At the beginning of teacher training, I set a very clear intention for myself: seek meaning. Through asana, through late-night reading, through philosophical discussions with my teachers and classmates, through it all. And today, as we completed our final day together and exchanged so many emotionally-charged words of gratitude and humility, I realized something about my intention and the way I pursued it for the past four weeks.
I kept looking for meaning through external sources. I thought it would be in my books, in watching my classmates form beautiful postures with their bodies, in the people I connected with every day. And in a way, it was. But they were also all the avenues through which I was better able to connect with myself. My meaning was inside me the entire time.
I found the inspiration I was looking for in the truths I uncovered about myself — some harsh realities and some beautiful truths. I found obstacles I was creating for myself, and I found some new ways to try and navigate around other ones that aren’t necessarily in my control. I learned how truly emotional I am and realized that I never really learned how to share it verbally, which might be why I take to writing so often (and why this blog series even exists). I reconnected with how much hope and love and compassion I have for other human beings in my life no matter how much city living might drain it out of me sometimes. And I remembered how much I value giving to others and watching them give to others as well.
I don’t remember the last time I felt this connected with myself. I don’t know if there actually is another time that trumps the present. No other challenge or accomplishment in my life has left both my head and heart feeling so full and light simultaneously. No other goal has provided me with such a connected community in a matter of weeks. No other path has returned me to myself.
They say that yoga teacher training will change you in ways you expect and in ways you don’t. I can now safely say that is 100 percent true. And the surprising transformations are by far the ones you needed most and will never forget once they happen.
I owe an additional and huge thank you to my two teachers who guided me through this incredible journey, and another to all 19 of my amazing classmates who shared the eye-opening process with me. I’ll carry all of you with me for the rest of my days in yoga and in life.