I have a public confession to make: yoga teacher training has scared the crap out of me.
Our training involves more than just memorizing poses and their Sanskrit names. The hard work is off our mats. Over the course of the past two months, we’ve done a lot of reflection and identified the self-created aspects of our lives that hold us back. As a team, we’re committing to leaving behind our beliefs that we can’t make it in order to be teacher-leaders.
Yet, I still doubt I can do it. Every weekend I have come home from a session and had a minor meltdown. After being physically exhausted from hours of practice, the emotional demands seem monumental. My tirade usually sounds like, “This is hard. I’m not sure this is for me. I want to quit but I don’t want to be a quitter. I’m not going back.”
But I go back.
Is there a sense of irony in the fact that I’m not sure I can complete the same program that is helping me to live confidently in other areas of my life?
During our most recent weekend, although we got to take a break from the tough stuff to watch Yoga Unveiled, I was still feeling completely worn down. One scene at the beginning of the film showed Indra Devi speaking at her yoga school in Mexico. For some reason, hearing her speak in Spanish made the words of St. Teresa of Ávila come to mind:
“Nada te turbe, “Let nothing disturb you,
nada te espante, let nothing frighten you,
todo se pasa, everything passes,
Dios no se muda; God never changes;
la paciencia patience
todo lo alcanza; obtains everything;
quien a Dios tiene whoever has God
nada le falta: lacks nothing:
sólo Dios basta.” God alone is enough.”
I’ve sung those words in Honduras, where at first I doubted the good I could do, but to where I now feel so strongly connected. Reciting these words reminded me why I wanted to teach yoga in the first place: to share it in love with my friends in Honduras.
For the past few weeks, it seems like the universe has been trying to reassure me that while I don’t know exactly where I’m going with this training, it’s part of the plan for me. When it was my turn to lead morning meditation for the group, I picked up the keys to the studio and I saw a quote from Baron Baptiste on the key tag:
“The truth is, you are always ready right now.”
Just like I choose to stay in a challenging yoga pose (chaturanga anyone?) on my mat, every day I choose to not back down. Since when do I give up? When I think back on the six half marathons I’ve done, I never opted out of a training run that I was physically capable of. I never quit college even when I felt overwhelmed by all the reading and research I did for the class affectionately known as “bootcamp for History majors”, or “hazing for History majors.” I didn’t book the next flight home when I found myself in a foreign country without anyone I knew.
You may have heard the phrase, “If your goals don’t scare you, they aren’t big enough.” At the end of last weekend, we participated in a goal setting workshop at lululemon’s showroom here in Louisville and I realized that even SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound) goals, such as completing teacher training, can be scary.
Fear happens, but I can choose to press on anyway. I can even use my fear. While reading, City of the Beasts by Isabel Allende yesterday, I came across this quote:
“Take a deep breath. I will teach you to use your fear.”
Fear is what makes this a challenge, and if it weren’t challenging, I wouldn’t be growing.