Guest blogger Kelly Sands O’Leary shares her experience in Pete Guinosso’s Lighting the Path Training Month long Intensive
On the first day of Lighting the Path Yoga Teacher Training, Pete asks us what we hope to gain from the program.
“Community,” I answer.
After four weeks of filling buckets with sweat, tears, and laughter, my fellow trainees and I, now teachers, have formed lifelong bonds. My phone buzzes with updates from our group message thread. We make plans to meet up tonight. Bit by bit, my community reveals itself.
Setting an intention to bring community into my life expands my experience to include not just the loving people I’ve met through Lighting the Path, but also the students I now have the honor to teach.
A Santa Cruz couple has hired me to teach four private yoga classes, and help them develop a home practice they can do together. They ask that I incorporate all eight limbs of yoga—not just asana—into their practice. Sitting down to outline the yamas and niyamas for our first session, I’m filled with joy. I realize how the eight-fold path of yoga has improved my life.
“There’s enough yoga for a lifetime, but not enough lifetime for all the yoga,” Pete says. Remembering this adage grounds me, and reflects the practice of santosha, a niyama that means contentment with the way things are right now.
Before Lighting the Path, I thought I needed to perfectly execute every yoga pose to be a good teacher. Being a great yoga teacher is more than demoing poses. I now know pose names, their proper adjustments, how to safely teach them, and how to build theses poses into an energizing sequence. Pete’s training style provides the tools needed to have a real impact on my students and co-create the community I want to bring into my life.
Lighting the Path teaches me that taking my yoga practice with me off the mat and into the world is one of the most important aspects of being a teacher and a leader.
Now I bring awareness to my breath throughout the day. When I focus on my breathing, I feel connected to my Lighting the Path community and the support system we’ve developed. I’m connected with my students as they meditate and move through their asana practice. I’m connected to the trees in my neighborhood and the ground on which I walk.
Community means so much more to me now. It includes the teachers I will see tonight, the students I work with tomorrow and years from now, and the breaths I’ll take every day I’m alive. The path is illuminated. I can see my community, and my place within it, as clear as day.
Pete’s Lighting the Path 200-Hour Intensive Teacher Training starts July 25, 2016 at Yoga Tree Potrero. Learn more and register.