After practicing yoga sporadically for 2 and half years I decided it was time to commit myself to crushing my goal and participate in a yoga challenge. It was either that or admit laziness and defeat and set myself a new goal! I put my other training sessions on hold (coming from a high intensity, competitive, sweat till it hurts or you want to puke engrained focus, this was not an easy task) and signed up for a “31 Day Yoga Challenge” at Golden Yogi in Takapuna.
My first 7 days were a breeze. It was about day 9/day 10 that I started to get that itch, you know the one where you are so engrained in your daily habit that if you don’t get it, your body wonders what’s going on? I wanted to forgo my scheduled yoga class for that fast-paced, sweat drenching adrenaline hit so bad. However the competitor in me said “don’t give up, achieve this goal and do not lose!”
So I stuck at it and each day throughout the challenge I observed something new in my body – my core was stronger, my posture was better, my injuries were beginning to improve and my bodies flexibility increasing. My practices became less about comparing myself to others (because usually boy did I like to beat you, at whatever cost) and more about ME! How was MY body feeling in a certain pose, what adjustments could I make to have the pose feel good for ME, what practice was going to feel better for MY body that day and what could I let go of on my mat?
I completed the 31 days in what I can only describe as enlightened. I became completely open to my body, its limitations, its strengths, but most of all I left behind everything I considered my body not to be and became grateful for all that MY body IS. I left my “31 Day Yoga Challenge” wanting more! I wanted to explore yoga more fully, gain a greater understanding of everything that was starting to happen for me physically, mentally and emotionally and what better way was there to discover this than to do my 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training.
I met with Jennifer Quail-Allen, lead Facilitator at Jayayoga prior to Christmas whose classes I had participated in at the Golden Yogi and someone who I really resonated with as a yoga teacher. We talked over all the nitty gritty details I needed to understand about committing to her upcoming 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training and I left our meeting with excitement brewing. I immediately rang my partner to say I have to do this and to voice my commitment to someone who I knew would keep me accountable.
A month later I paid my deposit (no backing out now), purchased the pre-course required texts and got to studying to ensure I was well equipped to walk in to my first day/weekend of the course.
Friday February 26th (day one) rolls around faster than anticipated and now my commitment is all too real. I make my way to the Yoga Studio where our Teacher Training is being held and I feel likea nervous 12 year old attending my first day of high school again. My stomach is full of nerves but also excited butterflies and I can’t wait to meet the other participants and see what the first weekend has in store.
Over the course of the next 2.5 days, my head explodes with Asanas (postures) as we make our way through each one individually. I am immediately opened to how much safer I can make my practice, how much stronger my body feels in these alignments, how I could teach these safely, what common misalignments I need to look out for and what adjustments I can make to have asana feel good for those with injuries or perhaps a wee bub on board?
Every possible component of Asanas including Sanskrit pronunciation (which I am quickly discovering is not my forte) is covered and we then put into practice the content covered through two yoga classes delivered by last year’s graduates. I place myself in front of a mirror throughout these classes to relish in the opportunity of alignment. We pair up and takes turns at teaching one another Asanas, providing feedback along the way. Although nerve-racking we are all in a safe and non-judgmental space to give everything a go. My brain is in definitely in overwhelm, but I am also super pumped with all of this amazing new knowledge I have been absorbing like a little sponge.
In our final session of training for the weekend I let go of any preconceived intentions I had in attending this course. I let go of self-doubt and my fear of not knowing enough. Instead I sit confidentially in knowing I have found my purpose. I leave the weekend elated to see what the next six months ahead holds and cannot put into words how passionate I am about the possibility of delivering safe, effective and accessible yoga to my community!