This weekend, our fifth weekend of Lighting the Path YTT, we are thrown into the deep end. Building upon all of the previous training weekends and the practice (teaching my friends and family any chance I could get) we were now being called to something greater. Yesterday and today, we were asked to teach in front of half of our peers while being under the watchful eye of our teacher. Insecurities, Type A perfection, nervous ‘ums,’ and all of the above be damned, we are going to learn this scripted-sequencey-thing even if it takes a whole lot of swallowing water. This is where all of that practice comes in- the culmination of all that we were asked to do-our homework, if you will. The memorization, the breath counts, the body language, the voice inflection, the assisting with poses-so many things to remember! The nervous energy is palpable, kinetic- try as we might try to shrug it off with a giggle or a misplaced smile. And there are those like me who practiced a sequence wrong, and had to quickly improvise on the spot! But this is just par for the course. It is all part of the uncomfortable (yes, growth is painful) shaping and molding of a yoga teacher, apparently. The gasping-for-breath, bathing-suit-out-of-place, flailing arms and legs, very un-graceful, though necessary, process of growth.
An atmosphere of safety was created to share and to be authentic. There is an opening to step right into our leadership-to let our own unique leadership style shine through. In true authenticity, Pete opens up the floor for us to tap into our own pain and injury(ies) in order to become the healers that he knows us to be. Because we are not simply becoming yoga teachers…oh no…we are becoming full on healers, who will one day- if not already- be able to intuit the areas (whether they be emotional or physical) where our students need healing. The message that yoga is so much more than a gym workout is really sinking in as it is really sinking in that this is a powerful (and playful) healing modality. It is healing on so many levels. It can be a vehicle for healing an injury- or it can inadvertently heal a broken heart. There is something gratifying about this-to be able to heal another to the best of one’s ability. It is, I suspect, a natural calling for many of us in this training and certainly not for everyone. But for those of us who have been called and chose this path, we have found our place under Pete’s tutelage.
Many of my preconceptions of how this training would progress are slowly being peeled away. When I first signed up for the course, I had a certain idea of what this training would look like. I truly thought that I would be the only one struggling with a chronic illness (an ‘itis,’ or inflammation). I realize now that we all have our challenges, and though not all of them may be physical. I am once again surprised by the depths of our unique human experience.
When I started this training, I really wasn’t sure whether I would teach yoga at the end of it all. And while I am still as yet undecided, I have decided to let it decide for me. If I am to follow the advice of our teacher, Pete, then it would be to choose pleasure and what ‘brightens’ me up. So let me meditate on that. Meantime I’m taking a deep breath, because it’s sink or swim .