I never consciously knew teaching yoga would be the fit for me until I began practicing at Hot House in 2007. Now that I’m teaching, it seems I never did anything else. Within a few weeks of my practice, I was in love. Everything about the practice, the sweat, the precision in movement, the balance of effort and surrender, the wisdom teachings, the quotes, etc, felt like the perfect fit. I knew right away that I wanted to do what my instructors were doing, to share a part of myself in an effort to heal others.
What really drew me in, however, was the awareness that yoga would become the tool with which I would create myself. Each class sent me home with a new piece of wisdom, a gem of inspiration I would hold onto closely. I realized early on in my life that the conditioning I’d received from my upbringing would not lead to the life I envisioned for myself. My experiences left me angry, impatient, and self-destructive. I became frustrated with my own resistance patterns, rigidness, ego and excessiveness in both thought and action, constantly judging myself. Yet there was also the constant and persistent stirring of something deep within yearning to be expressed, an abiding compassion and love for myself and all things. I felt as if there was some part of me that was connected to every other being but I had no vehicle to realize that higher, more peaceful me. I felt conflicted and stagnant; I knew I was holding myself back but could not seem to figure out how to let go.
Yoga became the vehicle for my growth and evolution. It has been though yoga that I have been able to discover, uncover and express my highest self. When I chose to embark on my path to teaching in 2010 (after several years of serious interest), I carried a sense of confidence that I was doing exactly as I should. Deepening the physical practice during my training was just the proverbial tip of the iceberg; the real training is the work we do on ourselves. By studying the eight-limb path and the yoga sutras, we find that how we are being is truly more important that what we are doing. As we meditate and practice asana, we are creating a kind of space. We begin to find our lives imbued with a sense of grace, we notice ourselves holding onto less, reacting less and choosing new ways of being. Essentially, yoga has taught me and continues to teach me to get out of my own way.
Completing teacher training has gifted me with a life lived on purpose, a life that I navigate more deliberately and skillfully that I ever thought I would. Teaching has been the medium through which the very best version of me shines. The beauty is that, just as what we learn on the mat transfers to our lives, what we teach others we give back to ourselves. I am truly honored and humbled to teach for the Yax family and to share my love and light with each and every student whose life I am able to touch. It is my passion and joy to give to others what has been given to me.
“And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” Marianne Williamson
Mindy Garrenton, RYT 200
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