When I did my first Yoga Teacher Training in January 2009, it was NOT because I wanted to become a Yoga Teacher. No, it was merely a way for me to deepen my practice and stay with a group of people who shared the same interest, namely to transform and grow.
My best friend had passed away a month earlier of cancer. I had already booked my trip to India prior to this event, but with this great loss I felt I didn’t want to be alone in a far away country. To be together with a group of amazing people for 1 month completely transformed me and helped me a lot with the grief and kept me living a joyous life through difficult times.
Since the first Yoga class I ever went to about 4 years ago, I knew there was something very important happening with me. I wanted to live a curious life, a life in constant change and most important a life that accepts whatever happens as the ultimate truth. Not so much in the terms of right and wrong, rather as “it is what it is” without having to label it. Most of us today don’t take responsibility for our actions, but how can we live a life blaming others? We have the responsibility, someone once said: whether you think it’s good or bad, you are right! That’s exactly how life works, by fully embracing every experience for what it is, we live our lives fully.
Last year two of the most amazing people that I have ever come across moved to the little village where I live in the south of Portugal. They opened a Yoga Studio in a small sleepy fisherman village, because that’s where they want to live and raise their family. Jenny and Igor (as they are called) have a very unique approach to yoga, where we do practice asanas but as most of us come to know after years of practice, Yoga is so much more then that. To truly incorporate Yoga in to everything we do, to be mindful and fully aware in every part of our daily life is one of the most important things that they transmit in their teaching.
To say that I’m a teacher and you are a student does not apply to me. We are all students when we stay open for our perception to change, once we say I know this and that our ego strengthens. Yoga is about dying, not in the sense of the body, but for the ego to dissolve. I think this is very important to remember as a Yoga teacher, that what we assume is the “right” knowledge, will be assumed by someone else as “wrong” knowledge. By observing this, we are free to accept different ways of teaching. We don’t defend our so called knowledge, because at the end of the day it only strengthens our ego, we rather accept different truths. Everybody can teach us something, as long as we understand the knowledge as a means not as an ultimate truth.
I chose the school, Sadhana Yoga Chi, with Doug Swenson to deepen my practice and develop more. Their approach combines my style of practice with a balance between both hard and soft styles of yoga. The hard style is a more challenging vinyasa and the soft is a less challenging yin. “Sadhana Yoga Chi is a complete system in itself; however, students are encouraged to practice and respect other styles of yoga lineage in order to attain a broader perspective and education of the art, science and practice of Yoga.” This for me is very importantJ
Like I said in the beginning, I never intended to become a yoga teacher, I would like to say that teaching came to me. When I finished that first Yoga Teacher training in India nearly 3 years ago, I asked the owner of the resort where the course was held and if I could stay and help out for the last month of my stay. He gave me the opportunity to teach classes straight away and I realized that I love it. Coming back home to Portugal, my first Yoga teacher called me and said that there was a surf camp looking for a yoga teacher, I taught there for 2 years. Embracing the opportunities that life gives me, keeps me humble and sincere but most of all “able to see that you have to be the change you want to see in the world” as Mahatma Gandhi said so beautifully.
By being that change in the world, I hope to inspire others to see their full potential and to live life fully present no matter what happens!
Om shanti shanti shanti
2012 Yoga Scholarship Essay
By: Puck Aren
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