Nine months ago I embarked on a journey that has changed my life! And while I wasn’t pregnant, I did give birth— to a new version of myself. On Sunday, myself and all 9 of my Yoga Teacher Training (YTT) cohorts dressed in all white, were surrounded by all the teachers that poured into us during the program, for our gradation ceremony. While the Yoga studio and everyone in attendance looked beautiful, the road to get there was tough!
What led me to Yoga Teacher Training
Yoga to me 9 months ago, was mainly about stretching and increasing my flexibility. I’d practiced on and off (mostly at home) since 2007. But in 2020, during the lockdown, Yoga is was what kept me sane and grounded. I practiced daily as part of my morning ritual using videos by Arianna Elizabeth on YouTube. I have to add here that she is a Godsend! My body started to feel better (no more stiffness and the cracking minimized) and my attitude was more aligned with how I aspire to show up in the world.
Also, with practicing yoga consistently I began to see how my kids gravitated to flowing with me on occasion and finding their own peace; and how even my Husband began to develop a yoga practice. I knew in those moments that there was power to yoga and I needed to learn more. And as divine timing would have it, one of my salon guest’s owned a Yoga Studio in Laurel, MD and mentioned that she was launching a YTT program in the Fall. I knew that was my calling, to show up.
How Yoga Teacher Training impacted my life
Growing through a YTT program with a black Yoga Instructor laid the foundation for truly embracing the philosophy, science, and service of yoga. The program she constructed didn’t just teach poses and some anatomy, but instead went deeper then that. We read books that I had never heard of that changed the way I viewed myself, my children, my business— everything. And we were challenged to reflect on these readings and invite them into our daily life. Which is a habit I’m still holding on to. We took field trips together to different studios, and learned the power of not only relationships but community. And being able to lead multiple 60 minute yoga classes at the studio, throughout the program really increased my confidence and receive invaluable community feedback.
And because our Yoga Instructor values social justice we were charged with planning and facilitating a community service (SEVA) project, through the lens of yoga philosophy. My Seva project “Raising Free Children” brought together women in my community to critically re-evaluate the ways in which their personal experience encourages or revokes their children’s rights. It was amazing and I felt so empowered as I supported these women! And feelings like “empowered” and “courageous” are no longer happenstance feelings for me; I am able to cultivate them daily and I owe this awakening to my experience in this YTT program.