We at Hot House Yoga and Yax Yoga Concepts are moved always by the feedback we receive. It’s important for us to share these inspirational stories, not for us, but for you — people who may be hesitant to try hot yoga or a teacher training. We want you to have all the information possible about what we do and why we do it. My First Person Experience is a portion of our blog that is dedicated to sharing these stories. If you have a story to share about your personal journey please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hot House Yoga has been one of the best experiences of my life. Just two years ago, my wonderful boyfriend Joe brought me into the studio. I never knew that today I would be working at such a wonderful place, and participating in a yoga teacher training with them. My journey with yoga has been a tough love/hate relationship. I’ll admit it, it definitely hasn’t always been easy. It’s not because I can’t physically do the poses, or be in the hot room, but quite honestly, it’s because I didn’t want to face myself, and I didn’t want to face my past. I’m still shaking the diva-like mentality that the whole world doesn’t revolve around me, and that I am not perfect. All my own experiences lead me to want to share the passion that has been instilled in me, and truly share the gift of yoga. I have a “Desire to Inspire”.
The first weekend of teacher training I was left walking around in a haze, questioning myself and wondering who I was. The first weekend, there were 2 monumental things that happened to me. The first was that they asked us to sit quietly for 10 minutes, and not in a chair. I had never tried to sit quietly with myself before, and I’m not going to lie, I began to feel very anxious. The word ‘meditation’ has so much to it. It makes me think of peaceful people who seem to have it all together. Am I supposed to be like those people? I felt myself slipping into thought, and before I knew it the 10 minutes was up. I felt so discombobulated. The only way I know to describe it, is it’s as if it there was someone holding a giant mirror and making me sit there and watch all my thoughts, unable to see any distraction, just focusing on me and my thoughts. I couldn’t believe how much I was thinking! That was when I knew that this was so much more than just learning to become a yoga instructor, I was going to be learning about myself. I always keep saying that I am trying to “find” myself, maybe that’s why it was so difficult to write about who I was, what I want.
And then I began to think even more.
We began to clinic through the poses, one by one. What I thought to be basic became quite the opposite. One of the biggest transformations that happened to me the first weekend was that I realized I had feet.
That may sound so silly to some people, but seriously, how often do you pay attention to your feet? I didn’t, and in every single class that has followed the first weekend of training, I have become so much more aware of my feet. We ended the first weekend after reading through the first and second parts of our scripts. I felt so empowered, just reading the words that I heard all the time, brought new understanding, new passion to me. I left that weekend with so many questions, and not just where does the knee fall in this pose, or how straight is the spine supposed to be in that pose, but why do we think so much, why are we so unaware of what is around us? I couldn’t believe how much I had learned in such a short amount of time. To many, it might seem overwhelming, but to me it ignited excitement and passion. I went hom
e that night, and read the script again, began reading books, and meditated on my own. I know that every one of us in our 200 hour training left that weekend feeling empowered.
The second weekend:
We conquered a lot during the second weekend. We meditated, practiced; we even went all the way through the 5th step of the script! I even began a journal of simply “AH-HA Moments.” It includes everything, from the fact that my hips don’t need to be square in standing bow all the way to heartfelt, emotional phrases or comments being said in class. On the last day we began a conversation that was eye-opening and full of emotions.
When we started to discuss the Eight Limb Path, we started talking about Ashima (nonviolence). In my little journal, I jotted down the word Love next to this. This conversation blossomed into something powerful. I know that we all felt it in that room. We began to talk about self-love, and love for others. But we live in a world where so many people live so blissfully unaware, myself included. We are unaware that everything we do is felt by others. We are unaware that we are pursuing what we already have. We are unaware that we cannot give love or happiness to others, when you don’t have it (or realize that you have it) for yourself. That hit home.
At a very early age, I began making choices that lead me down a very bad path. I stayed on that road until I met Joe, and then I made a choice to change my life for better. Being sick for so long, and living in addiction made me a very selfish person. I wasn’t worried about anyone or anything else; I was simply worried about numbing myself from the pain I was creating.
As I was sitting there, listening to all of this, I began to be overwhelmed with emotion. I began to face all the things I had overcome, and dealt with. I realized how much growing and understanding I need to do. But most importantly, I realized that I needed to forgive myself, and love myself. I couldn’t hold on to the mistakes I have made, and those bad choices only lead me to that very moment. Sitting on a yoga mat, with food in my belly, a wonderful home with a wonderful man and my family is happy and healthy. So I asked myself, why can’t you forgive, when you are exactly where you are supposed to be.
This experience of Yax Yoga Concepts Teacher Training is so much more than I ever hoped for. It is nowhere near, just a “go learn to teach yoga” class. This is a LIFE class. I am learning more about myself and the world I live in and I’m surrounded by like-minded people who are discovering just as much about themselves, and their world. As I drove away that day, I repeated one of the best quotes from my AH-HA Journal “If you don’t know yourself, how do you know your boundaries? Our personalities?” That weekend made me realize that having a strong foundation in ourselves will give us the tools we need to give love to others. And what matters more than love in this world? Nothing.