The Yoga Diaries Pt.3 : Lessons that changed me
It’s a little over two months since graduating from my 300 YTT training in Bali. A good chunk of time to let the dust settle, the fog to clear and to take a good, objective look at how the weeks have unfolded since.
Zuna Yoga was unique in the way that it brought this relatable, digestable aspect to all the information learnt. The trainers stayed mindful of our energy levels, tailoring our practices to the intentions we set out for the day. As I finally look back on what a transformational month it was, here are a few thoughts on how I’ve grown as a person and teacher.
All photography by Ellie Bobbie Photography
The only thing wrong with ego is when it’s in charge.
I have a book filled to the brim with notes. Some make sense, others, not so much. But what I realised as I read one liners that say “Where the mind goes energy flows” and “We manage our emotions by not identifying with them” is that I had somehow embodied all of these one liners. Yes they may sound like bumper stickers at times, or maybe even fridge magnet affirmations but you know what? They work. They innately started to make sense, and pop into my head every so often as though to remind me what I really, truly go out of this experience : A better mind set.
Faith. Compassion. Grit. Perseverance. Self-remembrance.
When you’re tied to a room with 31 souls, every day for 28 days, you realise the only way to get through it is to have faith and trust in the process. So you soften your edges. While I use to be a rebel against conformity and following the herd, this wasn’t so much about exerting my individuality but rather taking a step back from everything and understanding that the bigger picture was at the end of a road uniquely and masterfully paved by those who came before me. The ego was put on the shelf to be picked up for later.
Long after the training, I like to think it’s still waiting on the sidelines.
My everyday after the training has been different in small but significant ways.
The feeling of being overwhelmed is no longer an option. Things that would seemingly upset or annoy me no longer have that capacity. At least, most of the time. I’ve been finding small ways to hold on to the habits I cultivated in meditation. The clarity of mind and decision making I get from it is something I don’t think I’ll ever be able to live without. Even after just 15-20 mins in my day, the space and quiet I get is like hitting the reset button on my brain, as if a new chapter opened itself with blank pages for me to write my story on.
Where the mind goes energy flows.
I love yoga. I love the connection it has brought me. I love the calm and space it has carved in my life, because I’ve seen first hand how our realest, best selves appears when we are at our most relaxed. Having seen the world around me shift after those intense 300 hours, the ability and benefits of being able to relax has never seemed as obvious as it did after the training. Our world is filled with stress and we don’t even know it.
One big reason : Breath.
All the important leaders of our world will tell you that. The great successful souls of our time, the Oprahs, Steve Jobs and Deepak Chopras of the world. Even the financial geniuses on Wall Street talk about the importance of knowing how to breathe. Listen to any podcast, Ted Talk, Key Note Speech, at one point or another, it always comes up in conversation
Because deeper breaths = more relaxed mind = better decision making.
It really is as simple as that. Stress can actually prevent you from making coherent, logical, informative decisions. Deep relaxation allows to see the world clearly. Yoga goes beyond the physical postures once you start to see how it helps you manage and manipulate energy within the body. Most of our muscular tension comes from the mind, thanks in no part to the stress we inflict upon ourselves.
How you relate to the world is the image you portray
Do I appreciate the level of discipline it took to get through this course? Absolutely.
I seek transparency in my thoughts and actions. I understand the balance between knowing what makes me happy and knowing what needs to be done regardless of that happiness. Upon reflection, I am most definitely a stronger teacher because of it. A stronger human and woman.
Speaking of stronger women, I was definitely in good company. Physically, mentally, each soul in that room taught me something about myself and my own inner strength. I related to them, saw myself in them, and ultimately understood the collective we portray.
Women are remarkably resilient. They say there is great potential for success in the ability to get back up every time you get pushed down. I like to think these ladies (— and men! We had two legends among us) were each successful in their own right and made me feel the same way.
Life is in the moments between action
A lot of us seek yoga because we believe it holds the answer. A formula or recipe to somehow make sense of who we are. In a way, to fix us and the things we believe we’re lacking in. We say it’s to become our highest selves, to attain a certain clarity or connection to a greater power.
But after a while, any practicing yogi will tell you that while it can dig that deep, there is in fact, nothing to be fixed. There is beauty in letting yourself just be. Without any extra layers, allowing for some time in your day to strip yourself of obligations or necessities. To simplify everything.
We’re continuously learning, ever-evolving. It’s what we make of the imperfections, how we make the most of our abilities, how we transcend kindness and impact one another that ultimately defines the type of life we want to lead, and how we are remembered along the way.