*Photo above: my mentor and teacher Anya Porter taking me into a seriously delicious backbend. Both wearing Hyde.
Many of you may know that I am approaching the final weekend of a six month 500 hour YogaWorks teacher training program, which gives rise to a varying range of full, bittersweet emotions.
I’ve learned more than I thought my brain could ever hold within these weekend workshops, mentor meetings, practice teach sessions, discussions, and classes. I’ve gained a deeper understanding of proper alignment and anatomy, yogic philosophy, why I am passionate about teaching, how to honor myself and my students as both a teacher and student myself.
Most importantly though I have settled down to the realization that we are always students. Always.
At first this freaked me out. Upon starting the 300 hour training, having already completed a 200 hour training, I almost gave myself a panic attack trying to wrap my brain around the fact that I would probably be in some form of yoga [or even dance] training for the rest of my life. Why had I chosen this path of a lifelong student when all I wanted in high school, college and grad school was to be done with school?
Despite the battle of my inner dialogue and some serious winter blues in the beginning of this program, I found myself so hungry for more after every workshop. Despite it taking over sunny summer weekends and long practice teach sessions and homework assignments; despite how much information I took in, I also eventually eased into an understanding that I would never know everything there is to know.
And yet - everything I need to know is already within me. But I’ll save that nugget for another time…
Many of you may also know that my parents are incredible artists and teachers. When I took a closer look at their career paths, I recognized that not only do they teach hundreds of students from around the world every year, but they are also students themselves. They lead and take workshops, they teach and take classes and seminars, they give and receive advice from fellow artists.
Similarly - my dance and yoga teachers all have teachers who they still and will never stop learning from and training with. It’s a never-ending cycle of sharing knowledge, and the student is just as much of a teacher as the teacher themselves.
I noticed how a teacher doesn’t necessarily mean someone who stands in front of a class and spits out information, some of which goes in one ear and out the other. A teacher can be a parent [lucky me to have two-in-one!], friend, significant other, pet, our barrista. We are all each others’ teachers, always.
There is so much to learn, and we don’t have to know everything, because then there would never be anything else to discover. We would never feel that aha! moment or lightbulb go off or butterflies shoot out of our stomachs with newfound excitement. We are students of our passion, whether that is yoga, art or mathematics. We are students of each other and of the planet. You get the idea.
As I come to the end of my teacher training this weekend, I know that this end is only the beginning of something much bigger than me. It is an opportunity to explore everything I need to know that is already within me, and all the other stuff I don’t understand. It is the invitation to compassionately and constantly challenge myself to learn and grow on a daily basis. It is the reassurance to surrender to everything I don’t know [what a relief!], and to accept it fully. It is the encouragement that I know enough.
Join me this week and beyond as I step into the unknown with that which I already know, as I move through fluctuations of fear and excitement with the recognition of trainings ahead. Keep your curiosity candle burning and your cup will never be too full - always leave room for something new.
Read the rest of this week’s newsletter for a delicious smoothie recipe, my gratitude article in the Purely Summer Magazine, good music, and more!