bring unique talents to their yoga teaching.  We practiced.  We failed sometimes.  We succeeded a lot.  We had fun and we laughed and we learned and we OM'ed.  I'm going to miss holing up at the studio with these ladies.  (But, fear not... we'll still see each other during our yoga book club meetings!)

After 4 insane months, 200 hours of training, taking 50 yoga classes, assisting 6 classes, a written exam, and a practical exam which consisted of teaching a 60-minute class to members of the general public, I'm finally done.

The puja to celebrate our graduation was held on Sunday evening.  We made it.

Of course, we're not really finished.  Our real learning begins if and when we decide to go out into the world and start teaching.  As Padma stated (quoting my friend/yoga teacher J) during our Puja, "Finishing yoga teacher training is a lot like puberty.  It's where the real growth begins, but it's really awkward."  

I'm still deciding where yoga teaching will have a place in my life.  I think it does--I mean, after all, even Duff Man asked me when (not if) I would do this some day.  I think I have an idea of where I want to go with it, but I am still in the process of getting my head to understand what my heart already knows--and trying to find a way to maintain some balance in the process.  

Maybe I just need the universe to swing another two-by-four in my direction.

Thanks to Cheri for all of the photos!!

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