Saturday, June 11, 2011


We all know Commencement, the noun, as another word for Graduation, or ending a chapter in our lives. We also know the verb form, "to commence" refers to beginning something. I have never felt the full impact of this union of opposites until last Wednesday, our last day of Yoga Teacher Training. On one side YTT is ending, yet on the other I am beginning a new life, where I get accepted into this yoga teacher community.

During our last class, we had to go around the circle and speak about what we have gotten out of the training program. There was so much, I had no idea what I was going to say. So I thought about it for a while. I got motivation, inspiration, knowledge, a regular practice, meditation, - the list could go on for days. I tried to boil everything down into 1 thought. What was the underlying least common denominator? Connectedness.

I am someone who has always lived by the motto "if you want something done right, you need to do it yourself." I know that sounds horrible, but it had been proven true time and time again. I take charge and get things done. I rarely lean on anyone. I am an island.

Yet, I found in YTT I did a lot more leaning than I had ever imagined. The training required many personal lifestyle changes: no drinking, daily practice, daily meditation, daily yoga meal, daily gratitude journal, weekly class observations, etc. I would love to say I completely made over my life that first week to accommodate them all like it was no big deal. But making that many changes all at once, in addition to changing my eating habits to vegan, got overwhelming. And not just at first. I would be a stellar student some weeks and slack off on others. I found on the weeks when I missed a few yoga practices it was so much easier to miss even more. It also made it so much easier to slow down on all of the other requirements - skipping meditation here and yoga meals there. But there was one constant throughout it all: when I would go to YTT class each week, I was motivated to start again. Didn't matter how far I had dropped off.

YTT class became a place I could re-energize my commitment to living this lifestyle. If I came in weak, I could lean on the energy in the room to refuel. I could feel how connected I was to everyone else. And how generous they were to share their prana with me. On the weeks I came in stronger and ready to take on the world, I made a conscious effort try to share my own energy. I learned I didn't have to be on my own. I didn't have to do it by myself. I could count on that class to get me back on the right path. 

I am a bit uncertain about what happens now. Can I continue down this path without my fellow amazing students to hold me up when I need it? I am starting a yoga book club to hopefully invoke a similar sense of accountability and to bring people together who all love this lifestyle as well. But will it be enough? A year from now will I still have my daily practice? My meditation? I have no idea. I can only take it one day at a time, as I commence down this new path. 


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