Rest

To all my brothers and sisters
who push themselves hard
seeking to make strides and achieve in your passions.

My message to you is simple:

You are worthy of rest.

You are so worthy. 
We see your work, your hustle.
We know you, truly.
Admire your strength.
We see you shine.

And you, yes you
can pause
can breathe
can take a break
relax
Come back with renewed inspiration.

But only from that quiet will you grow.
That fullness of you is not just in your work.

Rest your beautiful body,
your beautiful soul.

You will return brighter than before.

Something Beautiful

Astavakra Samhita 2-8.
Light is my very nature, I am no other than light. When the universe manifests itself, verily then it is I that shine.

I’ve been struck by something beautiful. The way I can feel my breath move through my body. Discovering new sensations from deep within my being. The peace that can come from releasing judgment and observing who I am in that moment.

That last one’s a bit tricky, though.

It’s funny really, how many times I have the same realization. “Oh, wait… yeah, that was a judgment.” Reminding myself again to let go of the idea that my practice should be a certain way and instead welcome the observation of what is there; be it beautiful or imperfect.

My sadhana reminds me that although I am the same self that I always was (and will be), I am also different than I was last year, 6 months ago, yesterday. Each day leading to further self examination as I continue to discover parts of myself I didn’t know were there or that I had put aside. I hope that I am making progress -- working deeper, further. But then I remember, that at the very least I am observing myself with fresh eyes. Each time I remind myself to let go of that evaluation, it’s with new perspective.

And with that I’ve come to realize the beauty in it all. Sadhana in the best moments makes me feel beautiful and alive. Connecting with my self at a deeper level than yesterday is thrilling. Living through my truth that I’ve discovered has only served to make me happier, calmer and more clear. Of course it’s not always rainbows and butterflies, and there are days that are a hard and murky. But learning to trust that it’s all a part of that truth-discovering process makes it easier to accept things as they come and to let go of my judgments.  Easier to realize that it’s all a part of the beauty. The knowledge. The light.

 

And So It Begins

After weeks of growing anticipation, the 200 hour teacher training is finally here!

I had committed to this back in January, so I’ve had a lot of time to wonder about this upcoming experience and vacillated between nervousness and excitement. Endless questions swirled through my brain about whether I would be expected to become a yoga teacher, and about what challenges this training would bring. And if I did become a teacher, would I be any good? Sitting in the studio on the first evening of the training, I felt grounded and calm as I met each of the students and teachers who would be taking this journey with me. I was no longer anticipating this great thing in my life. It was here. I was doing it.

This first weekend was spent learning the yoga poses that would become a daily practice, and then learning how to teach them. Each of us nervously stepped in front of the room for the first time to teach a sequence, and slowly gained confidence and skills by doing it again and again. The support from each and every person in the room was palpable, encouraging me to be vulnerable and open.

When tasked with an exercise of teaching a pose and bringing something of myself into what I was teaching, my mind lit up. As I spent my time preparing my words and instructions, I was surprised at how delighted I was to do this. I signed on for this teacher training to gain a deeper knowledge of my own personal practice. Yet here I was, excited at the opportunity to share and impart some of my own experiences through yoga. The experience of teaching something so personal was intense. “You teach what you most need to learn,” said my teacher. And oh how right he is.

Looking forward, there is much to learn, but I feel ready. I may not understand everything right now, but I am confident that my practice and study will take me there. Throughout this training I will probably not always feel this joyful; I know I have plenty of walls to break through on this journey of self discovery. There will be frustration and tears, but also laughter and growth.

For now I am happy and excited to return to training this weekend. And it’s the kind of happy that’s not weighed down by stress or negativity. I am buoyed by the wealth of knowledge that lays ahead of me through each of my new and exceptional teachers. I can feel that this is where I need to be and am so grateful that I began this journey.