THE JOURNEY BEGINS
One Student’s Story on YogaMotion’s Life Enrichment & Teacher Training
Module One – Growing Your Roots
Welcome to some musings about Nancy Ruby’s Life Enrichment and Yoga Teacher Training! I would like to offer up a bit about myself first. Here are all of the “labels”- mother, wife, Naturopathic Physician, yoga teacher, president of a school parent group. I am a busy woman, to say the very least. The specific labels may be unique to me, but I know that so many of us suffer from the “too much to do, not enough time” syndrome. So, why would anyone choose to add a nine- month long program that includes long weekend classroom hours, plus substantial home study?
I can tell you my strong, initial goal for taking this training- simply and clearly, I want to obtain my 200-hour teacher training certification. I have been teaching yoga for about 8 years, getting my start at teacher training through a group called YogaFit. While I will continue my career as an ND, I feel undeniably drawn to teaching yoga, I feel GOOD when I am doing it. Further, I believe the combination of my naturopathic education and my love of yoga can help me to connect more deeply with others and therefore, lend a unique support in their personal healing journeys.
The first module was themed around the idea of grounding, connecting to the earth, getting the basics. The first Friday evening was full of resistance for me. I spent much time in my mind trying to figure out the best excuse just to get the heck out of there… “I already know so much of this, I don’t feel a connection to the instructors, I could certainly keep teaching without my 200-hour certification, I am being selfish by being here, my kids miss me, my husband is going to be mad at me, it is going to be so dark on the 30 minute drive home, I am tired, there is a pile of dirty dishes in the sink at home…”
Well, through some miracle… really, through conscious breathing and faith, I stayed present (physically at least) for that first night, and the resistance softened through the weekend. Despite the anatomy lesson being pretty basic for me, I still found it very interesting. I loved Nancy’s “skeleton/bone unitard”, and felt the time spent on postural assessment was very valuable for not only helping folks start to see what to look at physically, but it also gave us a very structured, safe way to get to know some of our classmates. It is a unique teacher that truly creates an open environment where we can all (despite varying backgrounds and experiences) practice accessing our beginner’s mind. Nancy is excellent at creating a stimulating curriculum, balancing structure and fluidity. We can start from the beginning, learn from the teacher, learn from the group and learn from ourselves.
Initially, after the weekend ended, I still felt a bit of resistance. Would I learn anything new? Could I realistically give this amount of time at this point in my life? But then as the days passed, I felt excitement as something had opened up, and ego dropped away a bit… the wonder of beginner’s mind started to percolate up into my daily life. As this occurred, I came face to face with the most obvious realization- the majority of my yoga study has been as a teacher. Personal practice now needs to become a priority… I love the practice of yoga for its ability to help whittle away the “unimportant”, to help you tap into your unique source of well-being and power.
So, again, an obvious realization: develop a regular personal practice, and experience more and more of this! The home study is still daunting and it is particularly challenging for me to incorporate the daily practice into my routine. I am still negotiating that road. But I am thankful for the push for it. Bottom line is that part of the journey is about letting go of judgments. It is an unrealistic expectation to have your “mind blown” at each moment of the training, so I find myself shedding/letting go and trusting the process and the journey through the training. In doing so, I notice those little moments of excitement, of engaging mystery of what is to come… feeling that my life will be enriched. And then… the dirty dishes in the sink just don’t matter so much.
Karen Stenseth, N.D., CYT