After a whirlwind of a month, I’m writing this final post as a yoga teacher! I don’t know when it will feel appropriate to say that, because right now I feel mainly confused and curious, in love with my practice, inspired and connected to my fellow students, grateful to the infinite wisdom and patience of our teachers…but not necessarily ready to teach. It will take time and dedication to integrate the wealth of information we’ve taken in, to identify with the parts that feel authentic, and gall to get out there and make something of it.
The graduation ceremony was the most touching and empowering closing I’ve been a part of. I think of how disconnected and distracted I was at my high school and undergraduate graduations, and how present and proud I felt this Sunday at Yoga Tree’s sunny Castro studio. Mismatched colorful blankets lined the aisle, strewn with rose petals, family and friends gathering behind the graduates on each side. As each name was called, a different student who had completed the one or six-month long journey walked along the path, amidst encouragement and love from teachers and peers. I felt overwhelming gratitude to share the space and day with all of our teachers in one room, and the fellow students who were the heart of this experience. I’m so proud of each one, and incredibly excited to continue to enjoy the community we have created.
The support and insight of my fellow yoga teachers (!) is the most incredible gift. Often, they put into words my own thoughts and feelings better than I am able. This blog is no exception! My talented classmate and friend, Kate Miller, offered to share her closing thoughts; here is a fresh and beautiful perspective:
“I went into the YTT program with a desire to deepen my personal practice, an (unrealistic) expectation that the one month intensive would play a transformative role in my ongoing recovery from some personal struggles, and uncertainty about whether or not I actually wanted to teach yoga. I came out of the one month intensive with a much deeper practice- a practice that is now an inextricable part of my being, as important to my survival as air and as essential to my creativity as nature. As I became more connected to the practice itself, so grew my desire to share the practice with others. I recalled an astrology reading from my last birthday…becoming a teacher was in my charts, loud and clear, but it took this training to really convince me. As for my expectations that a month of intensive yoga training would be a key to my recovery, they were not met. Expectations are a bitch. But small steps were made, and I believe that the impact of the training will continue to unfold in the weeks (or months, or years) to come.
One of the biggest surprises to me was how close our group became in just four short (yet incredibly long) weeks. We laughed, cried, commiserated, and danced together…uplifted and challenged one another…and somewhere along the way, I realized these people had, for better or worse, become my new yoga family. And I miss them already!
I’ve gained so much inspiration and knowledge from the gifted Yoga Tree teachers and from my wonderful classmates, and yet 200 hours later, I somehow feel that I know less than I did at the beginning. I’ve barely scratched the surface of the infinite amount of knowledge that is yoga. It may be the end, but it is also the beginning.”
As David Moreno taught us: And so it is! Hari Om Tat Sat.