I grew up in suburbia. I grew up in the ordinary, stereotypical suburban family. I was like all my other classmates in school. I was the Billy. I was the Jane, the plain-Jane as a matter of fact. I was cast from a mold of consumer-industry society. That was me.
Now, I am. I am eccentric, playful, exciting, peaceful, jubilant, queer, courageous, curious, creative, independent, intuitive, blessed. I am a scientist, a friend, a jokester, a lover, a university-graduate, a son, a brother, a yogi, but above all, a student of life. I am Christian Eaton. I love learning, sunsets, music, bicycling, languages, skiing, spontaneity, traveling, friendships, backpacking, stargazing, photography, deserts, gardening, hiking, yoga, and the color green (among plenty of other things). I love life.
Yoga helped me get here. My yoga practice helps me balance and align both my body and mind. I wove yoga into my life and it enthralls me to continue to integrate with it. It now plays a larger role now than it ever did.
Everybody has a storybook. Here, I tell one of my chapters. All within the same week at the start of August, my father suddenly died, I graduated from university, and I moved away from my college town losing a room of my own to call home. I had been dealt three huge blows to my familiar life, changing it forever. My life suddenly seemed so foreign to me. I lost parts of my map in new territory, and didn’t know where to go. In seemingly an instant, my life turned belly up.
At a time in my life of low stability, my yoga practice easily slipped away. A few weeks later I seriously asked myself, “How am I going to begin to change it?” I turned to yoga to nourish my life with consistent helpings of stability. With daily practice, I am bringing all the great positive benefits of yoga back into my life…and it feels great. By setting aside time to breathe and connect with my emotions and thoughts, yoga is one of the few ways that I have been able to connect with my father since his death. I am ecstatic to further develop my connection with yoga and bring it to a deeper level. I can do this by attending a yoga instructor training.
I chose to apply to – and hope to attend – Tribe Yoga’s teacher training in North Thailand. I know that I want to attend a teacher training in Asia, simply for a different experience, so I am able to choose between only a handful of schools. Ultimately, I decided to apply for the Tribe Yoga training because of its structure, past testimonials, communal feel, and the instructors in the program.
I wouldn’t be able to point my finger at any one yoga teacher as a favorite, but I can attempt to illustrate that special something in certain yoga teachers that I admire. Have you been in a class where you immediately connect to the teacher? Was it that smile they gave to you when you first walked in, or just their glow? Do you remember a time when a yoga teacher connected with you and inspired you to get into that difficult yoga posture…the same asana that you have tried many times over but this was your first time actually getting it?
It happened for me with wheel, crow, and plow. I remember the very first time my toes actually touched the ground in plow; the first time my feet became airborne in crow; the first time my back arched over my mat and I was looking upside down in full wheel; and the feelings are indescribable. The characteristics of connection and inspiration to deepen and reach higher levels are my favorite qualities in a yoga teacher. Deepening into and achieving a full posture for the first time inspires me to continue this practice. This inspiration pervades and suggests depth to every other posture. It has been all of these teachers, all of my previous yogi guides, those motivational beings who inspire me to deepen my practice and share yoga with those around me.
I travel the world. I attend music & art festivals. I lead small groups into the backcountry on backpacking trips. I want to bring yoga to all these unconventional places where I am. In the next few years, I will be serving abroad in the Peace Corps while concurrently earning a graduate degree. I wish to bring a skill with me that I can share with all the villagers when I am there. I have thought of no better skill to bring than the ability to skillfully share yoga with others. I want to be that breath of inspiration, the same inspiration that was handed to me by my teachers.
I will bring my yoga teacher training to my Peace Corps assignment, and to those I serve. I will bring it with me to those music & arts festivals. I will bring it with me on my vagabonding experiences. I will bring it into the backcountry with me. All the while, I will share it with everybody around me, inspiring them in ways that may never have been exposed to them. Even though many have never heard of it, or at least had the opportunity to explore it, everybody can benefit from the positive effects of yoga practice. I want to be a part of breaking the barriers. I want as many people as possible to be exposed to the practice.
Aren’t we blessed to be afforded an opportunity to experience the beauty of life?! Rather than an exclusive privilege, yoga is a universal method that helps beauty emerge through us. Let’s keep breaking the privilege barriers and bring yoga to the world, blessing all walks with the opportunity to explore life through yoga. It is so incredibly beautiful. Please help me attend a yoga teacher training – it would be one of the greatest gifts, and make me profoundly grateful and honored!
2012 Yoga Scholarship Essay
By: Christian Eaton
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