Have I mentioned yet that I am a yoga instructor? Well if not, I am. I’ve been teaching at the studio where I got certified for over a year now. During my teacher training, I learned that yoga was so much more than just exercises and stretches. I had no idea how much more there was to learn.
I was fascinated to find out that the asana practice, what most people know as yoga, consisting of the physical poses was not even the focal point when the practice was created. The eight limbs of yoga are the elements that make up a fully rounded yoga practice and yogic lifestyle. Asana is not first, not second, but the third limb!
The Eight Limbs of Yoga:
- Yama – restraints, moral principles
- Niyama – positive duties or observances
- Asana – physical practice, postures
- Pranayama – breath practice
- Dhrana – concentration
- Dhyana – meditation
- Samadhi – bliss
This information was presented to me on the very first day of training. I had just been expecting to learn how to instruct a class and perhaps the Sanskrit names of the poses, some of which I had already memorized. However, discovering the vast amount of knowledge I was about to be introduced to excited me greatly. That year in teacher training deepened my yoga practice more than I had ever imagined was possible.I hope to share more of what I learned with you all in the future.
I never planned on making money as a yoga teacher. My only wish then and now is to pass on the gift of yoga that was given to me with the sincere wish of positively effecting the lives of others. It is truly surreal even now to call myself a yoga teacher and to see the way my pupils seem to admire me. Lately I have been struggling with it in fact.
While I strive to embody these yogic principles that I’ve learned, I feel I am far from someone worthy of admiration. More than ever I have been feeling like a fraud in that regard. Outwardly I think I appear to be an incredible, good person. But I don’t feel that way on the inside. I doubt anyone is able to see who I truly am. I’m not sure I even know myself.
But today I am reminding myself to trust. I have had such a beautiful life so far. I couldn’t possibly ask for a better one. The universe around me and within me has guided me this far. It has made me strong, taught me so much, and shown me beauty beyond imagination. It is okay for me to let go, to stop grasping for control. I can surrender my illusion of control and find faith.
Faith has always been a difficult concept for me to grasp. I lost whatever faith I had in a god a long, long time ago. However, I’ve learned that yoga is a spiritual practice as well as a physical one. I don’t need to have faith in a god, but I do need to have faith in myself.
I’ve learned the miraculous power of a positive mind, the power of perspective. I know that if I can truly believe and trust that everything will be okay, it will be. I want to give to others all that I have, trusting that the flow will bring everything back to me. I want to face each new day, each new experience with the lighthearted curiosity of a child. With no sense of urgency, no fear, no need to worry. I am striving to return to that beginner’s mind and allow myself to rest in the loving arms of the universe, trusting that there I will find everything I am looking for.