Why teach yoga when you can’t touch your toes?

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pizza and yoga. #doyou

 

Seriously, I cannot touch my toes without bending my knees. Why? Could be my years of field hockey – perfecting that squat position. Or, maybe my years of sitting in a cubicle all day (lord, that’s depressing). Either way, it is what it is. Flexibility isn’t my strong suit but I’ve learned that this really has nothing to do with enjoying my yoga practice.

Yoga isn’t a sport. You can’t win or lose it. You can certainly see yourself improve e.g. gain flexibility, move into new, more challenging poses, improve your stamina. Yoga is a journey of the mind and body. It’s a  discipline that you can carry through life. Highs and lows. I found that yoga can help me in a lot of areas of my life…once I found the right studio (for me) to really start.

It’s called Studio143 in Scituate, MA. With a beautiful setting – a fireplace in the wall, cozy room, and amazing instructors, I finally started being able to relax into yoga and understand how breathing is a critical part of it all.

I used to do yoga in the city…the breathing part was a bit lost on me. Often I was distracted by the “perfect” poses around me…or inability to relax because I was either coming or going to something in a hurry. Breath? Why breath? But, in this new suburban yoga oasis, I’ve been able to slow down and dedicate time to (trying to) be present.

But how did this get me to pursue yoga teacher certification? Well, it got me more interested. It built confidence in me that hey, I could really do something with this. I then found out the name of a local yoga teaching school associated with Studio143, it’s called Sanctuary Studios in Plymouth, MA.

As I went back and forth between buying a $2,000 (beautiful Chloe) purse…I said to myself, Beth, you can either buy this purse that you’ve wanted for awhile…adding to your pile of material goods (which don’t get me wrong, I still love to shop) or, you can invest this money into learning something new and deepening what you already love about yoga. So, I did. Instead of buying a purse, I took that money and signed up for a 6 month, 200 hour, yoga teacher certification.

They told us we wouldn’t be the same person at the end of the course…and frankly, it’s the truth. Even if I don’t end up teaching classes, I can say that this has been one of the best money/time investments I’ve ever made. I’ve met amazing people from different walks of life, learned more about the human body, stress management, and self-care. Been inspired and frankly, been saved during one of the more challenging times of my life (post for another day, we’ll get to that).

As my teacher training comes to a close with the exception of my practicum eeek and a couple make up classes, I know I’m far from being done with this journey. I want to practice more than I do today. And maybe, just maybe, I’ll open my own studio one day – but that’s just getting ahead of myself. If there is one thing I’ve learned, it’s the importance and challenge of trying my best to live in the present. Yoga helps me be more conscious of my thought patterns and being able to calm and center myself when the ‘going gets tough.’ I want to bring this to other people when the time is right.

So, if you’re considering pursuing “YTT” – let me be one to tell you, DO IT. You will not regret it. I leave with you this poem which was shared on the first day of my YTT back in October:

The Journey (by Mary Oliver)
 
One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice–
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
“Mend my life!”
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do–
determined to save
the only life you could save.

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