Today was the final day of our second module of yoga teacher training—I can't believe I made it through without completely killing my knees! That's awesome. Although I know practicing this week set me back in the progress I had made in healing my knees, at least they aren't worse.
God, what can I say about teacher training that would adequately capture the spirit of the class and the people in it? It's a profound experience to face your fears and actually feel progress in overcoming them. It feels incredible when you're able to nail two or three asanas you weren't previously able to achieve. It's awesome when you're able to remember more Sanskrit names, when you can chant in Sanskrit even when you can't hold a tune, when you can OM in a room full of people and not be afraid to hear only the sound of your voice.
And the people. The people! We come in as strangers and leave as friends. Real friends. There is safety, a bond, a camaraderie that lifts your heart and makes you feel like there's nothing you can't achieve. It's the most nurturing environment I've ever been in, and it's all because of one special, illuminated soul: Dolly. I tell you, when you have yoga, when you have the kind of atmosphere and spirit Dolly creates, you open up and find yourself more real, more raw than you have in years. I'm always so surprised when I find myself in tears in class (though I should be used to it by now)—but something about the energy in the room just sort of forces all these emotions in me to the surface and I physically cannot hold them back. Before we left today, Dolly gave each of us a huge hug and kiss on the cheek, and I just wept because, I told her, I knew I was going to have to go back to my life, and I didn't want to. After being in such a safe environment for six days, where you can do virtually no wrong, it's scary to think about going back home, dealing with reality, with bills and broken relationships and baggage.
As I come out of this cocoon, at least I know that I have done my best, that I am a little less afraid of teaching, that I have put myself out there and survived, and am stronger for it. And that I always have my yoga. When things get tough, I know I can get on my mat and flow and reconnect to the real me. And in the end, that is all I have that I can truly call my own.