Girl School for Grownups

Like having a big sister, but better because I can't boss you around!

Yoga teacher training so far

on March 2, 2015

I’m 40% done with a 200 hour yoga teacher training. Going in I didn’t know what to expect but I was pretty sure I’d be the oldest one in the class (I am) and the least flexible (think I hold that distinction too). But I wasn’t going to let those things stop me.

My friends who’ve done teacher training said it was life changing, so I was expecting it to be more than just learning to teach yoga. Turns out it’s about 40% about teaching yoga and 60% about getting past the shit that stops you in your life. I’m good with getting past what stops me, at least in theory. The practice of uncovering what gets in your way is often messy and uncomfortable and tough.

Last weekend I came right up against one of my biggest issues, that of wanting to be invisible. The particulars of why it’s my issue don’t matter (unless you’re the one trying to bring it into the light). On Sunday afternoon I was face to face with it. We were asked to practice teach, which we’ve been doing all along, but we were told to only use essential language. I know how to shut up. I’ve had years of perfecting that and from a young age until now it’s seemed to keep me safe. Being asked to speak, but only a little? I wanted to run. I fantasized about running, thinking “take a good look, people, because it’s the last time you’re going to see this face!” But I stayed. I prayed and I cried and I hyperventilated and then it was my turn to teach.

When it was over, I was told that I could have let a little more of myself out. No shit. And then we went on a lunch break. I strode to my car, got in, and started it up. “Last Child” by Aerosmith was playing. I drove like a bat out of hell with no destination in mind until I cooled off.

Rather than digging my heels in and making “them” wrong for telling me to teach in a certain way, I’m trying to stay open to what can come from trying something new. Years ago a counselor told me I saw things in black and white. We were in the middle of a heated discussion about something and I was irritated with her for stating the obvious. She asked me if I knew what was in between black and white, and I spat back, “Yes I do. Grey. And I hate grey!” She smiled and gently said, “if you’re talking about light, what lives in between black and white are all the colors in the rainbow.” I’ve pondered that for many years. Maybe now is the time to find something in between saying every single thing that’s inside my head and deathly silence.

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