This is week three of a four week series. Here’s week 1 and week 2 in case you missed them, and also week 4.
How can three weeks fly by so quickly?
We started practice teaching the full class at the beginning of the week, and have our qualifying exams starting on Thursday (tomorrow, by the time this post goes live). Graduation is on Saturday, and then Sunday we’re out of here. I’ll admit that I got a little teary-eyed this morning reading the schedule for this week. I can’t believe that it’s almost over.
My major victory this week was finally breaking the no sleep cycle. After 19 nights of tossing and turning, Friday night supplied almost 6 hours of sleep – never in my life have I been so grateful for that short an amount of sleep. It felt like a vast ocean of sleep in comparison. And, last night I packed in eight and a half!
Not sleeping taught me a lot: where my breaking points are, how much inner strength I have, and how tolerant I am. Most of this information was surprising to me. Chalk it up to how much this experience is teaching me in general.
You know how I mentioned in previous posts here that it’s not just about the asanas? Well, turns out it’s also not just learning how to teach yoga, or learning about the other 7 limbs of yoga. I think for all of us, it’s been about learning about ourselves – digging deep into the stuff we’re made of, seeing what’s strong enough to stay, and watching the rest fade away as we move on toward the horizon.
The past couple of weeks have been highly emotionally charged. In fact, when I sat down to write last week’s post, I didn’t want to write. Everything felt too raw, and I held back a lot of what was bubbling just under the surface because I was afraid of letting it out. I was scared that if I opened it up for a few drops to come out, the entire ocean would come ripping along behind it, washing me away in the process.
One of our teachers told us that the second week was when our baggage would finally arrive. The first week is usually all fun and excitement, getting settled in and starting to navigate the waters. Then,BOOM! Everything that you thought you had left behind would catch up, bowling you over in the process.
If I come away from this program with nothing else, I have started to see how much brighter things look when you let go of the things you can’t control. Swami Satchidananda talks a lot about the best yogis being surfers – riding the waves and staying above the violent roll of the ups and downs in life, not getting so attached to trying to control every little thing.
Anyone who knows me knows that there’s a deep rooted type-A personality inside, complete with OCD tendencies and a really strong will. A lot of my work here has been about trusting in the process; learning to be comfortable with putting as many pieces in place as I can and then trusting that things will go the way they’re going to go; “doing my best and leaving the rest” (another Swami S quote).
One of the hardest things about taking these four weeks away was letting progress on Rebel Yogi be put on pause. I know that technically it’s not the case, and this training is absolutely one of the biggest foundational pieces, but it still feels like I’m letting this time slip away. It’s also the fact that I don’t know quite what things are going to look like when I get done and head back to Portland.
There’s also a lot in my personal life that’s up in the air again this coming summer, but being here has really allowed me to be okay with the uncertainty (or, let’s be honest, at least more okay with it than I would have been previously).
For the time being, it’s back to studying and prepping for this last week. I’ll see you on the flip side – I’ll be writing my final ashram post next week!
I’ll leave you with the thoughts of the week from the RY Facebook page:
By the nature of which you no longer fit into the collective paradigm (including families, workplaces, old friends or social circles you used to belong to) is the measure by which you have individuated and are fitting more truly to your authentic Self. That Self will always be vaster than your circumstances, your appearance, what you do for a living and by which you define yourself, your sense of worth or need for whatever worldly accomplishment. That Self knows no measuring, has no particular destination, it is just expanding into being and will take as much space within yourself, as you are consciously ready to make room for it. Every time you find yourself wondering why you feel like an outsider, remember that it is the sure sign that you are aligning to the right direction of your inner compass. You do not need to separate or even adhere to this misconstrued idea. All you have to do is include more of the true you into you and within you. Freedom is not about having the privilege of doing what we want, it is having less and less need to be defined and validated outside of ourselves by others. The less separate we are from our authentic self, creating union of the self with the self, the more at one we are with the world and the infinite.” -Isabelle Pierre-Emile
“The world around us is a reflection of our collective thoughts and actions. When we change, that change ripples out from us. You can make a difference. We can make a difference.”
“Love is a verb, not a noun.” -Mother Teresa
And, an Italian chihuahua doing yoga. You’re welcome.
Changemaker Q&A is taking a break until I’m back from the ashram – but that gives you time to catch up on the three that have already posted up if you haven’t read them yet: Amy Clover, Dave Ursillo, and Andrea Bailey!
Ever yours in yoga.
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