I can vividly remember being just about 5 years old watching my mom do a shoulder stand in our living room. Our house was in a small town in Long Island, New York and we had an old brown lamp that flickered in the room as my mom held her pose. It was a crisp, cold winter night and I can remember the feel of the carpet under my little five-year-old legs, the glow of fireplace, flicker of the lamp, and the warmth I felt cuddled inside watching my mother in her practice.
I had no clue what she was doing or what any of it meant, but I knew it felt good, I felt surrounded by love in that moment.
Many years later, as my own yoga practice began to develop, I entered into the class with that same feeling of pure warmth & love.
However, now that I am an adult and more space has been put between myself and the innocence of a child, I also entered the class with fear, doubt, and feeling self-conscious in those tight yoga pants. I felt that there was a stigma around what it meant to be a “yoga girl” and I never really wanted to fully associate with it.
I wanted to keep my distance from the yoga world in order to prevent myself from going off the deep end into a yogi life. Why you ask? Honestly, all those people seemed so happy, so peaceful, so full of love and joy that it quite frankly, scared the shit out of me. The peacefulness in their body’s, movements, and lifestyle couldn’t be real, could it?
I decide to go on a journey to discover the truth behind what it meant to live a yogi lifestyle. After over a decade of personal growth work, yoga classes all over the country, delving into the world of real food & holistic health, I have taken the leap to attend a 3-week Yoga Teacher Training immersion course at Asheville Yoga Center in Asheville, North Carolina.
The 3-week yoga curriculum both excited and scared me. Optimal energy space for massive growth.
The small town mountains called my name.
The 17 local farmer’s markets pulled at my heart and taste buds.
John, the kind man behind the your yoga email address, made me feel confident about my decision as he answered my questions with grace & ease.
Now that I am 2 weeks into the my Yoga Teacher Training intensive course, here is what I wish I would have known before showing up.
I wish I would have known…
- That yoga is so much more than physical movements. Asana (the physical postures of yoga) is only 1 of the 8 limbs that make yoga what it is. Yoga is a path, a lifestyle, a way of being.
- Yoga is as much about who you are on the mat, as who you are off the mat. Are you loving, kind, compassionate, and true to your dreams and desires? Do you play a role in the world that makes the world a happier, safer, more loving place to be? This is what yoga teaches you to be.
- I wish I would have known that by linking my breath with my movements, I could access an untapped energy reserve inside myself, always available and present.
- Yoga can be the hardest workout I’ve ever had, or the sweetest, most gentle restorative activity.
- That the entire goal of this practice is to build myself up so powerfully and healthfully that I can serve as a vehicle to help & love others.
- That the highest personal relationship I could possibly have with myself is one of purity (non-attachment to my physical form), contentment & joy, self-discipline to live a life of truth, self-awareness, and surrender to a higher power.
- About the 7 chakras and how each chakra is correlated with a gland and emotion in the body. This is the place to look if one is feeling off balance and misaligned, physically, emotionally, or spiritually.
- That the most powerful meditation I can do is the silent repetition of “I Am.” I am Source. I am Light. I am Peace. I am Love.
- That live music and yoga go together like peanut butter & jelly.
- I wish I would have known about the song, “God is in you,” by Billy Jonas so I could rock out to it every morning.
- That the role of a yoga teacher is to connect the students to a higher place in themselves through the use of meditation, movement, and insights on truth, love, and connection.
- About Ayurveda and how by learning about what dosha you are, you have a complete insight into how to physically, emotionally, and nutritionally best serve your unique constitution.
- How to teach chair yoga so that anyone, anywhere, of any age can also experience the profound effects of this practice.
- That with long days, shared passions, and unified dreams, 24 strangers can become family.
- That yoga is solely about creating a safe environment for people to feel safe & loved.
- I wish I would have known that I’ve had the keys to Heaven all along.
And now I do.
Do you practice yoga? If so, I’d love to hear about your experience in the comments below!
Much love from my heart to yours.