Salt Springs, FL:
It’s nearly impossible to roam the grounds of the Amrit Yoga Institute and feel anything but peace. Nearly.
For those who have never been to a yoga teacher training of any kind allow me to explain. First you see the ad of a beautiful person high on a mountaintop aglow with inner peace. You imagine yourself in this scenario. Not a negative thought in your head, just sweeping vistas, fresh air and space, Bliss.
The reality? To reach the top of this mountain you must first pass through forests thick with fear, cross over turbulent rivers of worry and climb over boulders of distraction and procrastination. You give up, you go back, you give up again. You cry, you wonder what you’re doing here, you get it, all of it, you’re lost.
Going through a yoga teacher training of any kind is like reviewing your life with Siskel and Ebert. If you can allow yourself to sit in that third chair and observe your life as if watching a movie, you’re in pretty good shape. You’ll see the choices you’ve made from that hair cut in seventh grade to the person you thought you’d spend your life with. You’ll cringe at the deviations off the path you have chosen. If you’re really lucky you’ll even seen the path. You’ll be able to laugh at the predicaments the main character gets into, cry in frustration over her mistakes and yell at the screen with passion, “No, don’t go in there!”
If, on the other hand, you’re still attached to the screenplay, you’ll be your own worst critic, noticing only the mistakes and missteps.
Either way is okay. Whichever way, wherever you are is okay. You’re here. The work has begun in earnest.
It’s impossible for me to convey what actually happens during a yoga training. Everyone comes with a different set of circumstances and expectations so each person will have their own unique experience. I can reassure you that yoga teacher training is about learning how to safely guide others in and out of postures. It is about allowing others to have their experience in these postures. It is about realizing that life is a posture.
Simply put, yoga teacher training is about personal transformation and all that entails; walking through fire, crying it out, getting angry, feeling helpless and exhausted and finally, miraculously emerging scrubbed clean. Factory fresh. It doesn’t have to be dramatic, it can be quiet. Tiny little bubbles of recognition popping all around you, aha moment after aha moment. But transformation can be messy. Change must take place, which means growth and that sometimes is a tad uncomfortable. And really none of this has to happen. If you’re good where you are you can stay there. But that’ s not why you’re here. And you know that now.
For me, it is the ultimate spiritual experience. If you are ready and open you begin to see your own divinity. Then you begin to see the divinity in everything and everyone. Yoga is not a religion, it is so much more than that. It enhances whatever belief system you have that is working for you and it dismantles outmoded beliefs. It’s a clarifier. A giant cosmic mirror.
Yoga is the teacher. If you allow yourself to connect with your breath and be guided by your body you’ll find the way. On or off the mat. At yoga training or on your own personal mountaintop. And just so you know, the view from here is breathtaking, but just ahead is another mountain and I bet the view from there is spectacular.