Life Lessons from Yoga Teacher Training


When I first decided I wanted to get my 200-hour yoga teacher training certification I didn't want to put in too many expectations. It was something I'd always had on my bucket list but never thought I'd go through with. I had a feeling deep down that it would be more than just crossing it off my list. I think that was part of my initial fear walking into the journey. Coming face-to-face with your deepest self and insecurities is a terrifying thing to do. It's tough to confront your ego and work to quiet that down. It's terrifying to make positive changes in your life. 

I often credit CorePower Yoga with being a turning point of change in my life. I give it credit for helping me make a big decision about my career and life, ultimately turning down a job and moving home to Kansas City with no plans for the future. I've often given D.C. very little credit in my life. A place that I felt at my lowest and wanted to get out of immediately. I just thought it was the place that helped me to learn how to say no and pushed me out of my comfort zone. But I got to thinking yesterday that I'm not sure I would have had this relationship with yoga, and even more specifically CorePower Yoga, if it weren't for taking my free week and doing a little soul searching via CPY while I lived in D.C. Svadhyaya is now something that I practice daily and is helping me reach my peak potential. I've learned many things about myself because of this journey and I want to share them with you all today! 

"It's hard to be responsible for our own progress.  We always seek for someone to carry us and put us on some higher level.  We have to understand that our progress is based on our own efforts.”  - Babi Hari Dass

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I am learning to be flexible on my mat and in life. You have two options when an unexpected event happens. Get upset, or get shit done. I want to be the person that gets shit done rather than sulking or yelling at the event in front of me. When on the mat I often notice when something hurts and I work to stretch that muscle out or I back out of a pose so that I don't hurt myself. Off my mat, I struggle to listen to these feelings and often avoid the situation or get hurt pushing myself too far. Or sometimes I run away. Open hips, open mind. That's my new mantra.

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Growth happens with practice, persistence, jumping into something scary and understanding that it's ok to fall. It's a yoga practice, not yoga perfect. It's so true and resonates well after trying a tough pose and off the mat. In life, we grow when we push ourselves out of our comfort zone. It can be terrifying but we always come away better off for it. We can run from our fears or we can hide from them, but the reward is rarely as great when we run away from what scares us most. 

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A strong intention leads to a strong practice and day. At CPY we set an intention at the beginning of each class. When I set a powerful intention I find myself able to come back to it and stay motivated. When I fail to find one that resonates I find my mind drifting in and out of focus. It's the same when I'm off of my mat. If I set a strong goal or intention for my day I can reach it. When I fail to set an intention for my day I find it difficult to stay motivated through my day. Being mindful about your life is powerful. 

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Love is a powerful emotion. Finding love for yourself is a powerful choice. It's sometimes easier for me to love others than it is to love myself. But, life is not as bright when we can't spread the love to ourselves. And often we won't stand up for ourselves if we don't believe we deserve to be loved. I have struggled the last few weeks with accepting my worth. Do I deserve to put my energy into this practice? Do I deserve to stand up for myself when someone lets me down? Do I deserve to take time for myself? The answer to all of these is yes. And by saying yes to these things I have found it easier to love those that surround me. 

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Someimes all you need to do is show up. There were days I didn't want to get on my mat or go to teacher training. I was tired or upset and I wanted to sleep or do something else. But I showed up and I left feeling better than when I had walked in the door. This rule is especially true in friendships. Yes, you need to take time for yourself but being a friend means putting in 50% of the work. And being concious of how your actions, words and pressence effects someone around you is important. Get on your mat because your mind and body will thank you. Even if you lay in childs pose for the whole hour. Give yourself that 60 minutes. Show up when you say you will, because your friends are counting on you to be there and support them. We often look at asteya, non-stealing, as a material focused yama. But it also translates to time and energy and when you don't show up you're stealing from those that you love in a way that can be very harmful. 

This journey and these people have changed my life for the better. I can't wait to see what happens next and to continue learning about yoga and myself. I feel grounded, open, and blissful. 

“I will never stop learning.” – BKS Iyengar