I distinctly remember the trepidation with which I sent off my application for yoga teacher training last year. I had spent a good six months doing research, first into whether it was definitely something I wanted to do, then whether it was the right time for me to do it, and finally to find the right course and teacher. It felt like a big step but I kept nudging myself closer to the edge.
Looking back now, I think one of the reasons for my trepidation was the nagging question, ‘who are you to think you have something to teach?’ Yoga is a very personal thing and teaching it is an expression of yourself, rather than just the communication of technical knowledge. And that makes it feel quite exposing. Luckily I have developed a pretty thick skin when it comes to my voice of self-doubt, especially when it’s about big decisions that I know will lead to growth. So I reminded myself of one of my favourite quotes of all time, and took the bold step forward.
“Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.” – Goethe
It’s now almost a year later, and I have passed my final assessment, but I have gained so much more than a qualification. It seems so long ago that I was getting up on dark winter mornings to make my way to those first training weekends. Getting to know my fellow trainees as we unlearned our bad habits and built our practice back up from the foundations, bolstered by our growing anatomical knowledge and self-awareness. Making our first attempts at instructing just a single pose, with shaking voices betraying our uncertainty. And now here we all are, confidently and competently leading beautiful hour-long classes – so much can change in a year!
I can barely remember what it felt like to not know what I know now. And I don’t mean knowledge in my head, I mean a much deeper knowledge than that. Knowledge that I feel in my body. Our teacher encouraged us to experience our yoga practice much more deeply than we had done before and to use this to inspire and inform our teaching. This process of embodied learning has been an incredible journey for me, as someone who has always been more academic and cerebral rather than physically intuitive. And I hope that this journey of reconnecting with my body and intuition will enable me to help others listen to what their bodies are telling them too.
Boldness does have genius, power, and magic in it. When you take that first step, you set something in motion. The scary thing is you don’t know exactly where it will take you, so that first step is both terrifying and exhilarating. I think we all know when there’s a step like this that we need to take. We know it in our bodies. And that’s why it’s so important to learn to listen to our bodies and to trust those gut instincts that tell us to take a leap of faith (or not).
Is there something your body is telling you to be bold about? Take some time to sit quietly with yourself and see what whispers emerge.
Gaining this first qualification to teach yoga is just one step along my yoga journey, and I have a feeling there will be a few more bold steps to take over the coming months and years. I’m feeling excited and positive about the possibilities and I look forward to sharing them with you.
Thank you for being with me on this journey x