200 Hours Later- Expectations Be Damned

28 days later and I realize I did yoga teacher training for all of the wrong reasons. Oops.

Being totally honest with myself, I hoped yoga teacher training would “change my life.” In what ways? I suppose I hoped it would help me figure out my next move in life. And make me skinnier. And help me find peace with the direction my life is going. Just those three minor things, no big deal.

First, let’s address the body expectation. Yes, that was in the back of my mind when I signed up. I hadn’t exactly made working out a priority since moving to Australia and was looking forward to getting back into a routine.  But it was disturbing to me when people only attributed getting a hot body with going through a yoga teacher training course. “You’ll have a hot yoga bod after.” Or now that am finished “Did your body change? Are you toned now?”

Not that it’s anybody’s damn business, but no. My body isn’t any better or worse than it was before the training. My chaturangas feel stronger. I can hold plank longer. And I don’t cringe quite as much when holding dolphin pose. Thanks for asking. Chalk my experience up with thousands of other women’s because for some reason an experience like yoga teacher training is only valuable if I come out at the end with a six pack? I just went through a shit ton of mental and emotional stuff too, people. But all you’re going to ask me about is if my abs are more toned? Come on now, ya’ll.

Have I figured out what to do next in life? Yeah, I have a pretty good idea of what’s on deck. And it’s the same thing I was thinking when I started the training. The difference is now I realize I am capable of more than I thought. I proved that I can lead a class of people through a series of poses, meditation, or even mantra. Coming from someone who thought chanting mantra was weird af four weeks ago, that just goes to show what’s possible when you open your mind to new possibilities.

I am still processing what just happened over the last 28 days. Meditation is still a new practice for me. Chanting mantra a new practice for me. The concept of dharma is something I am exploring further. But, as it has done many times in the past, yoga continues to deeply enrich this weird experience called life. It’s reminded me again to connect to breath and body. To live radically. And to never lose wonder for all of the “little” moments.

Perhaps most importantly, I learned the significance of acting for action’s sake, without attachment to the fruit’s of my labor. Thank you to a small Italian man named Andrea and the Bhagavad Gita for that lesson. In other words, enjoy the journey, not the destination. And expectations be damned.

Thank you to my teacher, Emily, and the rest of my kula for making it such a fun journey. Namaste.

 

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