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Four lessons learned (so far) in Yoga Teacher Training - quarantine style

My Yoga Teacher Training with Lila Yoga in Guelph began this month online. I won't lie, it took me a while to come around to the new format and schedule. Part of me wanted to say "forget it". With the personal stress of Pomegranate Grove Massage & Yoga having to close toppled with the collective stress of the current events around the world, for a moment I really just wanted to shut it all down and check. It felt too painful to face the disappointment of what I had built over the last six months be forced to close to lay dormant. But in the end, I'm really happy I didn't check out. Small amounts of structured learning in my day has been a lifesaver. And even more, being able to sink in to the lessons of YTT (Yoga Teacher Training) during a time of such uncertainty is the perfect gift I didn't know I wanted, or needed. Here's why:

1) Integration of information. An obvious bonus of learning how to teach Yoga is the anatomy review! It is nice to relearn the muscles, joints, bones and movements they collectively create in the body while humbly remembering how important it is to keep brushing up on my education.

2) Being in the mud. This idea is very important to me right now and I am fully embracing the gross, brown, crappy mud. I am naturally and optimist and a positive person and because of this I have avoided a lot of proverbial mud in my life. But I am learning that sitting in the mud is clearing old energy and creating greater space for better things to emerge. I am making peace with the uncertainty and I'm surprisingly more than okay with it.

3) Finger overuse = mental exhaustion. For the last couple of years I have been tired. I chalked it up to working in a physically demanding job, raising a family and opening up a business. Yes to all of the above, BUT I learned today in our mudra lesson the connection of our finger tip reflexes to our brains. And my mind was blown. Working at the pace I have been over the last five years as a Massage Therapist has no doubt clouded and exhausted my brain. I am hopeful that the value of a slower pace that we have all be forced to accept in this pandemic extended pause from work will carry over when we/I return back to "normal". This also made me wonder if the same could be said for computer workers and their fingers typing away feverishly day in and day out. I would venture to guess that yes, yes it would.

4) Characters and masks. Not a new concept to me, I've explored this idea in other mindfulness training, meditation and therapy sessions. It's taken on a new meaning when exploring teaching yoga and the layers that come with a yoga practice. Compassion for self and for others is paramount. Also, for an "optimistic" and "positive" person, I can't exactly play the character of "everything is fine" in a time when I have a new business shut down and a very uncertain future. While the world is putting on a mask, I am taking mine off. This is shit. Sitting in the mud, mask off and riding out the storm.

Many more lessons to come. Also, I cannot wait to teach some small, sweet yoga classes at the Grove. Until then, keep on keeping on!

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