YTT Week 1

I’ve officially finished my first week of yoga teacher training. It’s not what most people think of when they think of yoga.

If you aren’t all that familiar with yoga, you are probably thinking of people wearing lycra in uncomfortable, bendy positions. That’s part of it, but if that was the only thing I would have stopped going to yoga long ago. In general, I hate working out in gyms. I’d rather be outside.

What kept me going back was the meditational quality of yoga. When you are in those uncomfortable, bendy positions, you are forced to focus on where you are. You can’t be thinking about the bills you haven’t paid, about they guy that didn’t call back, or whatever other dramas have been taking place in your life. If you do, you’ll fall. Or perhaps even hurt yourself.

You are forced to live in the now.

These three days of YTT lessons have taken the idea of living in the now even deeper. We’ve done very little asana (the sometimes uncomfortable, bendy positions). Mostly we’ve been sitting on meditation cushions for hours at a time learning Sanskrit, learning about the philosophies behind yoga, and gaining tools to help us quiet our minds and explore how we tick.

Today I had the sense of being on the right path. One I’ve been on for a long time. About 8 years, in fact, when I went to counseling after my ex- and I split. I hashed out a lot of my demons in those sessions, with the help of yoga, swimming, and jogging to focus my mind and take better care of my body. I continued digging out demons in therapy throughout most of my Ph.D. program.

A few years after stopping therapy, I’m pretty happy with my life. I love teaching. I love creating art and making crafts. I love where I live. I love the organizations I volunteer for. But with all of that goodness, there are a couple of areas I feel are stagnant. these are my areas of focus as I deepen my yoga practice.

I want to develop a better relationship with my body, in the form of diet and exercise. Lately, I’ve been on a roller coaster, where I’m good for awhile and then fall off the wagon with little exercise and eating all of the things. Money gets pulled along for the ride on this roller coaster since eating all of the things requires money. So as I develop a better relationship with my body I want to develop a better relationship with money too.

The other area I feel stagnant is romance. I feel I’ve been ready to find a partner for a long time. Yet it hasn’t happened. Nothing even close in the 7 years since my divorce.

Part of my intention as I progress through YTT is to develop a healthier relationship with myself and to keep an open heart.  As I progress through this training I want to make sure that my heart is actually open to the idea of a love again, so I can recognize it when I see it. And so he can recognize me too…

I feel good about signing up to do this class. The main thought I have today, after my third class, is that it’s going to help me deepen my practice of living daringly. There is sure to be some uncomfortable bending as I delve deeper into these issues I’ve been struggling with for a long time, but more of the mental kind than the physical. Though there’s sure to be that too.

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