Monday, 3 December 2012

Going Back to (Yoga) School

Seeing the mountains for the trees

It’s been five years since I trained to be a yoga teacher. Five years of living, loving, and getting on with the rich and challenging path that my life has taken. But no yoga teaching, not yet ;) Plenty of personal practice but I never had the time to give to a class – too busy with the day job, meeting the love of my life, traveling the world and tending to the needs of a tiny cocker spaniel and her Holly Cottage garden. It’s time to change that, time to add teaching to the mix and give something back (by the way - the more I say I'm going to, the more I'll have to do it!).

As the car approached the Sivananda ashram at the foothills of the Austrian Alps, waves of delight and joy washed over as my eyes reminded my brain of those mountains that had become friend to me during the month long TTC.  Time kicked in reverse as the car pulled up to the door and the events of the last five years melted away from me like the snows that melt away from the mountains that surround the ashram each spring.  I was back at the beginning, again.

Of course the underlying reason for my return was purely academic - to refresh my teaching skills and get ready to start teaching when I got home to Ireland. But something deeper was happening, and would continue to happen during my week there. The magic of the mountains, the magic of the ashram, that healing and nourishment, that feeling of coming home – that retreat from regular living, and the promise of pure uninterrupted yogic living for at least seven days...interesting ;)

Some of the teachers from the TTC (Teacher Training Course) were still there. Their voices were the same but their encouragement was stronger – breathe into it. In that week, I became a noble Scorpion and a determined Locust – something that five years of home practice could never achieve.  

And I remembered the very first time I walked into a yoga class on a dark winter night in the west of Ireland ten years ago - those first introductions to spinal twists and backward bends and the peace that comes with steady pose and concentration.

And I remembered the firm and gentle encouragement of my very first yoga teacher.

Yoga has given me inner strength I didn’t know I had until I was tested, and really tested again. And yet I know that I am so near the beginning.  Some mornings as I head into the world, I am filled with excitement of the prospect of a new day – what it will bring and where it will end.  For at the end of everyday and every experience, we are changed and we are new. And so everyday we begin again, somewhat different yet always new.

And so I am ready to begin, again ;) Student come teacher, come student again. 

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