Friday, September 25, 2015

A Waterproof Mascara Kind of Day

At times it seemed to crawl, but for the most part yoga teacher training flew by. I looked forward to graduation day for the last three weeks, but also half-dreaded it as I didn't want this amazing experience to end. I'm really proud of myself for taking a huge risk, stepping outside my comfort zone, and doing something totally different. Here's what I just posted to Instagram and it really sums up the experience for me.
I've doubted myself so many times. I've felt like a fake with genuine people who are so much more yogi-like than me. I'm not the most flexible and quieting my mind to meditate seems impossible sometimes. There have been a few days when my favourite words were "savasana" and "namaste" because it meant we were done. But I never gave up and I stretched myself not just physically but emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. I took risks and sometimes I failed, but I always learned something. I made myself vulnerable with people I didn't know three weeks ago. I discovered that when teaching is a huge part of who you are, you can teach anything. And although some days felt like two steps back for every step forward, I grew everyday. I strived to transform myself until I became so immersed in the experience that I quit thinking about it all the time and just did it. Proud, happy, and excited for this lifelong journey I've begun. Grateful for the amazing new people in my life and the ones who have supported me all along. I am a yoga teacher!

So what happened today?
It began as many days do around here, with a trot down the hill to Daily Coffee with L and A. L was teaching her 90 minute class this morning, so we thought an infusion of strong Greek coffee was a great idea. Although we've been very committed to our detox (I've gone three weeks without a glass of red wine, SHOCKING), the caffeine rule lasted until Michelle and Marita admitted that they drink coffee (which I think was the first week).
L did a fantastic job of teaching her class, and it was an emotional one for a few of us as lots of feelings came to the surface. She shared this during savasana and I thought it was perfect for our last day.

Just For Now
Just for now, without
asking how, let yourself
sink into stillness. Just
for now, lay down the
weight you so patiently
bear upon your shoulders.
Feel the earth receive
you, and the infinite
expanse of the sky grow even
wider as your awareness
reaches up to meet it.

Just for now, allow a wave
of breath to enliven your
experience. Breathe out
whatever blocks you from
the truth. Just for now, be
boundless, free, awakened
energy tingling in your
hands and feet. Drink in
the possibility of being
who and what you really are -
so fully alive that when you
open your eyes the world
looks different, newly born
and vibrant, just for now.

-- Danna Faulds

A brief theory lesson, another visit to Daily Coffee, gnocchi for lunch (my not so subtle hints paid off), and it was time to write our final exam. I hadn't written a final exam in years and I was a bit nervous. Michelle began with a guided meditation to relax and focus us, then handed out the papers. Everyone passed (like there was any doubt!) and we headed down to the studio for D's class. Teaching yoga is challenging enough without doing it in your second language and he threw in some Sanskrit too!

And then the moment we had all been waiting for... graduation! It was absolutely beautiful. Michelle set up a "Walk of Angels" that ran the length of the studio. She stood at one end, and all of us lined either side of the walkway. One by one, we closed our eyes and slowly made our way to Michelle. Everyone guided us on the path and whispered a special message as we walked by. Beautiful music played in the background, and it was very emotional as everyone received their diplomas and white roses. More tears!
Next were lots of pictures, followed by a beautiful meal on the rooftop terrace.

Funniest moment of the day? I left my diploma laying on the kitchen table. My French roommate, who has been my roommate for THREE weeks, looked at it and pointed to my name.
D: Devon Caldwell. Is that your name?
Me: (thinking he meant my last name) Yes, it's a Scottish last name.
D: No....DEVON. That is your name?
Me: Yeah. That's my name. (Ouch)

I think I have a lot more to say about yoga teacher training, but right now I'm exhausted and everything is still processing in my little brain. Off to Athens tomorrow with the Aussie crew (joined by a kiwi now) and J for shopping and celebrations! 

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