I am in training to become a yoga therapist.
Years of having a practicing with Trauma Informed Yoga, showed me the credentialing of Yoga Therapist was important to my heart. I knew I wanted to a training school that was so much physical therapy approach as much as one that had a focus on the psychological and spiritual components as well. In that journey I found Phoenix Rising’s school of yoga therapy.
I would travel to Great Barrington, MA.
This past June I would spend twenty-one days beginning a journey.
As August moves towards its second half, the first quarter of study (of which there are four within Level 3) is coming to an end.
One requirement of this time was to do a daily hour-long personal yoga practice.
Another requirement was to write reflections of the totality of one’s sadhana practice, integrating the journey of the last eight weeks.
While truly personal, I felt that there are moments of reflections upon my journey with my body as well as my life that were interesting enough to share. This movement and growth of a truer relationship with my body. Maybe “more honest” relationship with my body are the better words to use.
That is the invitation.
Journey honestly with your body, with yourself as you are and how you are TODAY. Now. I no longer want to wait to have the physical shape of self that I would desire to grow in relationship with myself. Who am I? What is this physical reality of me? How do I want to present into the world?
Those are good questions to ask.
Actually, no. They are great questions to ask.
Asking them frequently has this potency of challenge and change that I invite you into.
I hold the pages of my log that have dates, notes, times of a sadhana practice. I reflect upon those hours spent on and off the mat. I hold these words, look at the dates of June that flowed into July and have come towards August; I am changed. I am changed by showing up. Acknowledging myself as a self that has a body, holding allowance and acceptance, discernment and choice, truth and truth in action, flow and resistance.
Thinking back upon pages of books, shared ideas within online group meetings, seeing the faces of what once were strangers walking the same journey as a “together” and yet also being a “one.” It is my body. This is my practice. This is me becoming.
Four postures took up the mat these weeks. I wanted to get them “right.” I sought to memorize their names, their offerings; not necessarily in lieu of doing them but that safety of staying within my head, thinking that that way seemed to trump wrestling to get to know them upon the mat.
I was wrong.
In living with these shapes over the course of the last eight weeks, I have learned what it means to be a child of the universe. Those metaphysical realities have permeated their way beyond my mind into my heart and body.
I have reached for the edge, I have lengthened through my legs, I have lifted my heart and head.
I have become cobra, child, locust.
I have allowed them to saturate their way day after day, movement after movement into my being, they have become part of me and I part of them.
I held tightly to the discipline of an hour of asana practice. It was serving me. I liked that I could check off a requirement in such a fashion that I could feel accomplished. There were moments of amazing direct experience. Times when “ah has” entered into my being. Illuminations of, “this is what I want people to experience.” Direct contact with my body, sensation floating in and through me. I was befriending my body. I was becoming more aware. I was learning acceptance, discernment, choice, truth, truth in action, flow. No longer words or phrases, not so much the eight themes of PRYT. Now, more of a living, breathing understanding.
The knowledge I sought to acquire took upon a different form. Pulsing with life, I began to sense movement within.
Disruption. That is the best word to describe what followed next.
I began to fight for my time on the mat.
Resistance was showing up.
I would berate myself. Telling myself that I wasn’t disciplined. Harboring depths of questions in regards to my capacity to follow through. My soul would doubt.
In those moments I reached out to mentor, as well as friends from different levels and members of my cohort. I allowed emotion. I let myself feel need.
My sadhana had brought me to a place that was new.
I liked being in my body.
The sensations of being in my physical self were immense. I felt strong. I liked how it felt. In that newness much was unearthed. I was conscious of the reality of self-sabotage. I wanted to be conscious enough of it that I didn’t act as to derail.
My reality that I was encountering with my sadhana would mix with clients that would cross my threshold. Their stories, their journeys, and their experiences with their own bodies would pierce through my shields. Once erected for survival, I could bare witness to the hindrances those barriers were becoming. I wanted to stand behind them, protecting myself from moments that felt like assaults to my very existence. Yet, within those strikes was also heard sounds of opportunity. Opportunities towards freedom.
The sadhana in quarter one had brought me to points and places of decision.
I recognize that I must show up.
That this work asks of me to step alongside humanity. Alongside and with not standing off just as observer, being co-sojourner. Allowance for self to enter into the process, while not obscuring the sunshine from the client with shadows of my own story. I am to be fully present. I am to be fully witness. I am to be fully awakened to the reality, listening to their heart and their story with not just my ears but the totality of my being; eyes, heart, body engaged.
Quarter one closes on me seemingly being less disciplined to the exactness of the requirements of an hour asana practice. Quarter one closes on me becoming more (or discovering more) of the me that I am and would want to become.
Thank you, quarter one.
Thank you, Child Pose.
Thank you, Cobra.
Thank you, Half and Full Locust.
Thank you, body.
Thank you, heart.
Thank you, mind.
Thank you, spirit.