My Theme: Yoga. For those of you who don't know, I've been working on obtaining my yoga teacher's certification for the past year and am just a little over a month from graduating with my RYT200. As such, I figure there's no better way to spend this month than teaching you folks some of what I've learned.
Today is my very first class as a yoga teacher. I am in Valley Forge Park where I've spent so many days running and being mindful and connecting with the universe on a deeper level than I ever thought possible. I am teaching people yin yoga, a tool for self-transformation that I love and believe in so fervently that I trust my ability to teach others how to use it to transform themselves. I am nervous and excited in equal measure and I feel like I'm on the cusp of something huge, some next great chapter in my life. Although really, I recognize that chapter started a while ago.
I didn't plan it this way- I hadn't tried to arrange for this first class to take place on the same day as the conclusion of this month-long narration through some of what I've learned in my year in teacher training. But i'm not even remotely surprised that that's how it worked out.
Because that seems to happen all the time, now. All those little moments of serendipity, kismet, deja vu and the like letting me know- constantly- that I am exactly where I need to be, on exactly the path i'm meant to be on. Really, it's startling how often it happens. And yet it's already become a core way of how I react to and interpret life.
At the beginning of this journey I was this sane, logical, cynical person who valued science and "fact" above everything else. I hated myself in so many ways and I fought a never-ending battle against that internal critic of mine which judged, weighed and measured and ultimately rejected everything I did, thought, felt, or wanted. I pushed back hard against pretty much all forms of spirituality, and certainly the more woo-woo ones, because my mind- which I valued above all else- told me that couldn't be real. I secluded myself inside of a relationship which justified, validated and reinforced every single one of these delusions. And no, I was not what you might call happy.
Now, at the end of a year that has brought about more radical shifts in my worldview, personality, belief system and lifestyle than any other period of my life, I feel free. I love myself, truly, genuinely and without constant effort. (Certainly not without any effort at all, mind you, but without constant effort.) That internal critic of mine- which used to be unstoppable white noise in the background of my thoughts- is so small now I hardly ever hear it. It's still there, but it's quiet, usually. Reserved. A teacher rather than a tormentor.
And all those judgements, measurements and rejections are so easily dismissed now that I marvel at the ease with which I can let them go. I value my soul above all else and I use my intuition as the greatest guide I have in navigating and reacting to life. And that relationship that kept all of those old systems in place, that I had been in for over a decade, that squashed so many of these now flourishing aspects of myself? Yeah, that's gone. Or rather the person who I was while in that relationship is gone. Replaced by honest communication and mindful relating that connects me more deeply to the people in my life than I ever have been. I am the opposite of closed off now- I am open. And I take in so much of what I used to keep out.
I don't know what comes next. But I'm at peace with that because I am fully aware that i'm not supposed to. Embarking on being a full-fledged yoga teacher will involve countless more lessons, journeys, insights and growths than I can possibly imagine right now. This isn't the end of anything other than my initial training. My journey, my soul's path... that is just beginning.