Before I took up the YTT, I had been taking private Ashtanga yoga lessons once a week. And though I constantly sustained injuries which should normally have caused me to give-up physical pursuits, I had continued because of the rare feeling of happiness that my yoga teacher’s presence and the precious one-hour of practice offered me once a week.
My yoga teacher would end each session with a prayer of hope, that our humble devotion to each one hour of practice would have brought “love, light, peace and joy” to the universe – For some reason, this simple prayer touched something deep in me that compelled me to want to be on my mat even on the days when I did not feel physically or emotionally motivated for yoga. The prayer made me feel that what I did for myself in the hardest moments, mattered.
Weeks before I signed up for the 200hr YTT, I had experienced a traumatic event that I was certain that I could never recover from. I struggled through almost every waking and sleeping moment; moments that seemed to come and go as they pleased, bringing with them thoughts and emotions so intense in their truth that they translated into physical pain.
I had previously met female yoga teachers who had turned to yoga at the major crossroads in their lives. So when I started to question existence itself, these teachers came to mind. It seemed that they had found something to live for in the practice of yoga. And I was hopeful that the course would force me to refocus my mind, despite just wanting to hole myself up at home.
Never did I imagine that I would make it through the infinite number of Chaturangas, ever prop-up in Crow or even invert to stand on my head (for two minutes and fifty-five seconds) because of medical issues that I had let define me in the past. And yet here I sit, joints, muscles, ligaments, tendons, bones and prana all intact, typing this blog post on the second-last day of my YTT course, having done all the aforementioned acrobatics and not being worse for wear.
It has also been an unexpected blessing to have had the best bunch of people as my 200-hour YTT sojourners. They, and our teachers have not known that the daily lightness of their laughter and strong, happy vibrations had quietly played a major role in lifting my spirits each weekday.
The challenges of the asanas that we were aiming to achieve, so keenly brought forth the rawness I felt inside. Yet these struggles, accompanied by the teachings of the yogic philosophies, made me learn self-compassion, sparking a sense of self-belief to buoy me through one more day at a time.
“Lead me from ignorance to truth.
Lead me from darkness to light.
Lead me from death to immortality.”
I absolutely second that.