Thursday, January 05, 2012

Happy New Year (I'm a little late)

Better late than never.  This year is bound to bring many changes to all of our lives.  We'll be experiencing and learning new things.  We'll meet new people and encounter many challenges along the way.  That's life!  That's what it's all about.  But what I hope to remember this year is that it's all manageable.  It's all is there to teach you something about yourself. 

This Saturday I set out on my new adventure in yoga teacher training.  I'm really excited and nervous to embark on this journey, however, I know it's going to be a deeply profound and personal experience. My first yoga class was August 1998 in the PE department of the University of New Mexico.  My best friend had taken a few classes at her college, and I was really interested in why she found the practice to be so prolific. It seemed to make sense to me to take a class that was introspective and invloved fluid movements to stretch and tone the body.  At this time, I was still basically a runner and thought that the only way to a healthy life.  I had no idea that you needed balance! I had no idea you could really get so many gifts from the asanas of yoga.

I was also at a turning point in my life.  I completely set out on a new advanture for the first time in my life.  I did it without anyone's help and not a lot of support.  I had just left a damaging relationship, and decided that maybe yoga was exactly what I needed to release the symptoms of stress, anxiety, and depression.

So I took a class that met 2 times a week.  It was in the style of Ashtanga, which is actually a pretty rigorous set of poses (that never change).  I liked the class, and I remember the teacher being great at explaining what to do.  She made it seem more like something choreographed.  We learned a lot about breathing, and linking breath to movement, different ways to practice breathing, noticing changes in your body.. all of that.  I loved the class. 

But once it was over, I had no more room in my schedule to repeat it.  So I stopped taking it.  I practiced for a little while on my own, but because I hadn't been going to class, it just kind of faded away.  It's too bad that it did. From then until now it was hard for me to add yoga classes back into my life.  I took a few classes here and there at the gym, and even bought a few books so I could try and re-create the asana practices that I had once done regularly.

It was hard to keep doing it without dedicating time for practice, and being committed to it. 

Having been back in the US for some time now, I've rekindled that practice on a few occassions.  When I first moved back I started taking classes again to relieve stress, and sort of empty my mind.  I filled my summers with classes and really began to enjoy the practice again.  It became a summer activity for the last few years.  I hadn't ever tried to include it in my life during the school year. 

So I thought about that.  Why am I not continuing this practice on a daily basis? Why am I forgetting the benefits of this practice?  Why am I not creating time or space for this?  When I really thought about it I had no reason.  

This time, I decided to make a commitment, go in to yoga with an open and dedicated heart.  Last March I enrolled in classes and haven't stopped since.  Maybe I'm not the most experienced person to ever dive into yoga teacher training, but I'm prepared for the challenge.  I am certain that I will be learning a lot by myself, but also hope to take away information that might work for the students I teach.

I'll be writing a lot abou the teacher training in this blog in the next 6 months.  I hope it becomes a record of my experiences, and hopefully a nugget of information for other people who are interested practicing yoga.

Happy New Year to ALL and  Namaste.

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