Lotus in Koi Pond

Certified Yoga Teacher In the House

Lotus in Koi PondYes, I completed my yoga teacher training with Gopi Kinnicutt this past weekend. What a journey these last six months have been!  It is difficult to articulate the changes I have experienced, except to say I am so much more awareness of my patterns now.

I know my edge now.  Instead of going to it, looking over, thinking, “Holy S**t! That’s scary.” and backing away, I linger to notice the landscape.  I still feel the pain and the fear but past that I see the wonder and possibilities.

I have made friends with poses that I have struggled with since I was a teenager.  Through understanding the breath and function of poses, I found a deeper place past the physical practice of asana.  I see that it’s not about the poses.  Yes, the poses serve a purpose.  They serve to link us with something greater within ourselves and to each other.

Gopi insists that we students understand that humility, tolerance, respect and compassion are the qualities we are responsible for cultivating as yogis and yoga teachers. We are but channels passing along what we have received from our teachers.  In this day of copyrights and marketing, it is a challenge to remember that.  Though, at some point, I may have to package the knowledge I wish to share and give it a name, I am just here to it along.

To experience some of what I have learned, come play:

Flow Yoga Level 1
Sport & Health Tenley
4000 Wisconsin Ave NW
Members: Free
Non-members: $20 all-day guest pass


The Lotus of Yoga

To say this past weekend’s yoga teacher training changed my life is an exaggeration and yet it’s true.  Just as moving a table in the living room can change the whole decor, I experienced small changes in my body, emotions and thought that are rippling through my whole self.

The way I approach my yoga mat is new.  The way I dance is new.  The way I walk is new.  The way I practice Combattitude is new.

Even deeper than that, I feel different in the world.  I feel grounded and strong; at peace and brave; alert and relaxed; and connected and independent.

So what magic occurred that brought on such change?

Diving deep and surrendering into my yoga practice from the foundation of my yoga and dance practices.

Just like a deep massage is painful, our practice went deep into painful area of my body but relieved the tension and stagnation that had been chronic.  Our first practice opened and released the ribs, diaphragm and chest.  These areas are associated with the 3rd chakra (will) and 4th chakra (heart).

Through my dance work, I know how to use images to affect the body.  Gopi suggested to the class that we imagine a lotus blossoming behind the heart as we were in an intense backbend.  She assisted me in getting deeper into the backbend.  As I placed the lotus image behind my heart and she moved me deeper,  I felt an electric charge right in that spot behind my heart that dispersed through the rest of my body like a firework blossoming.  It’s a feeling I have felt before in acupuncture so I knew that an energetic channel had been opened.

Our second practice dove into opening the hips in all directions to prepare for lotus.  Resistance was strong in me during that practice.  I had trouble finding the breath.  The sensations in my hips were powerful.  As we held pigeon, a pose I usually enjoy, my mind taunted me with reasons I felt pain and why I should get out of the pose.  After a while, my whole body started to quake.  Tears came.  I did not give into Resistance’s badgering.

As it turns out, everyone had a similar experience.  Later, you could see that it had moved something in each of us.  Some felt impatient and a bit angry.  Others felt exhausted.  I felt incredibly calm and unperturbed.  I realized that I became a little more tolerate of discomfort and uncertainty that day.

I still feel this after two days.  Creativity has been flowing.  I suddenly feel ready to get back to performing.  That is pleasant surprise.

To be less than half way through this yoga teacher training and experience this kind of change excites the imagination of what’s to come.

Have you had a similar experience with yoga?  Or anything?  Please share in the comments below.

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