Friday, January 22, 2016

Yoga Teacher Training - First Night

January 20th -

Last night I went to my very first class of yoga teacher training through Desert Song.  It wasn't necessarily a class, but a sort of welcoming and opening ceremony.  It was magical and I still can't really put into words what happened or what I was feeling, there were just too many feelings.

Before class we were asked to bring artifacts to place on an altar, to dedicate our journey.  I had printed out pictures at school to bring, but then forgot them, so spent a half hour at home trying to print.  (Why is it that your printer never works when you need it to?!)  Ian ended up running to Staples for me because I was about to give up, I was frustrated.  I felt rushed, sad about leaving my family so late at night, sad about missing bedtime with Lemon and just feeling like I had no time, and knowing that I'd probably feel this way for the next 6 months.  I even planned to go to a yoga class before the training started, but didn't end up making it and I think I was mad about that too, even though I enjoyed being home with Lemon.  So much to do to get out of the house, even if it's just you leaving!  Mom life.

It was just all too much.  I think I was nervous, excited, but also overwhelmed - this is HUGE time commitment and I have a little one at home (which equals no time).  A little one that needs me because so there will be another little one, and in these last few months I have just with Lemon I will be gone doing this training.  I feel guilty.  This is my dream, yes, but the timing is crazy - once I had made the decision to do this I found out I was pregnant.  It just seems like so much at once - do I really have it in me?  Can I really do this?

I spent the last half of last year preparing for my PE certification test and feel like I am about to embark on the same thing again, but tougher.  I do have extra time, I do, but I also have a lot going on outside of my actual job as well - and my family.  I know it seems like I am complaining but I just had to put my worries somewhere, so here they are.  Time, ugh time!  Why do I feel like I never have any?

I don't give up on things.  I won't give up even at the cost of myself and everyone around me.  When I was 17 I lived in a 3 bedroom apartment with 8 people and was the only one in college - I made it through and graduated at 21.  I couldn't figure out nursing with Lemon, she was probably starving for the first month of her life, but I stuck with it and did it for over 3 years!  I just don't quit.  I will finish this, but I may be dragging (super pregnant!) and tired at the end.  But, I will finish damn it.

So, I was a ball of emotion last night and instead of being excited I was just kind of grumpy, maybe even teary, as I walked out of the house at 6:30pm.  I just didn't want to leave my baby.

Then, I got there.  We waited in a room for about 20 minutes and then they came to get us, walked us around the building, and two by two we were "smudged" with sage by two of the instructors.  We then walked into a room where candles and mats were set in a circle, and our names were on folders prepared for us.  I found my spot and sat down, then couldn't stop coughing.  I've had this weird cough for about a week (and it has made it a bit hard to breathe), and with the sage and maybe my nerves, I just couldn't stop.  I felt like I was bothering everyone but couldn't help it, and after awhile (and some water), the tickle finally went away.  It was so weird but it was a culmination of everything - rushing to get there, waiting and then being there - my body must have manifested a cough to deal with it.

The teachers welcomed us, blessed us with sweet grass, we anointed each other with oil made by my yoga teacher, Meg, then it was time for us to share about ourselves and our artifacts that we brought.  I knew I was going to cry, I am 5 months pregnant and this has been a dream of mine for 10 years - it was inevitable.

Sure enough, I did.  They said "welcome Allison" but I just kept talking and forgot that they were going to say that after I introduced myself.  Then, I started crying.  I had so much to say, so much to tell but it was so hard to get it out.  The dim lights, the candles, the smells, the experience - it was just too much.  Overwhelming doesn't even describe what I felt - I need a new word.  Magical?  Cloudy?  Spiritual?  I have no idea - it was just a culmination of my night at home, my drive there, the blessings and listening to everyone's own story - it was just too much.  Too much!  (Can I say that enough?!)

I shared how I started doing yoga with my friend Ginni, who had the idea to start a club at school for the kids.  Then, how my step-mother, Leslee, sent me to Desert Song with her friend Peri because she told me it helped her (as she was slowly dying of cancer).  How when I went there, almost 10 years ago, this became a dream of mine, to be a teacher, to be like the amazing women sitting here teaching us.  We were supposed to offer something to the group, and I told them that I never imagined that I would be here, 37 and 5 months pregnant, so I offer flexibility because life sometimes doesn't go as planned, and compassion for others because when I get really big or am not there, I am going to need it.  I also told them that I have been a high school teacher for 16 years and that I offer my gift of teaching, if I can help in any way I can by sharing my talent/gift of teaching with them.  Then, I told them about Lemon and Ian, and how they are home and I am here, and that I have all of these crazy ideas and they always support me.  I placed my pictures on the altar and then sat back down.  At that moment, I was worn out.

We discussed some business and then it was over, and I walked to my car just like I've done a million times before, just like I had come out of a yoga class.  I couldn't sleep, I was worried and excited and just can't believe that tonight begins my 6 month long journey into being the kind of yoga teacher I've always wanted to be, and learning from the ladies that I admire so much.

It's ok to do something for yourself and be totally selfish.  It's ok to be a mother to a young child, and also to be a pregnant mother, and do something just for you.  It's alright to leave your family, even if you don't want to, to chase your dreams.  It's ok to do something challenging and tough, even at 37 and pregnant, when I could be taking it really easy.  It's ok to leave Lemon a couple of times a week, even if she has a brother coming and these will be our last months just the three of us.  I keep telling myself all of these things, but also feel as though I will be missing so much, and guilty that I am leaving when maybe Lemon needs me most.  I don't know, but I will keep my goal in mind and continue on my path and do what I've gotta do, FOR my family.  It's just like going back to work after having your babe, it's hard at first, you dread it, but you find your rhythm.  I hope to find my rhythm in this too.

I am obviously not speechless but feel as though all the words I've written just don't truly express how I am feeling.  I can't find the right words at the moment, but hopefully I will as my journey continues.

I loved the community feeling that was present tonight, the sharing of our stories and getting to soak everyone's in and make it a part of our story as well.  All of these things we hear, just like what the kids tell me at school, become a part of me and I carry them with me as well, on my journey, just like you carry them on yours.  I am a part of all of the people in my class now, and they are a part of me.

My intention for my training to be a yoga teacher is to do something just for me.  This is a dream I've had for a long time, and I am so lucky to have the opportunity to follow it.  I need to stop feeling guilty, sad or grumpy and remember why I am doing this, for myself.  For all the mamas out there who lose a bit of themselves when they have a baby, for my family, for my well-being, for my sanity.  I can do this (I can do anything!) and I can't wait to see where this journey takes me.  Thanks for being along for the ride!

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