You Close Your Eyes, Let Go & Flow

About 780  (and counting) Chaturangas [yogi push-ups] later, and I’m that much closer to completing my 200 hour yoga level one certification. Here’s to a few more down dogs until that certificate is in my little paws.

This past October, (October 11 for those wondering minds), I started a little journey of sorts to deepen my yoga practice in a teacher training (TT) program at Core Power (CPY). I first set foot into a CPY yoga studio in March 2014, and to be honest, I’m not really sure what kept me coming back to my mat. It’s like trying to trace back a conversation with one of your friends and connect the dots. Yes, I’ve always had an inclination to physical activity, especially high intensity, but had you asked me if I ever thought that Groupon deal would last more than the month, I’d say “nah, just giving it a go but probably not for me.” At the time, I was pretty stressed (and unhappy) at work among other things. It’s funny how things just happen. I guess God/the universe/energy thought I needed to do some stretching, and boy did yoga introduce a new form of physical challenge, contrary to my first encounter with it at a local gym, womp and yawn.

Transitions bring about feelings of uncertainty, doubt and uneasiness. Every time I walked out of class I felt a little more grounded, detoxified (that heat though), fresher and lighter. I started opening up in multiple aspects of my life. Accepting the white, the black and the grey. I welcomed this new found hobby and its mental, physical and spiritual challenges and benefits.

Flash forward to two and a half (give or take) years later, and I found myself enrolled in an eight-week long program. I had finally taken the plunge. Here’s a quick breakdown of Daisy Feels:

  • Weeks 1-4: Total blur. “What did I get myself into?”; “Where is my time going?”; “I feel like I’m in grad school again…”
  • Weeks 5: Relax, just let the juicy yogi goodness’ll come. I’m right where I’m supposed to be.
  • Week 6: The “Ah-ha” Moment, I think I’m finally getting this…Let’s give this teaching thing a thought…
  • Week 7: If TT had a “peak posture,” it’d be “Bring a Beginner Day.”  “I’m so proud of my fellow TTers.” Heart and Soul are Happy and Full. Santosha.
  • Week 8: Surrender. “Whoa, I can’t believe it’s ‘over’…” I just shared this personal journey with a group who started off as strangers but now I’m going to miss this stone-cold pack of weirdos (endearing way, of course).

We ended the program with a (special) candle lit class led by one of the leads: Chelsea Gartner. I had already had an uh-maz-ing “C1” Class with Alyssa (one of my other program leads), so I was in pretty Zen spot; couldn’t wait for some more yogi goodness. Closing my eyes, letting go of any self-judgement (and doubt) I opened my ears (and self) for the next 60 minutes to Chelsea’s guidance. I had never done a full class with my eyes closed, and let me tell you it was definitely a flow on its own level. My balance and hearing were working double time to make up for the lost sense of sight. However, just as some of my senses worked overtime, others were heightened like touch. Usually, you can see an instructor approaching you if they’ll assist you, and although I didn’t get as much of a “heads up” I still felt presence. I had no idea who was assisting me, so in a way that created vulnerability. One of the many things yoga has taught me is acceptance, even when it comes to (your) vulnerability. I was vulnerable but trusting. The assists throughout the whole class were super juicy (Yes, juicy) and connected. Being physically assisted and guided for an entire flow of a series was something I hadn’t experienced before, but I will definitely work toward giving someone the same connection and depth as I felt today, #ThankYou, if teaching is in the cards. Would I practice blindly again? Totally. I did it for me and no one else, and I couldn’t think of a better class to do it. If you’ve never done it, I welcome you to close your eyes through parts of your practice, and see how that makes you feel. Who knows, maybe one day you’ll find a different groove to your flow.

Thank you to my yogis, you all were an amazing group to share this personal journey, and my program leads: Alyssa Cudiamat, Brooke Gardner, Jennifer Goodman, Sydney Stier and Courtney Shively.

I could go on writing about my wonderful experience–one that I didn’t expect to come out feeling the change I do–but I’ll spare you…for now.

My one nugget of advice: if you want it; go get it…if you’re curious, explore…you miss out on conversations you’re not having and on things you’re not doing, and if the thought of it makes you nervous then more of a reason to keep at it.

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