“Never get tired of doing little things for others. Sometimes those little things occupy the biggest part of their hearts” - Anon
I’ve been AWOL on the blogging front over the past four weeks.
There’s been a fair bit of ‘life stuff’ going on, and it all seemed to culminate just at the point where I was gearing up for YTT final assessments. I had all my plans for how and when I was going to practise, teach, study, extra classes I would go to… I had even drawn up a schedule. I was so proud of myself for being sooo organised and so on top of things and then… life happened.
My mother likes to say (a lot), “Man plans and God alters”.
When it comes to life we often like to think we are ‘in charge’ but really we’re not. It is up to us to take responsibility for our actions, yes, but where we are in charge is in terms of how we respond when those things we really had not anticipated happen. Especially those things that blindside us. Those things that seem so unfair. Those things that go against the natural order and don’t seem to make any sense.
I’ve noticed recently that so many of the people around me have been going through tough times. And not in a ‘having a bit of difficult time with that arsehole at work’ way but in gut-wrenchingly sad, big life-event ways.
It’s reminded me that even when we have challenging things happening in our lives, so do other people. It’s reminded me of the importance of trying to be kind. You never really know what someone else you encounter might be dealing with. There have been so many times in the past few weeks where people have extended what may, to them, have seemed the smallest of gestures, but those acts of kindness have meant so very much to me in those moments.
In the run up to final YTT assessments, my experiences and those of my friends and others around me made me reflect even more on why I want to teach. People come to yoga for so many different reasons. Whether it’s for a workout or to de-stress it all comes back to wanting to feel better in some way. I have been so anxious about final assessments and beginning to teach for real. I’ve worried about finding my voice and not looking the part, but I worked out that the ultimate reason for my anxiousness is neither of those things. It’s because I see it as such a responsibility. I know how much yoga has helped and continues to help me and I want to be able to facilitate that for other people in some way.
Well, despite things not going according to (my) plan, I did my best and…. I passed! My fellow trainees and I graduated from YTT. I feel so lucky that I got to do this course with this group of people and our wonderful tutors. It was sad saying goodbye at the end of the course, but I know this is just the beginning for all of us. It’s less than a week since we graduated and one of my fellow trainees, Stew has already taught his first class (rather brilliantly too I was privileged enough to be there in the front row!)
As I think about what to do next and begin to seek out teaching opportunities, I know that I still feel nervous about teaching, but at least I know where those nerves stem from and that it’s natural to feel this way. I’ll take this great advice from course director, Allie as I go forward:
“It takes courage to stand up in front of a group and share the knowledge you have learnt. The art of teaching comes from experience and being true to yourself. Enjoy it and teach in a way that resonates with you. It is such a wonderful thing to share with others, and over time you will realise the positive impact it has on other people’s lives. I get told by my students from time to time, how life-changing yoga has been for them, mentally or physically. These affirmations give me gentle reminders of the gift of yoga, and how lucky I am to be able to share such wisdom.”
Thanks so much to Allie, Toni, Bryony, Chris and Em. To all my teachers and fellow yogis who have encouraged me along the way. And my fellow trainees – the Class of Autumn 2011