I recently had the honor of training with Baron Baptiste to finish my 200-hour Vinyasa Power Yoga teacher training program. It completely changed my life.
I have said numerous times that yoga has changed my life, and it really has. It continues to change my life daily by bringing me new perspectives, deeper connection, and overall abundance. Yoga has made me stronger and healthier, but more importantly, it has led me to discover the truth that lies within me, my essence of being. For a week, we tried to answer the question, “Who am I?” I still don’t have an answer, but I’m ok with that. Every moment of every day, I choose to listen, learn, and act from a space of generosity and authenticity. And this brings me closer to who I am.
Several people have asked me recently what I learned at yoga bootcamp. I didn’t really learn asana. I practiced it a lot though (over 50 hours in a week)! I didn’t really learn how to teach; Although we did a lot of practice teaching. I didn’t really learn sequencing, anatomy, sutras, meditation, etc. But we emphasized these concepts daily. Instead, I learned about something I thought I already knew. I learned about me. And that, is truly what yoga is about.
Yoga, an ancient but perfect science, deals with the evolution of humanity. This evolution includes all aspects of one’s being, from bodily health to self realization. Yoga means union – the union of body with consciousness and consciousness with the soul. Yoga cultivates the ways of maintaining a balanced attitude in day to day life and endows skill in the performance of one’s actions – B.K.S. Iyengar
5 Things I Learned from Yoga Training:
- Stories. We all have stories. They recur in our lives in different forms unless we become aware and recognize them. I learned a lot about my stories, where they stem from, the hold they take on me, and the reactions I allow as a result. I never felt more freedom and relief from realizing something I knew my whole life, and I was able to look at it with different eyes. As a result, I achieved power in being present and conscious to my own actions and reactions.
- Participation. Sharing helps you and others. I learned the value of this during training. At Level 1, I was so nervous to share. I was judging my need to look good and say the right thing, and that scared me into keeping my hand down. But in Level 2, something changed. I felt hungry to learn and grow through talking out my thoughts and being open to Baron shooting questions at me. It was terrifying and gave me a headache, but it was an incredible experience. I later heard from several people that seeing me up there was a huge learning for them, as it was for me. In the end, being open to looking silly led to expansive growth for everyone.
- Choice. We have a choice in every matter. No matter the most frustrating, difficult, or hopeless situation, there is always something we can choose – we can choose how we will react. Our attitude, thoughts, and actions are always our own decision. While I was becoming aware of the stories that I carry and the way I’ve acted out those stories, a word hit me like a lightning bolt. Generosity. Back in 2010, I was struggling with what to do about my career and fled to India to sit and reflect. There, the guru told me to live my life from generosity, and everything would fall into place. I thought I was living that way but realized there were some areas in my life where generosity was not truly abundant. And then in a moment of sharing when my head went numb from over-thinking, Baron told me, “Just approach it from generosity and see what happens.” So here I am 2 years later, left with the same concept but a completely different outlook.
- Space. I thought I knew what it meant to hold space. I know that this is one of the first things you learn about being a yoga teacher, and this idea or concept is so sacred to teaching yoga. But I never understood it until now. We played a game at training where all 105 of us had to take a turn that lasted about 5-7 minutes each. The catch was, we didn’t win unless every single person won. Knowing this, I had to be fully present and supportive of each of my peers 1o4 times over 2 days. I never felt so much joy, love, and excitement for so many people and such an intense focus on creating the space for them to succeed. It taught me that to hold space means to give others the tools to discover themselves and then empower them to create their own possibility.
- Nothing. One of my new mantras is to know nothing. “Consider that you know nothing and therefore you are nothing. And in this, there is a clearing, a space, to create whoever you want to be.” This concept was so hard to grasp. I’m Type A, so I firmly believed that every situation needed analyzing, fixing, and then a new goal to attain. But that moment when my mind went numb, and I couldn’t think myself out of the situation, I realized for the first time, there is nothing to do, nothing to fix. However, I CAN choose how I will approach this situation and my life. I can choose to be generous, authentic, and positive. There is so much freedom in this way of thinking. I encourage everyone to try it!
FEAR not. This life is yours to live!