I've touched on the topic but never really delved in to the why or what of my yoga teacher training.
It all started last October (2015) - fresh off my bodybuilding competition I magically came across a workshop being offered at Happy Tree Yoga Studio from Eat Breathe Thrive. When I say magically I really do mean that I have no idea how I found it. I must have been browsing through my newsfeed and the event just appeared. Maybe it was a sponsored post? Regardless, I clicked on it was intrigued. This workshop was fascinating to me - it was all about how yoga can aid in the recovery and treatment of eating disorders and body image issues.
The official description of the event was as follows:
"Eat Breathe Thrive's Yoga, Food & Body Image Intensive is a 15-hour in-person training, covering yoga-based practices for emotional regulation, exercises for cultivating healthy body image, and meditations for tuning into hunger and fullness signals.
Ideal for yoga teachers, educators, fitness professionals and mental health practitioners alike, this in-depth training opportunity also serves as Module One of the Eat Breathe Thrive™ Facilitator Training."
I noticed that they were offering the opportunity for scholarships and decided that if I was approved for one I would register. It still cost a couple of hundred dollars but I had the money at the time and knew this would benefit me.
The workshop itself was eye opening. I made some cool new friends and connections and was reintroduced to the Happy Tree studio where I had taken corporate yoga classes at lunch about 6 years prior. I also re-found myself and turned my entire world upside down (in a good way!)
A few of the students in the workshop had taken the teacher training at Happy Tree the year before. I already had an interest in yoga and the love of helping others through fitness and figured it would be a logical step in my fitness career. What appeased my hesitation and helped me decide to take the plunge? Talking to the students at an information session a few weeks later. What really convinced me was how one of the girls was working a corporate 9-5 just like me and managed to make the time for the training and find balance in her life. The other factor that played a huge role was that Mel, the studio owner, agreed to let me pay for the training in instalments.
At the beginning of the training I was a little shy. I kept to myself and only really hung out with one girl that I knew from that workshop a few months prior. I was also going through a really rough time at work as I started to acknowledge the fact that a super corporate 9-5 just wasn't for me anymore. The more I learned about myself through the training, the more certain I was that I needed to make some life changes. I've posted about this in the past so I wont delve to much in to it but I know in my heart that all of the decisions I made (job, apartment, etc) were the right choices.
When I began the teacher training I felt like an outsider. I'm not your typical "yogi", I eat meat, swear, act like a bitch sometimes, lift weights and like to go out and get dressed up and have a drink here or there. My practice was sorely lacking. It had been a couple of years since I had a regular weekly yoga practice (Elaina and Anthony at Siscoe Gym - CHECK 'EM OUT!). So basically, I felt like I didn't belong in the group even though I had gone through the same selection process as every other student.
The more I learned about myself and about yoga and all that it encompasses, the less closed off I was. I came out of my shell, so to speak, and made some pretty cool friends! Did they judge me for my own life choices (non-vegetarianism, not practicing enough yoga, etc) - NO. They embraced me. They helped me through those tough choices and helped to celebrate when my last day in the super corporate world of finance was done.
At first I could not see myself teaching ever. I felt like a fraud. A little awkward. A lot awkward, actually. Even 3/4 of the way through the training I didn't feel comfortable. One of the graduates from the year before told me something that helped - I wasn't going to feel comfortable. I would graduate and start teaching and still feel awkward and the only way through it was to keep teaching and gaining experience. Eventually I would be teaching a class and realize that it felt normal. I can't wait for that day to arrive. In the meantime, I am enjoying every moment, even embracing the awkward ones.
Am I a yogi now? Yes. The typical one that comes to mind when you think of Western yoga? No. And guess what... that's ok!
What has changed:
- My living arrangements
- My job
- My outlook on life
- My connection to my yoga mat (which is new and leopard print, but really I'm not talking literally here)
When I wake up, I choose to have a good day. I choose to be positive. I choose not to let the troubles that still do exist in my life take over my day-to-day. It has made a tremendous difference in my mood and in the way my day unravels. I think that those in my close circle can attest to the change in demeanour but a lot of the change is on the inside.
I am trying to and kind of succeeding at not holding on to anger. I believe it is toxic and manifests itself in to physical symptoms.
I practice gratitude - I give thanks for all of the good that comes my way. When something doesn't go my way I acknowledge that there is likely a very good reason for it and that something better is on its way.
I believe that the universe works in mysterious ways and have been paying closer attention to "coincidences" and how some of the smallest choices lead to pretty amazing things.
To think.... a random Facebook ad for a random workshop led me to the best and most amazing 6 months of my life and opened many new doors and possibilities to me. I am grateful every day for those that helped or led me on this path but I am also grateful to myself. Grateful that I took the risks that got me where I am. Grateful that I made the choices I made.
Shout outs - You really should check these peeps out. They have made a huge impact on me and my life and I sincerely believe they could affect YOU as well.
Well, there you have it. My "story". Have questions about the training or are thinking of signing up? Get in touch - I would love to help. Happy tree hosts information sessions once a month leading up to the training so be sure to check out their facebook page!
Thanks for reading, Mitzfits. Lots of love to you all!