I don’t have fancy yoga pants (I lie, I have one pair that I overstretched and now look weird), my feet are always dry and cracked (and usually brown on the bottom from May-September when I am almost always barefoot or in flip-flops, even at the barn), my nail polish is usually always chipping off. Sometimes my clothes smell like horse barn and I am covered in dog hair 100% of the time along with my yoga mat (and pretty much everything else I own). I seriously stammer and second guess my pronunciation of Sanskrit names of yoga poses. Sha-vasana, SAvasana…screw it, final relaxation pose of class. FYI-saying final pose, final relaxation pose or corpse pose to describe savasana doesn’t go over real well in a chair yoga class. Jus’ sayin’.
Sometimes I am so stiff and tight my forward fold looks like a bent back half lift. My body snaps, cracks and pops moving in and out of some poses. Sometimes I say hand when I mean foot and sometimes I even make up names of body parts, “palm of the foot”. ANNNDDDD sometimes when doing a guided relaxation I have to count on my fingers the numbers of toes people have, 4th toe, 5th toe? Isn’t that the baby toe? Should I call it pinkie toe? Or is that only for fingers? Oh wait, how long have I been thinking about this. Ugh. Okay, Left big toe…
Basically what I am trying to say is that I am a million miles from perfect and I am totally fine with that. My hOMies that come to my classes know I am a little different (or maybe a lot different), that I welcome all levels of physical abilities and shapes and sizes, I don’t judge (please see first sentence of this paragraph) and that I am definitely a work in progress. I am always learning and for better or worst I am constantly sharing what I’ve learned with them.
I have been to classes (several) where I didn’t feel like I belonged, even remotely. I’ve been ignored and been given the side eye. I know I have zumba clothes on during a yoga class and sometimes I will misunderstand and rock some other random pose b/c I’m totally confused. Ha! Anyway, I don’t want ANYONE to feel uncomfortable in my classes or any yoga class for that matter. Yoga is as amazing as you are and you definitely owe it to yourself to attend a class or follow some yoga instructor on YouTube. Caution! Heads up! Yoga is NOT all pretzel poses for the hyper-bendy. Sometimes it can be, but it is sooooo much more. So much more for another post.
I have been practicing yoga on and off for almost 20 years and I would by no means call it consistent. At best it would average out to me attending one class a month (maybe) and I had no home practice to speak of. In the last 3 years I thought that a yoga teacher training may be what I need, not to teach but, to further my practice and actually make it a practice. I did a little research about the YTT at the yoga studio I was attending and I found that I would need a minimum of $2500 to attend. I also looked around at other places and found that was a pretty average rate. So I started saving. I saved the $2500 and was waiting for the next training to come around. During this waiting period I got a text message from my now husband, while I was teaching a zumba class, to say that his truck was on fire but it was okay b/c the fire department was on it’s way. Thankfully my husband ended up being okay but the truck was a total loss. I had to buy us another truck and guess how much it was….$2500 exactly! So again, I wait and start saving again.
This brings us to fall 2016, I didn’t have the money to get into that years YTT so I knew I would have to wait. In the mean time I was asked to teach yoga classes at the local senior center. (This whole experience is a whole other story I will talk at another time) I started teaching and studying or practicing almost everyday. I continued to save and by the end of summer 2017 I had almost $2500. I had contacted the studio I had been going to to see if I could get into their YTT and I never got a return message. I wasn’t actually surprised b/c I rarely got much acknowledgement when I went there and I knew they weren’t “my people”. I then started attending another studio that was about 20 minutes closer to home. I hoped she was “my people”. She was offering a YTT and this one was less than $2500 and a much more forgiving schedule. I attended the YTT info meeting there and was excited about the prospect of starting the training there in Dec. I was interested in another amazing studio but the schedule wasn’t exactly what I was looking for and it was $3000. I knew I wouldn’t be able to scrape the money together by then so I decided to not even go to the info meeting there. I won’t even go into how much I was freaking out about which studio I should take the training with or how many times I changed my mind or the pages of pros and cons lists I had scribbled out.
~Side note: In August of 2017 I meet some great people at a POUND Fit training and found another soul sister there we’ll call “L”. L and Cheryl (my BFF) and I really hit it off and we all became friends on Facebook after the training. I don’t remember exactly when or how but L had mentioned that she was taking a YTT in October (I was thinking it was in December too, I’m not sure why.) She said the class was for people in recovery. I didn’t think too much of it even though I have been in recovery for 13.5 years. Sometimes I forget that is part of my history.
This brings us to the first week in October. I drove the 40 minutes to the yoga studio I thought I would eventually take my YTT. I was early (I’m always early) so I was locked out and just sat on the steps. The owner/instructor came and unlocked the door a few minutes later. I said hi and commented about my earliness and how I worried the school buses were going to make me late but I was still early. She said she unlocks 15 minutes before class and then she walked into the other room and started playing a musical instrument. It was so weird. Do I sit there and watch or do I get up and leave or what? She continued to play until a guy walked in for class and she immediately stopped and started talking to him. Okay, again still weird. Eventually I brought up the YTT and she said “Yeah, I don’t think it’s going to happen”. She elaborated but it basically boiled down to there wasn’t enough people interested. I was pretty devastated between knowing I would have to wait another year and the way I felt like I had been treated.
The next morning (Friday) I sent L a message and asked her when her YTT was going to start and she got back to me saying it was going to start that very evening. I messaged the woman putting it on and while I waited for a response I looked at their schedule and other info regarding the training. It was meeting every other Fri, Sat and Sun for the next 6 months and they were only accepting 8 people. Did I also mention it was starting in just a few hours? I didn’t think there was any way I would get into the class. L had messaged the instructor too. The instructor got back to me and she was so nice! Answered all my questions and gave me all the info. She accepted me into the program and told me that the class was paid for by sponsors and I didn’t owe anything. Oh my goodness did I ever cry my eyes out. The every other weekend worked with my schedule perfectly (at least until January) and the money aspect that I had been freaking out about had been resolved too. Another amazing thing was the fact that I am number 9 in the group! I am sure I owe it all to L. Thank goodness I met her in August. Also thank goodness the other instructor ignored me the day before b/c I would have kept my eggs in her basket and would have missed this opportunity.
My first night at the Story Yoga YTT was amazing. I was surrounded by “my people”, not because they were all in recovery too but because they were real, kind and welcoming. Every day I am thankful for this chance. Tonight is the start of my 2nd weekend of the YTT. I am so looking forward to being with my people all weekend and learning along side them.
It has been a relatively long road getting into the training and I am beyond grateful for how it all played out. It goes to show that all the stressing and worrying is pretty much pointless.