Many of you know I’ve been in yoga teacher training for the past several weeks now. I’d been wanting to do it for quite a while now – at least a year and there is no doubt in my mind that God was looking out for me, that THIS was the training I was meant to be in. My original intention for doing YTT was to help people with mood disorders and high stress levels cope through yoga. But once I began my training it became clear to me that this was my path, that I wanted to do more than simply teach a few free classes here and there. This was where I wanted my career to move toward.
I started doing yoga about six years ago by following short vinyasa sequences on my local cable channel. After spending many many years battling anxiety and related conditions (OCD, phobias, panic, etc.) I wanted to find something holistic that could calm my nervous mind naturally. The TV yoga classes I began my practice with were only about 20 or 25 minutes long, but I am so grateful for them. Those beginner level flows changed my life! Once I felt comfortable in the basic poses I started looking for longer classes online and found a website that I eventually fell in love with. Not only were the flows amazing, but the instructors incorporated yogic philosophy into the asanas and everything they said made so much sense. There were so many times that I had tears rolling down my cheeks as laid in Savasana at the end of practice because I felt like I had just completed a successful two-hour therapy session. With every asana practice I felt so much lighter, like years of unhappiness had just lifted away from my body.
Fast forward to today. This morning on the news I learned that yet another fantastic musician died at an early age. An update later said that the medical examiner had ruled it suicide. It was shocking. But is it really all that shocking? Mood disorders are sooooooooo common. Unfortunately they have a stigma associated with them causing no one to want to talk about them. No one wants to admit they suffer from anxiety, depression, ADHD, or even maybe admit that they need a way to deal with their ridiculously high stress levels. I myself have an entire separate blog where I write about my anxiety and it is an anonymous one so that I don’t feel judged with what I write. No one knows what it is, not even my closest family. It’s where I am free to use writing as an outlet.
But now I am writing about anxiety. Now I am fully admitting to how much it has affected my life, and how much yoga has SAVED ME.
I’m not going to put on a fake front and pretend like I’m all a sudden some easy going “everything is going to be okay” type of relaxed free spirit. Um, no. I still have my anxious moments. A lot of them. But these days I am MUCH more mindful and present and thus the way I react to my anxiety is very different. I’ve learned breathing methods and ways of changing my thought processes so that I can [usually] move beyond that awful head-is-going-to-pop-off moment (ha ha). This is all thanks to my yoga practice. Don’t get me wrong – it’s not like I am simply “fixed” from my anxiety. If I stopped doing yoga I would likely go back to my gloom and doom days of irritability and crab-ass-ness. So I continue my practice daily. Or almost daily. Even if it’s just 20 minutes or even 5 minutes of pranyama (breathing) practice.
MY INTENTION FOR DOING YOGA TEACHER TRAINING
I went to yoga today stressed out. The bills just keep piling up and at 40 years old I’ve decided to go in another direction with my career – this is after moving to one of the most expensive cities in the U.S. Doh! I’m focused on my teacher training and have a STRONG desire to succeed. Of course I still plan to incorporate plant-based nutrition into my career, but I just feel like yoga is what I need to be doing right now.
But as always, today’s class was amazing. The class was basically a tribute to the musician who had passed this morning. The play list was full of his music and the vinyasa flows were beautiful. I almost started crying in the first five minutes of class and it totally brought me back to my intention. Here I’ve been so caught up in worrying about my finances and future that I forgot about what led me here in the first place. I wanted to become a yoga teacher so that I could offer free classes to individuals suffering from mood disorders. I know how much it has helped me, and I want to share that with others. I have a strong pull to do this. I feel that this is my life purpose. So yes, I still want to do my best to teach and get PAID to teach, but I also want to continue with my purpose and spread the beauty and joy that is yoga to anyone who is willing to listen (and move a little bit – ha ha).
I’m so grateful for yoga. And I’m grateful to have the opportunity to learn. I hope that I can help others find peace in this gorgeous lifestyle. If you’re suffering, maybe you’d enjoy yoga. Even if you’ve never tried it before, I encourage you to give it a go. Find a studio and check out a beginner class. Maybe there’s an intro to yoga class you could go to. It has done wonders for me and I have no doubt it could help you too.