I was told the Yoga Teacher Training was going to be amazing. And that it was going to be rough. And so it was. It was so much more than I ever could have imagined or been prepared for. The experience is indescribable, it is life-changing and so very personal. It is an emotional, mental and physical roller coaster. The person that enters is not the same that exits – and that is good.
It has been over a month since my tribe and I have left the jungle and we slowly started to process the whole experience. For one month, our incredible teachers Clara Roberts-Oss and Carolyn Ann Budgell were holding the space while 21 amazing women and one wonderful male being went through countless physical and emotional super highs and very lows in the jungle of Koh Phangan at The Sanctuary, Thailand. How the two ladies had the strength and energy for that, I will never know, but every day at 6am they had to peel us off the mat, guide us out of the morning darkness, lift and hold us up for the rest of the day while teaching us everything they possibly could in this short (long?) period of time.
What on earth happens at these Yoga Teacher Trainings? Well, there is the early morning practice…very early! How many mornings, when my alarm went off shortly after 5am, was I trying to find a plausible excuse not to go to practice? But I never found one. Nothing gave me the right to skip practice. For me, it was a struggle, each and every day. A struggle because you are trying to get your mind out of your dreams and the dark thoughts you may have and your body to do more than it will ever do at this seemingly ungodly time of the day. But there you go, you only got one choice: to surrender and accept. Accept that whatever you do in that moment is the best you can and that is good enough. What keeps you going? Knowing that you are not alone, that you are with your tribe and that your teachers are doing everything they can to make go on, one step at a time…until there is this one precious moment where breath, body and mind are one, everything becomes light and you’re ready to face the world.
So what did we do during the rest of the day? We dissected every possible pose, taught each other into and out of poses, through whole sequences and eventually an entire class. There was a lot of breathing and chanting and meditating, history and theory, bones and muscles – and slowly we begun to understand what Yoga truly is. This all sounds very technical but there is so much more going on than what’s on the schedule. SO MUCH MORE! And those are the things that make you slowly begin to understand who YOU truly are.
A Yoga Teacher Training is like looking in a mirror for one month: sometimes you see the beauty but more often you see the ugly and the sad, day in and day out. You start doubting and questioning yourself and your whole life (especially at 5am). You are asked questions that you were never asked before and that you would probably prefer not to answer. But you have to – even if just for yourself – so you do it. The answers often hurt as truth often hurts, some of them make you happy and realise something that you never knew. You look into you and at you and this can be ugly at times. But you have chosen this path of yoga and that requires first and foremost looking at yourself closely. You learn to accept that wherever you are on this path right now is perfectly ok and where you are meant to be. The only thing that matters is that you continue, you continue the process, you continue to grow and you get closer and closer to your true self. Take one step at a time on this path of life…
Clara and Carolyn opened this door for us, sent us on the path and walked with us for a while. And now we’re doing our very best to walk on our own, knowing that our teachers and our tribe will always be there for us when we need them or even when we don’t. May we never fall of the path. And if we do, let’s get right back on it.
I feel extremely fortunate that I had the opportunity to learn from Clara Roberts-Oss and Carolyn Ann Budgell. What are the odds of me reaching out to a mutual friend a few months ago, telling him that I thought it was my time to do the Yoga Teacher Training and him informing me of dream team Claralyn coming over to my side of the world to pass their knowledge on?! They came and brought our amazing anatomy freak-guru Paul Ochoa. Thanks to the three of them, I got to meet my magical tribe of 21 goddesses (as Paul liked to call us). We were meant to be!
Looking back it is crazy how perfectly it all came together and I will be forever grateful for that. Let the universe know what you need and the ball gets rolling…
Thank you to all of you wonderful beings!