Well, I never thought that I would actually say it, but we graduated! This past Saturday, with my fellow Yoga Tree graduates, I was privileged to partake in one of the most moving and beautiful graduation ceremonies of my life. I’ve never really been one for formal ceremonies, but Tim, Tara, Yvonne, Katie, Darren, and other Yoga Tree staff and organizers somehow put together an event that not only superseded my expectations, but that also made me think twice about my reticence for formalities.
Not only did the teachers and staff create a ceremony to honor us and the work that we’ve put into learning to teach yoga over the last six months, but one to also honor the graduation of our fellow teacher trainees from the intensive one month program that also just came to its conclusion. It was amazing to be in a space with other students who received a similar training to ours, but in a different format, with some of the same teachers, but with different ones too. It was so touching to have all of our core teachers there also, as well as Tim, Yvonee, and Katie. It was like suddenly all of the architects, masterminds, and mentors responsible for creating the amazing training that we just partook in stepped out from behind the curtains to welcome us into the world as qualified yoga teachers and practitioners. As all of the teachers and staff gave commencement speeches to us and to our family and friends encircling us around the Castro studio, I began to fully see how much the different components of our training had integrated to construct what I imagine to be one of the most comprehensive yoga teacher trainings ever. It was so beautiful to observe the different teachers’ energies and gifts, from the fable that Sean told to the words that Chrisandra shared. As the students from the two trainings sat together in two lines creating a rose petal covered aisle down the center of studio, all dressed in white, all I could feel was gratitude and a warming sense of camaraderie.
As we walked down the aisle, one by one, to receive our certificates and to hug our teachers, I began to also sense a sort of curiosity as to what we are all going to do with the training that we just received. I know that not one of us will follow the same path, and yet we will all bring the same pieces of knowledge and insight with us through our respective journeys. My own desire to continue to study and embark on the 500 hour teacher training became increasingly clear to me, which also meant that I felt perhaps a little less finality as others might have. But nevertheless, this particular journey was unique in its own right, and has created a space and community that I know that I will continue to carry with me into my future endeavors towards learning and teaching yoga.
Our cohort had a graduation party after the ceremony, and in it everyone kept on expressing interest in continuing to have community gatherings, and in continuing to support each other in our different yoga teaching futures. Thankfully we already have our next gathering planned for a weekend in August, so the parting at the end of the party felt like less of a goodbye and more of see-you-all-so-soon!
As I do plan on continuing with the 500 hour teacher training, I also plan on continuing to blog about my experiences, so that all of you will get to experience glimpses and anecdotes related to that journey as well. I already can’t wait to begin!