I attended my first day of my Anasura yoga instructor course. It was held at a rock climbing gym as the studio isn’t ready yet. It was upstairs in what looked like a big empty classroom. It actually felt like the first day of school all over again. When I walked in, Colin the owner of Kula, and one of my teachers was blessing the room with incense. It smelled wonderful. There were a total of 28 of us. 25 women, and only 3 men. One of them looked exactly like Napoleon Dynamite! The rest of the people were a mix of different ages from 18 to 55 and different races. One thing that stood out to me was the majority of people’s names were very unique. Good thing I have a great memory.
We sat “fireplace style” (as he calls it) in front of Colin as he explained the outline of the class, today, during the weeks ahead and towards the end of the course. I was really excited to learn all about alignments, different styles of yoga, and especially the prenatal course. We then moved in to “campfire style” arranging ourselves into a BIG circle. Colin asked us to introduce ourselves, how long we’ve been practicing, why we wanted to take the course, our intention and a defining moment. The first woman to spoke (unfortunately I don’t remember her name) was very outgoing, comfortable and spoke for about 10 minutes....and probably could of kept going if we had more time. The third woman I believe started something very special. She let go, completely! As she was speaking about her life and yoga she started to cry. It was very touching. She seemed like she had a very tough life, but felt comfortable enough with us, and herself to let go and share. From then on...EVERY single person cried. We all seemed to have something in common. All of us were seeking some sort of change in our life, after some sort of trauma/misfortune whether big or small (the meaning is different to everyone) happened in our life. For some it was something that happened 10 years ago, and others it was merely days ago. No matter what or when, we were all there for the same reason...the timing was right!
I’ve never been in a room where everyone has just let go like that. No doubt we were all nervous, but felt that it was ok, we already trusted each other. As we passed along the “talking stick” which became a box of Kleenex, we learned a lot about each other. Although we did cry, we also laughed a lot too. Especially when Colin quickly mentioned that if we accidently signed up for YOGA instead of the “Self help group”...we were in the wrong class.
At one point closer to the end of the circle, one of the woman started her introduction with “I want to tell you something about me...I’m obsessed with fish! All kinds! Guppies to sharks.” Of course my head popped up and looked right at her! I also have a slight obsession with fish, mostly Great White Sharks! She talked about how she admires them and how they’re able to be calm, relaxed, graceful, and able adapt so easily to their surroundings. This is something the both of us would love to accomplish.
2 hours went by and the circle was finished. We all took a deep breath. We were all very excited to get to know one another more. Colin mentioned that we take a 10 minute break. I needed to stretch. I regret not following the email and bringing something to sit on. My yoga mat just wasn’t enough. It was very interesting to see everyone get up and race to those they felt a strong connection or something they had in common with. I of course walked over to the fish obsessed girl. We talked, laughed and found we had a lot of other things in common. I got around to talking to a few other people. It was nice...definitely not like first day of school.
After the break Colin started getting into some of the teachings. We talked about the definition of Alchemy, and how it relates to yoga; being the path of transformation. We talked about being uncomfortable in our boundaries, and how that’s a positive thing. My favourite part was when he mentioned this quote. “It’s not why me, it’s why of me?” I’m going to try to think of this everyday when put into a difficult situation, or something negative happens in my life.
From there we began our practice. It was only about an hour and 45 minutes opposed to the 2 hours I was afraid of. So far I haven’t practiced in a regular temperature room. I’ve always done hot yoga. It was harder. My muscles weren’t warm yet making it more difficult to soften my postures...this is where I thought about being uncomfortable in my boundaries, and pushed myself a little harder. My hot yoga towel that covered my mat was useless, not to mention very slippery. On a positive note, I didn’t have to ring out my clothes at the end of the night. As we were practicing I (like everyone) noticed where everyone’s level of yoga was at. Some were amazing and I thought to myself, why are they taking this course...they should already be teaching, and some were a little less flexible than me which made me feel...normal.
I’m not attending this class for anyone but myself. I also realized that I’m not only doing it to become a yoga instructor, live healthier, stronger and fit. I’m doing it to learn more about me, what I can accomplish, and then what I can offer to others. By the time I’m finished this course and I haven’t learned how to do dancers pose without falling over, but I’m a little more calm present and aware during my everyday life, I will know I have achieved greatness, and I’m on the road to success, fulfilment, and happiness.
Homework for next class: Start reading “Anatomy of the Spirit”
Write about what kind of student I use to be, what kind of student I want to be, and find one word to describe my intention for taking this class.