Learning through Yoga

I am coming to the end of my three year yoga teaching diploma and as the end of my course looms my thoughts regularly reflect on how far I have come, what has changed in that time and what I have learnt. Prior to my diploma I did a years foundation course so it feels like I’ve been studying for about 5 years, in reality I have only been properly learning for about 14 months. Prior to that there were so many distractions in life, a stressful job, a wedding, pregnancy and then a baby. In this last year, as I have begun teaching and building my yoga business, yoga has become a bigger part of my life. I have begun to learn from my students and see how my knowledge can be used. But more than anything else, I have become more accepting of all the possibilities yoga has to offer.

The flip side to this is that I am already fearing the end of my course. I will miss our monthly meet ups, the warmth and support from such a beautiful bunch of people. I will miss the knowledge and guidance of our wonderful tutor. I will miss looking forward to a guaranteed day of inspiration, space and focus once a month. And I will miss the necessity to read and learn as I know I won’t have the motivation to do as much without impending deadlines. All in all, I am already fearful of the void in my life.

That said, I am also looking forward to having more free weekends, being able to find my own way with my yoga and shaping my teaching more over time. I am looking forward to (shorter) courses that are more specific and learning from new teachers.

What is interesting is that as the end point comes closer I feel the need to soak up as much of the course as I can before it is over. For the first time since I started I have handed in some coursework on time and actually read the books I needed to. I think this is partly because I can instantly feel the impact. I write an essay and the following week I can use some of the quotes in my class or offer an aspect of that philosophy to my students. As I read and write I find more and more moments of clarity and understanding. I have been overusing the word ‘epiphany’ of late, I have a bit a joke with one of my students about it. Every time we figure out a small change on one of her postures that has a big impact we start throwing the word epiphany around.  My class were tickled when I recently had a downward dog epiphany about alignment of the knees after practising with bare legs. Anyway, it may not be the right word to use due to its religious connections but yoga has offered me a lot of these moments lately. Sometimes in postures and sequences, sometimes in teaching approach, sometime in my approach to life.

I guess the point that I’m trying to make is that yoga has allowed me to see that there are so many possibilities and opportunities to learn in life. Writing this blog has clarified this for me and been a learning process of its own. Being a mum has been a massive and amazing learning process and maybe that is why I have drawn so much from yoga in the last 18 months, because it has happened alongside me learning how to be a mum.

I was inspired to write this post because (as one of the benefits of being a bit unwell last week) I have picked up The Bhagavad Gita to read, a classic Indian and yoga text that I have to read for my course. But never before have a picked up a yoga book, opened it at the first page and decided to read it cover to cover. I am on chapter 2 and I can already feel myself changing as I read it. This book is going to have an impact on me and I can feel it and am ready for it. So I hope you are looking forward to the post I write when I get to the end!

Emma

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