My whole life I have wanted to like yoga, but have kind of always hated it. I was never sure why that was. Naturally, I decided to sign up for Breathe for Change, which was training for educators around mindfulness, social-emotional learning, and yoga. This would certify me to become a yoga instructor, which is great for someone who hated yoga.
Before the training, we were supposed to be going to yoga 3 times per week to prepare our bodies. I did not start right away, I didn’t start going until a month before the training. I was procrastinating. When I finally signed up for some yoga classes, I asked myself every day that I was on the mat, “What is it that you hate?” My initial responses were: “It’s too slow.” “It’s too difficult.” And it was difficult, I could do kickboxing and high-intensity workouts no problem, but yoga was a challenge. I never felt good at it. I soon realized the other thing about yoga, you have to be fully present. If you’re distracted, you’re going to fall on your face. That was difficult for me, presence didn’t happen for me without a lot of effort.
That’s when I realized I needed yoga more than anything.
So then I started the Breathe for Change training. On day 2, I sincerely considered quitting, we were doing yoga and meditating far more than I ever dreamed I could. I didn’t feel like I could handle it. Luckily they had broken us into mentorship groups and those women kept me going for those 10-hour days, 16 days in a row.
Now during this insane 16-day period, I also had to stay on top of my homework for my master’s degree. I thought for sure there would be several epic meltdowns. However, thanks to meditation and yoga, I was my most focused self. My boyfriend even commented on how I was a “changed woman” by day 8. I was not having any issues with anxiety and I wasn’t stressed, even in moments I really thought I should be. I truly had learned to better regulate my emotions. I was sleeping like a baby and I was happy, really happy.
Here I am, back in the real world away from all my loving, supportive yogi friends. However, I have clarity. I want to bring this same feeling to every educator who is feeling stretched to his/her limit. I want to make sure educators stay in teaching longer and don’t feel burnt out. I truly feel yoga and meditation can reignite the fire for educators.