I’ve been an artist since I can remember. I always doodled in class; I was in the National Art Honor Society in high school and eventually went to college and got my Bachelor of Fine Art, with a concentration in printmaking. Through this time I had ups and downs with my artwork, but I always loved doing it. There was a period of about a year where every work I produced was, well, just terrible. Yet even through this time I had a passion for my terribleness.
It wasn’t until I graduated from college and began working in various 9- 5 jobs that I completely lost my passion. It started slowly at first; I wouldn’t draw for weeks on end. Any artist will tell you that, keeping your wrist limber and the muscle memory of brush strokes is crucial. But I knew with a good weekend of drawing I could get back to it. Which I would do from time to time, but then would stop, almost immediately.
Then I didn’t have a year of awfulness; I had years of nothing. No ideas, no inspiration. I tried to force out anything I could, just to get something down on paper, but it always ended balled up in the trash and me far more frustrated than when I started.
It was about this time my sister asked me to take a boot camp with her at a Baptiste Style Power Vinyasa studio in her area, Anjali. I had started doing some yoga videos at home, so feeling like I at least had the basics I agreed. On the night of the first class a lovely bright-eyed, dark haired woman greeted me and cheerfully introduced herself as the teacher, Wanda. She spoke with me for a few minutes to find out my yoga history, and class began. This wasn’t the yoga I was familiar with. For my body it seemed much, much harder. Through my muscle chatter and the sweat cascading down my face, I heard Wanda’s confident voice pushing the whole class to dig deeper. The thing that really caught my attention is that she did it without an air of authority, but with the needed prod you get from a friends’ tough love. “If you can, you must!”
After the boot camp I started coming to Anjali twice a week. I wasn’t particularly good, but I wasn’t awful. It was also at this time I started drawing again. I got involved with charity murals through my workplace and began to move away from printmaking and started to create collages. Like starting up with yoga, it wasn’t what I was used to, but it felt right.
As with anything you’re willing to commit to, I got progressively better at yoga and in my art. I had a couple of breakthroughs in my practice and finished a few beautiful collages. I was hooked on the high. Now every time I practiced I pushed for another breakthrough and every time I sat down to work on my next collage I strived for a masterpiece, getting frustrated at the process and only wanting the end result. During my practice Wanda saw me pushing too hard. She would quote Baron Baptiste during class “Try Easy”. When that wouldn’t work she would come over to me and have to say “stop pushing so hard, I know you just had a breakthrough, but you have to be in this place for a while now in order to get to the next place.”
I was certain she was wrong, and I was going to prove it! Wanda saw my fool-hearted determination and though she kept queuing me to “Try Easy” she took a step back and watched as I pushed so hard I pulled a tendon in my wrist. I imagine it to be like a mother watching her daughter date the wrong man. She knows no amount of telling will get through to her. She just has to let her daughter have her heart broken and be there for her when she comes sobbing home. And like a good Mom, she, and all the teachers at Anjali gathered me up gave me modifications for my practice and never once said “I told you so”.
Now that I was forced to “try easy” in my practice, it became fun to just be where I am and enjoy the newfound freedom in my poses. This newfound ease ended up in my day-to-day life as well. I let go of the pressure on myself to create new artwork quickly and stopped comparing each new one to the last. As we are in different places every time we come to our mats, each work is an expression of how I am feeling at that time. When you come up with something beautiful, that’s awesome, but the process is how you grow.
It’s this message that I want to be able to share with others. To help people learn how to ”try easy”, how to breath an flow through a 90 minute Power Vinyasa practice, so they can then breath and flow through their lives. I have chosen to apply to be a part of the Amazing Yoga Level 1 Teacher Training. It’s the Power Vinyasa program that I already know and love and a training program that will help me share it.
But first I need to ask my community for help to win this scholarship. Please take the time to like, vote, tweet and comment on my essay so I can teach others ease and enjoyment on and off their mats.
2012 Yoga Scholarship Essay
By: Sarah Esposito
If you liked this article and want them to win a free yoga teacher training, then make sure to vote for her by leaving a comment (scroll all the way to the bottom), and sharing this article on Facebook or Twitter. Each comment, Facebook, and Twitter share counts as one vote and you can do all three!
Are you interested in becoming a yoga teacher? Then visit our Yoga School Directory to find the right teacher training. Or, visit our Yoga Retreats page to explore beautiful yoga vacations from around the world.