Today, I was doing some yoga in my living room and about halfway through a thought popped into my brain. I remembered how before my yoga teacher training I HATED yoga, at least I thought I did. Then when the Breather for Change program popped up in 2018 I felt a very strong calling to go through the yoga teacher training (YTT). I don’t know why, but I have always felt this weird pull to complete yoga teacher training despite the fact that usually 20-30 minutes through a yoga class I want to roll up my mat and walk out. Every. Single. Time.
Even throughout the yoga teacher training, I kept thinking, “Why the hell am I here? I have no business being here.” Don’t get me wrong, Breathe for Change was one of the best experiences of my life and it was the only moment that I felt in complete alignment with everything. My anxiety decreased and I really felt happy and connected. That is not to say there weren’t moments where I was in complete self-doubt, because there were…constantly.
After the training, I didn’t jump into teaching yoga. I attempted to create classes for teachers at my school and my efforts were blocked. I also wasn’t pushing for it very hard. I was and still am working on my Master’s degree, teaching 5th (and now 6th) grade fulltime and then I started planning a wedding. To say that yoga fell by the wayside was an understatement. It became a nonexistent part of my life. I didn’t even practice on my own. The few times I did practice that resentment returned.
Recently, I’ve been being called back to yoga. A little voice keeps telling me I need to practice and I need to teach. I started practicing again, sometimes at the gym and sometimes at home. The last time I was at the gym a woman my from my YTT was subbing for the normal instructor. I took this as my sign.
This morning as I was practicing, halfway through that feeling of “just stop, it’s too hard, you hate this” came back. As I continued through my flow I realized why. I’m not used to just being in my body and not thinking about every little thing. That yoga is slow and makes you feel every little muscle you are using. It makes you focus on your breath and be in the moment. You have to focus on the moment. My mind and body are used to going a million miles per minute and in yoga, I have to hit pause. I have to focus on myself. This is why yoga makes people uncomfortable and people hate it. We aren’t used to hitting pause and living in that exact moment. We don’t want to feel into our bodies too much, we want to live in our heads. If we move fast enough and keep our minds and bodies busy enough we don’t have to really feel much.
This is exactly why humans need yoga. Especially in the fast-paced Western world, we need to learn to be in one moment, focused. We need to feel into our bodies and listen to what we need. This is hard. I realize now though, that for the last two years (probably longer) my mind and body have been in constant motion and that’s why yoga is calling me. I’m not sure what this means or how this will manifest in my future, (the free teacher/community yoga class is still rolling around in my brain though) I just know I need to be more consistent with it and more patient with myself. That’s all yoga asks of us, to allow for patience, to hit pause, and be present.
I am a 5th grade teacher and writer. Contributor at Bolde.com