When you tell yoga teachers, or those that have been through a training, that you are going to start a teacher training they tend to be genuinely excited for you. After extending their congratulations and well wishes they often make a comment on how amazing the journey is. Not only the journey of learning how to teach a class but the spiritual journey you will go on. They were not kidding.
As I'm reading back on my first few posts about teacher training I am seeing that the fear I was feeling was directly related to these changes that have started, and continue, to take place. I was seemingly aware of why this fear had manifested in me even saying: "Fear of not being good enough was one big obstacle standing in my way. And the fear of opening doors I didn't know existed, in myself and in the world, was the biggest one and is still a fear I am working through. But life is about accepting your fears and looking them dead in the eyes while sending them a big fat middle finger emoji." in my first recap.
When we went over the Yamas and the Niyamas I was digging everything we were learning. The learnings here clicked with me and I still find myself wanting to dig deeper into the Yamas and the Niyamas. One in particular has stood out to me the most and that is Svadhyaya or the study of self.
"The person practicing svadhyaya reads his own book of life, at the same time that he writes and revises it." - B.K.S. Iyenger, Light on Yoga
Self-study can be a scary path to go down. It's easy to beat yourself up or let your ego rule the conversation. It's something we have to constantly work at as new challenges are being thrown to us daily and as we become more self-aware of ourselves we begin to see how our actions are perceived and how a seemingly good intention can have negative effects on our well-being. One of the biggest keys to walking down a road of self-improvement has been to accept that I am the only one that can take action for my life. While others may care for me or want good things for me they aren't going to get up every morning and move the mountains for me, and they shouldn't have to. But it's easy to blame our problems on others when they aren't going our way.
I recently heard a quote in class that has stuck with me the past week and has been my intention for many of my classes:
Don't wait for someone to hand you flowers. Plant your own garden.
It is in my daily practice that I am able to push myself and find my limit. It's in the quiet times of self-reflection that I am able to analyze my actions. In the asanas we do most often, I find myself taking them for granted and wanting to brush past them or get through the class. In my daily life, I find myself overlooking mundane tasks that can reveal truths or lessons that I can carry with me.
In more difficult poses I find myself afraid to push myself up. Afraid to take the next step. Finding it easier to give up and cartwheel out rather than push my hips over my shoulders and see something from a new perspective. In my life off of the mat, I find myself ready to face fears head on but forgetting to slow down and be present in the changes and actions that are manifesting around my actions. As if I want to close my eyes and hope for the best outcome.
In both of these situations, I come back to my most recent intention to plant my own flowers. But for the latter I am working to remind myself to stop and smell the flowers that I am planting along the way.... and maybe to take this time to weed out a few unwanted plants that have sprung up as well. I'm looking at you, ego.
Today I want to be the best version of myself that I have ever been. And tomorrow I want to be better than I was today. On and off the mat.