“The best way to learn is to teach.” – Frank Oppeneimer
Tonight begins the start of delving deeper into my yoga practice–yoga teacher training. It is always interesting to think about how I got to this point. Last December, I took advantage of CorePower Yoga‘s free week of yoga classes for new students. I’ll admit, it took me a while to get there. I have been running for a couple of years now, and I loved the fast paced nature and adrenaline rush that running provides, so nothing about yoga particularly seemed appealing to me. However, I had never actually tried even one class, so how could I have thought that without ever experiencing it? Nevertheless, last December, I was no longer hesitant. My brother Adrian (or Kuya, as I call him) and our friend Anne-Marie all signed up for the free week of classes during my Christmas vacation, and I fell in love.
But what I really find interesting is what brought me to yoga teacher training. I cannot even describe how I decided I wanted to do the training; it really just came to me–an epiphany. Of course I should do the training. Of course, this is exactly what was meant for me. I was nervous at first; was I in a place to be learning to teach when I had only been practicing for only a few months? But after speaking to many of the CPY studio owners, my worries were eased. I was exactly where I was supposed to be. In such a short amount of time, yoga has taught me incredible things about myself, and I could not think of a better way to continue to grow and heal than by participating in what my friend Ali called, an eight week personal and intentional retreat.
So here I am, 2.5 months after reserving my spot, and the day is finally here! All students received a welcome e-mail a few days ago and we had a mini homework assignment which included writing about what yoga is and why we practice it. I’d love to share with you a snippet of what I wrote:
Why do I practice yoga? I ask myself this question on a daily basis! Each time I sit on my mat, I learn the importance of myself. I am enough, and there is nothing wrong with being somewhat selfish and treating myself as if I am the strong, powerful being that I am who deserves the best because I am the strong, powerful being that deserves the best for myself. Yoga reminds me of my potential. Yoga brings me closer to a state of peace. Yoga teaches me to honor and respect my body. Yoga reminds me that I am stronger than I think I am. But what I love the most about yoga is what it teaches me about breath. Claudia Azula Althucher wrote on Thought Catalog (which I highly encourage you all to read) that “yogis are connoisseurs of the breath. They treat it like the fine and rare treasure it is. They study it and aim at making it smooth, long, and peaceful. Yoga is a breathing practice.” When I read that passage for the first time, it struck an emotional cord with me; ever since I began to practice yoga, I have been able to recognize how much my breath does for me—how strong it is, how it supplies me with energy, how it calms my heart. Each class we are taught to breathe in love, joy, intention, and to breathe out hate, insecurity, stress, and worry. With each inhale, we energize our bodies with strength and dignity, and with each exhale, we rinse our bodies of its toxicities.
I am incredibly excited to begin this part of my yoga journey. I will be writing each week about my experiences in my classes, so I hope you will join me!