I’ll be honest, I am coming to the completion of my teacher training and it has opened my eyes to so much more than what I had initially expected. After a few good years of practicing yoga, it was only recently that I realised my yoga practice goes a lot deeper than I first thought.
5 years back, a friend of mine introduced me to the so-called ‘fitness in a hot room’ claiming it would help with weight loss. I was sold instantly. Since then anything and everything about yoga caught my eye. My after-work life revolved around attending different yoga classes at different places, sometimes even up to 3 classes a day. I was burying myself in the asana practice because it made me feel good about myself. Yoga was my workout.
Studio classes that I attended were usually fixed sequences and at some point I felt like I wasn’t progressing. There was nothing to excite me anymore. And then there was a shift, yoga started to drop off my list of priorities. I had just taken a career leap and my work started to take centre stage. I was having more late nights at work and I just couldn’t commit. The consistent days of attending daily classes was gradually turning into a once-a-week practise. And on some weeks, none. I was constantly feeling too tired to make my way to class or maybe it was all just an excuse to have free time to pursue other interests.
As I moved into the later years, I became a mom and the desire to get back into yoga came back. I wanted to feel good about my physical body all over again. I got back into practice but it wasn’t feeling quite the same as before, my post-birth body wasn’t optimum. It didn’t help that my social media feed was constantly flooded with photos of extreme and perfect yoga poses to remind me of how ‘imperfect’ I was. It drove me into a stage of frustration, lack of self-confidence and my self-esteem took a plunge.
Not a person to give up that easily, I started to ask myself, was there more to yoga? Where and how do I go from here?
Hungry to go deeper into my understanding rather than wanting to teach, I decided to go for the Vinyasa flow 200hr teacher training and I haven’t look back since. My questions were answered. I began to understand my deeper relationship and with yoga beyond the superficial aspects of the asana. My eyes were open to so much more, spiritually, physically, mentally. I began to understand that yoga is not confined to the mat but rather it’s a way of life - an intimate relationship of trust, commitment, compassion, discipline and most importantly an acceptance of myself. Like a union in marriage. And very often it is these tough times that remind us to let go of the mind chatter and negativity that doesn’t serve us, that pull us away from the present.
I am not sure where this training will bring me in the future, all I know is that it has changed me into a more purposeful person and for that I am eternally grateful. I walked out of this feeling brand new. For now, I will keep to my own practise for yoga is a lifelong journey that I will learn and grow alongside with freedom from expectation.
For this i'll share a quote that resonates with me:
“Yoga does not change the way we see things, it transforms the person who sees.’’ - B.K.S. Iyengar, Light on Life.
By Amber Yong