My first class? My ego was relieved that I wasn’t the “lowly novice” in a room of cirque du soleil prima donnas that could pretzel themselves into unrecognizable shapes or enlightened beings that levitated off the ground. I was surrounded by people of all walks. An older woman who had just survived the trauma of her daughter breaking her neck and becoming a quadriplegic; another woman who had healed a broken back with a yoga practice that began 20 years ago; a younger woman, close to my age, that had a gymnast background but hadn’t studied much yoga yet. We were people seeking connection and something to enrich that moment in our lives.
At first, it was just nice to be held accountable for showing up somewhere that would keep me out of my head, sulking in my bedroom. But then it quickly became something else… Every training weekend started with an asana practice. At the start of class, I would sit cross-legged with my head on a block listening to Monica repeat, “Deep, slow, smooth inhale. Deep, slow, smooth exhale,” in her thick Brazilian accent. It was here that I could let my guard down. Sometimes I sobbed; sometimes I was contemplating the young stud that had flirted with me at the coffee shop the day before; sometimes I just listened to my breath. I was home.
These weekends were filled with sitting in a circle among amazing people that became sisters, family from another time. We giggled between discussing the sutras, our dreams for the future, and why our backbends still “look like shit.” I fell in love with my practice, Iyengar’s fierce energy that was being channeled through Monica’s BOOMING instruction, “Kneecaps lifted!!!” I clung to my copy of Light on Life to give me peace when I was stuck licking my wounds from the breakup.
I never gave much thought about a future teaching career. I might have entertained the idea of leading a couple classes here and there -- it sounded like a cool idea. The Yoga Muse had other plans…
What I took away from my first training was… many things… deep lasting connections, a few cool “tricks of the trade,” a new library that I still use to this day. It wasn’t until the years started blowing by that the full grasp of what my first (of many) teacher training gave me. It’s lessons and experiences started whispering in my ear, guiding me to the life I have now – an amazing career teaching yoga full time in Southern Utah; conscious cultivation of my highest dreams and aspirations, personal practice, tons of gratitude, intimate connection with the mystery of the divine, opportunities to connect with a greater community of students, yogis, other teachers, pioneers of yoga therapy, spiritual seekers, and most importantly, my Self.
This is my hope for everyone that walks into a yoga studio or into a teacher training: You allow the ego to relax and let the transformation of your yoga studies and practice flow you down the most beautiful river of experience you’ve ever considered.
With all my love,
10/7/2015 08:32:22 am
Thanks for sharing your journey. You are always an inspiration to me and many others.
4/12/2021 02:09:22 pm
Can't wait to start this training! Thank you for sharing this Elise, you inspire me!
4/12/2021 02:26:23 pm
Thank you, my friend! It's mutual!
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Desert-Dwelling, Life-Loving, Globe-Trotting, Food-Adoring, yoga-practicing, Health Coach. Passionate, affirming, intuitive listener and guide for those seeking more health and happiness in their own Journey!