Yoga Teacher Training: What I Learned About Myself

My bestie did her Yoga Teacher Training in Bali in 2018 and I remember asking her in one of our many voice note chats when she came home… “What did you learn about yourself?”

So as I headed out on my YTT experience I had in the back of my mind to stay open, to stay present and to see what I could learn about myself while going through the experience.

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In no specific order here are a few of my observations about myself:

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I struggle watching others connect with each other and yearn for that type of friendship. I see connection around me and wonder why I’m so closed off to it (at times).

I say at times, because I’ve clicked with people over my life in such easy ways. There was that time in Patagonia, where I locked eyes with a girl named Zhana on another trip and when we reunited several days later in the middle of the National Park it was like we had known each other for years. And to this date still do several dinner dates throughout the year to catch up on life.

However, saying that… I’m really good at making up stories in my head about how people don’t like me. I craft them so that they can’t hurt me first. I’ve always struggled to keep female friendships in my life and am wowed by those who are still in touch with friends from elementary school, high school or even post secondary. I’ve just never really connected with someone that deeply. Or put in effort to keep the friendship alive. I’ve also been hurt deeply by female friends that I had hoped would be in my life for a lifetime. And throughout my 20s, I learned how to close myself off to protect my heart.

So as I saw the 20 somethings on the YTT connect and build friendships and lifelong friends enjoying their time together, I got super jealous (and was self aware enough to recognize it). That’s hard to admit on the internet. I remember texting, my husband Mike, early in the month and telling him that there was no one that I really connected with. His response: “Babe, it’s not middle school. You all flew half way around the world because you’re passionate about this. Just go talk to them”.

And so I did. I really efforted hard to talk to everyone, to be present at meal times, to listen, to talk, to listen, to laugh, to story tell and more. I’m really glad I got to connect with each and every person there. And while no one was begging me to take a picture with me on graduation day. I’m so glad I got to meet each and every soul and share in the community we built.

While I was in Bali, I got several pieces of shocking news from home over the course of one week. I was rocked with information and it was really hard to stay present in the moment vs. the thoughts that were tumbling around in my head. And when that happens, I close down and need time alone. I’m so glad that I was able to do that during the YTT but also be surrounded by the most genuine, caring souls.

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I love spending mornings in quiet, in meditation and journaling before beginning the busyness or fullness of a day.

I was so grateful for the quiet, as an introvert I definitely struggled with being around people constantly. And everyone was and is lovely. So I really realized that I just need moments and time on my own to re-energize even when those around me are lovely and amazing and energy giving.

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When I start something new, I struggle with feelings of ENOUGHNESS and WORTHINESS.

During our new moon ceremony the first week of our YTT, we were guided through a Desire Map exercise. As someone who is a huge fan of the process and use core desired feelings in my goal setting method I was game to dive in. As we explored our Core Desire Feelings I had several new ones pop up outside of my usual ones. When I put the lense on the Yoga Teacher Training what came out was that I wanted to feel SEEN, HEARD, UNDERSTOOD, ENOUGH and WORTHY.

I’ve done so much work around ENOUGH and WORTHY in my personal relationships that I was surprised that it would come up around an educational endeavour. As I sat with the words and thought more about it, I came to realize that I’ve never invested in a YTT for myself because I had thoughts around “Who am I to become a yoga teacher now?” “Why would you join the ranks of a saturated profession?” “Are you just following in the footsteps of your friends?” “You already do too much, why would you add something else to your plate?” and so on. I shocked myself with how judgemental I was with myself.

As I sat every morning in mediation, held my Rose Quartz crystal to remind myself of the self-love I needed to show myself, as my teaching became more effortless and as I surprised myself with how interested and passionate I was with everything I was learning, my confidence developed and I started shining.

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