Graduation Day!

Sun, Oct 21

Well, it is official! I am a certified yoga teacher! 200 hours and lots, and lots of support from my family, awesome teachers and an amazing teacher training class and it is here!

Today was a really nice final day together. We met at Hudson Springs Park for a hike around the lake. What a beautiful afternoon! It was fun just to spend some time outside of the yoga room with my class. Next we met by the stage area of First and Main and had a final session together. We shared what types of personal breakthroughs we had during the process. I got a lump in the throat right before it was my turn to talk so I just shared that I learned that yoga teachers come in all shapes, sizes and ages. I did learn that, but so much more. I was just overwhelmed by emotion and could not share right then. As I listened to my classmates share I shed some tears right along with them. Such wonderful, giving people – all of them. As I listened I also had my own little aha moment and yet another personal breakthrough. Ever since we learned that Zach has juvenile rheumatoid arthritis not even two weeks ago, I’ve been wondering if maybe this is the reason that I have been led to yoga and eventually the teacher training program. Perhaps there was some way I could help Zach with exercise along the way through yoga!! Sounds good, right?! That is all well and good, but as I was sitting there on this beautiful sunshiny October day I realized that maybe this yoga stuff was actually all to help me be able to handle this diagnosis! I mean it is sort of weird how the timing all worked – I teach my class with the theme “Be Where Your Feet Are” on a Sunday night, using my son as an example, and the very next Wednesday I’m in a doctor’s office hearing that I have to give my son a drug that is given to kids who have cancer? Talk about needing to breathe! Yes, I am putting my yoga into practice and truly living every day at a time, not knowing how the drugs will affect him and what the future will hold. Thinking about all of this makes me even more grateful for my mat, the Yoga Lounge, my wonderful teachers and my new teacher-friends.

Next Kari gave us each little note cards (just like the ones we used so much learning the sequence) with a pose on them that reminded her of us. Mine is wheel and her note said that she is reminded that she can accomplish anything with support around us (referring to me going into wheel from flip the dog). So cool and definitely a keeper! Then I gave everyone the cards I made from my plethora of Creative Memory materials. I used stickers on the front that reminded me of them and on the inside I included the poem I wrote about “My Practice” and wrote a personal note. I just felt I wanted to give some of myself to each and every one.

Here is my poem:
My Practice
It is early and still dark. Chilly air hits my face and I remember the cold is temporary.
Armed with my magic carpet of rubber I quicken my pace to that sacred space.
A sweet smile and sleepy dogs greet me as I hear that familiar “beep”.
My passport to bliss has been cleared. Shedding my keys and ego at the door
Warm air and quiet envelope me as I enter. Just walking in relaxes me.
Quickly I arrange myself in a familiar space, a creature of habit, eyes closed.
My intention is to pay attention.
Body outstretched, beginning to notice my breathing
Amazed again at how most of the time it happens unnoticed.
More enter and prepare
All on a different journey, but yet still all the same.
Soon the breath deepens and grows louder, awakening my body.
The beautiful dance begins.
As the flow continues, sweat comes to cool the body.
Eyes closed, turning inward
Conscious of the room just enough to hear the cues.
The space pulses with a symphony of breath
A community of support all around me.
The movements flow, connecting mind, body and spirit. So amazing.
There is nothing else like it.
Hesitation comes with balancing; my nemesis on the mat and in life.
How will I react today?
Notice and observe. Feel without judging. Breathe.
Finding space is what matters. Space to stretch; Space to grow; Space to be.
Winding down now. Lights low. Practicing not reacting to discomfort.
“You are right where you are supposed to be”.
Breath slowing. Lengthening and twisting.
Body outstretched once again.
Soaking up the stillness. Falling into the earth.
Cells alive. Mind calm. Heart grateful.
And I realize, I am home. This is me.

Amy, Charry and Michelle all shared with us too – it was a really special moment. Finally we headed over to Solaire and had a wonderful, relaxing dinner. We were all presented with our certificates and a copy of Meditations from the Mat with some very nice comments from Amy :-). We then presented the teachers with keepsake books containing our profiles and comments about what we learned in teacher training. Sandee did such a great job of collecting stuff from all of us and getting the books printed. I hope to order my own copy – they turned out really nice! I think all the teachers were really touched. This was what I included as my “comment” (yeah, it is a little long, but I never said I was good at being brief!!)

What teacher training has meant to me?

It is hard to find the words to answer this question…which is saying a lot for me! What has teacher training meant to me? Well, I have never had so much fun in my bare feet that is for sure!! Ha! Seriously, I think the best way for me to share what teacher training has meant to me, without writing a novel that is, is probably in a top ten list format. I mean, why not?!

10. Amazing teachers – I thoroughly enjoyed all three of our teachers. Michelle, Charry and Amy all brought different strengths and varied perspectives that really reflected from their different backgrounds.
9. Awesome class – The group of teacher trainees was great! I loved how different we all were too with a vast array of experiences and ages.
8. Increased my confidence – I had some hesitation starting the training at first, thinking only young, thin, blonds in their twenties could be yoga teachers. But I have learned that even a mom in her 40’s can do this!
7. Asanas – I have enjoyed learning the nuts and bolts of the sequence, the poses, and the modifications to use when teaching.
6. Yamas & Niyamas – I loved learning about the foundation and philosophy that is behind the yoga poses. I also loved the oming and the chanting!!
5. Assisting – I had no idea how much I would enjoy learning how to assist. I absolutely loved the assisting workshop. I was also really surprised how much I liked learning about the massage techniques at Walden. The “me” before teacher training would not have guessed that I would enjoy touching people so much! I just like making people feel good – I think that is what it is!
4. Be authentic – One of the first things we talked about in training was bringing ourselves to our classes; that we needed to be genuine to connect with people. I was so relieved after that because I find it hard in life to be anything else, but me – the good, bad and the ugly!
3. Be present – I have learned how precious it is to experience life right now and enjoy each and every moment.
2. Yoga is a family affair! It has meant so much to me to not only have the support of my family during my training, but to be able to share what I’m learning with them as well. My yoga “off the mat” has spread to my husband (although he was always probably more yogi than me!) and son. Plus my hubby was a good mock student for all my practicing!
1. How much I still have and want to learn! I understand what everyone meant when they said, “200 hours just scrapes the surface”. While I feel like I have learned so much during these ten weeks I also feel there is so much more I want and need to learn. But that is how I look at life anyways – one big classroom!! Bring it on!!

So yeah, that pretty much sums it up. It is an ending of a journey, but yet just the beginning. What is next? Not exactly sure, but chances are I’ll let you know about it!!

One thought on “Graduation Day!”

  1. CONGRATULATIONS TO YOU LISA…Can’t tell you how proud I am of you, not only for completing the class, but adding in your family and intertwining it with your every day life. Lots of luck with new Yoga adventures.

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