Officially In Training to Be a Yoga Teacher

January 19, 2009 at 10:52 pm (Other) (, , , , , )

It’s a small class, but the yoga teacher training program is happening… and I’m in it!  Wow!  What a way to start a new year!

Training to become a certified yoga teacher is something I’ve thought about doing for at least the last six months.  I got really good at making excuses for why I shouldn’t do it–it’s too expensive; it’ll take too much time away from my family; I don’t have enough experience as a student of yoga to teach yoga…  But, alas, with the opportunity, thanks to Stephen’s employment, to move to a Swiss resort town looming in the fast-approaching future, the time is nigh to get off my butt and make the rest of my time in Vancouver count for something.  It isn’t just that teaching yoga would be a marketable skill in a place where wealthy Europeans go to relax, and therefore a good credential for me to carry into a new life there.  The real focus for me isn’t even the graduation (although I will certainly be proud to possess the certification), it’s the process and the time spent getting to that day six months from now.

I need to do this to keep my mind focused on the here and now.  I know from the experience of waiting to move to Vancouver, that when a major life change is in the offing and it’s just a matter of time before you take the plunge, it can be exceedingly difficult to enjoy the present, to remain engaged and interested in what’s around you.  Waiting for what comes next is no way to live, so I’ve decided to focus on myself and the present moment through doing this yoga teacher training.  Ultimately, I don’t even know if I want to be a yoga teacher.  Maybe I’ll decide it isn’t for me.  But, I do want to learn more about yoga and about myself and both will definitely be addressed by taking up this challenge.

I’m writing all this with the perspective of having exactly one session of the program already under my belt.  I started this journey on Saturday with seven other individuals from all walks of life (well, there was only one guy) who I have no doubt I will get to know very, very well as we all get to know ourselves a little better in the process.  Part of the training program, and one of the reasons I wanted to make the commitment to do this, focuses on “living yoga,” or living a life in balance.  We were asked on Saturday to picture our lives several years from now and to think about setting some goals to put us on the right track to eventually achieve our biggest dreams.  This part was difficult for me because the move to Switzerland seems to be a major leap into the unknown, like the life I can reasonable plan for ends six months from now.  Setting goals or trying to picture what life will be like after the move seems a practice in futility.

If I had to set a goal for this period of my life, I would have to say that I want to learn to leap without looking, to not be fearful when making decisions.  I want to be able to take action with the confidence of knowing I’ll be able to handle what life throws at me.  I don’t meant to say that I intend to start acting without any consideration of the consequences of my actions, but I do know that I’ve been very indecisive in the past and it has not served me well: over-analysis leads to paralysis.  Once a decision is made, I aim to be able to stick with it without wondering if it was the best, most perfectly right thing to do.  A good first step might be to challenge myself to order from a restaurant menu in under ten seconds…

I’ll report back on how I fared with that challenge a little later… My point is that big goals are not met without first meeting many incremental goals which, though small, are far from insignificant; baby steps allow us to see progress for what it is–not a long way to go, but a great distance traveled: an achievement in itself.  For now, I’m congratulating myself–despite nerves, reservations, and fears–on simply showing up Saturday to take part in the first of over twenty full-day sessions.  I dissuade myself from nervousness about the actual teaching part, the practicums, by reminding myself that, for now, I am simply the student.

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