Weekend I of YTT wrapped up on Sunday and I can’t believe that I’m finally getting to do this. Now. After and in the midst of so much Hard.
We spent roughly twenty hours from Friday to Sunday in an intensive learning environment, covering everything from the history of Yoga, to anatomy and alignment, God, and the need for silence. We practiced each day and those classes felt entirely different than usual since everyone in the room is in YTT; there was energy, excitement, and even desperation in the studio. I’m still processing all of it, but with our second weekend beginning tomorrow, I’d like to share a little bit of what the initial experience was like.
At the conclusion of each day, I was struck by how intensely elsewhere I felt. The immersion of the weekend left me no choice but to mentally disconnect from the rest of my life. There was little down time to check cell phones or think about work and that elsewhere experience felt like living in a time warm every day. I came home feeling as though I’d been gone for days and all I wanted to do was sleep. And even though the weekend was taxing physically, mentally, and emotionally, (in a way I hadn’t fully anticipated), I left the studio each day feeling happy-tired and calm. On Sunday Scott said it seemed like I’d been at a spa for three days.
What Little I Knew
Although most of the classes I’ve taken over the years have addressed the importance of proper alignment, spending multiple hours on human anatomy and the potential and limitations of the body had a powerful impact on me. Our study of anatomy spanned two sessions and I’m finding that the new knowledge has impacted my practice since, making it more challenging (and more frustrating). It’s going to take time to unlearn the bad habits I’ve developed over the years, but I’m eager to identify those places and make changes.
The few hours we spent on the history of Yoga also impacted me as we each got to place important moments in history on a timeline on the wall. It put into perspective the huge undertaking it is to participate as a teacher in this tradition; honestly, it’s overwhelming. So much of what we covered peaked my interest and I’m looking forward to this summer when I can research further.
There are sixteen of us in the 200 hour program and I can already see how an experience like this can create and solidify lasting friendships. So many of us are there because we hope to ultimately teach, but there’s also a common desire to dig deeper into our own practices, lives, and experiences, confronting what comes up both on and off the mat. The kindness and support over the weekend was contrary to what you might expect to experience on a daily basis when meeting strangers and I’m looking forward to maneuvering through this unique opportunity with all of them.
Our class had the opportunity to overlap several times with the advanced teaching program and I’m so thankful for the advice, encouragement, and kindness that they showed to us. A couple of teachers pulled me aside at the end of the weekend and advised me to “just show up”, to practice self-compassion, to be ready for days when I love the entire experience and others when I don’t want to practice at all. I’ve taken their insights to heart and will continue to do so as the program continues.
Ready or Not
I’m told that the next six months will be life-altering, challenging, frustrating, and beautiful. After last weekend I can certainly see how all of those descriptors could be true and I am incredibly thankful to have this opportunity that I’ve pined for for so many years.
Have you ever signed up for something hoping it would change your life? What sorts of risks have you taken for change?