An Unexpected Lesson

Hello. My name is Cheryl and I am a control freak.

Well, at least I used to be. I love making lists; my life was under my complete control. Every vacation I take is perfectly planned with my amazingly detailed spreadsheets with several tabs detailing plans for every hour of every day. Nothing was left to chance. And I loved this control. I planned every weekend with the same military precision. Even rest time was scheduled in.

Then I decided to take up the 200hr Yoga Teachers Training Course. It was all going very well until I had to write lesson plans and then teach them. The writing lesson plans portion I love. Like I said, I enjoyed making lists and a lesson plan is kind of like a list. I wrote, rewrote, rewrote, rewrote until it was perfect. I even went to the extent of drawing little yoga stick figures! (I can’t draw to save my life, so that is a HUGE effort.) I practiced my lesson plans at home until I perfected it, while attempting to memorise them.

lesson plan

The real challenge came when I had to teach it to 20 of my YTT classmates. Now, I can plan all I want, but I have the memory of an ant. Halfway through it, I struggled to remember the next asana in my lesson plan. 20 eager faces stared at me, waiting for my instructions and I just FROZE. I can’t remember the next asana, my mind just went completely blank. I looked pleadingly at Master Paalu to step in to help. He did not. He returned an equally blank look. For that, I am grateful. For that moment taught me so many things I otherwise would not have learnt had Paalu taken over.

I learned a lot in this 200hr YTT course. I truly enjoyed discovering what yoga really is and the anatomy that applies to yoga. Most importantly, in this course, I learned to let go. I learned to take things in stride and go with the flow. I learned to think on my toes. I learned to have a few asanas in my back pocket for when my mind goes blank. I learned that life is more than just creating perfect lists. I learned that life (and yoga classes) does not always happen the way I plan them to. And it’s okay. Life still goes on. And your classmates forgive you for messing up their yoga practice.

Cheryl Li (200hr Yoga TTC 07/14 weekend)

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