Her reason for doing this is that she wanted something for herself. “I needed to find a way to feel safe and at home within myself. “. Everyone has their own reasons for pursuing a yoga teacher training program. My initial reason was I enjoyed the physical challenge and health benefits of various yoga asanas. I wanted to learn more about yoga and be able to share it with more people.
Halfway through the YTTC, I uncovered the real reason – I needed my own safe place away from the “corporate” me and also from the sporty side of myself. I want to still my mind and “be here now”. I used to work as a buy-side research analyst covering more than 2,000 stocks (companies). I would track hundreds, if not, thousands of financial market indicators. Where was the gold price moving to? Why? What would all the major central bankers do? How would all these “yet to happen” events impact my stocks and our equity fund. All these extrapolation led to endless rounds of speculation, mental debate and hypotheses testing. As the financial markets became more volatile in the Great Financial Crisis which started in 2007/8, the extrapolation and scenario-testing exploded. To clear my mind, I threw myself into more endurance sports ranging from cycling, swimming and running again. Countering mental stress with intense physical activities appeared effective for a while until I became totally mentally and physically exhausted. It took three months of sleeping before I realised that I was finally “alive” again.
I thought that I was much better (calmer) now. When my teacher commented that I needed to calm my mind further when I was instructing a class, I was surprised. She felt that I had too many thoughts in my mind, even though I was giving verbal instructions for getting into poses and making physical adjustments.
I am still struggling to find my inner calmness of freedom from thought in shavasana. However, I did unexpectedly experience it while doing headstands. The feeling of being physically engaged and yet mentally absent was extremely calming. This freedom from thought was indeed liberating.
May all beings, everywhere, be happy and free.
Cecilia Sim, 200hr YTTC, March-April 2014