Yoga: The Journey to Nowhere

 Our beach at sunset

Our beach at sunset

Ironically, when I decided to enrol in a yoga teacher training course, it wasn’t due to an overwhelming urge to learn to teach yoga, or even a strong passion for my own yoga practice. It was more just something I tacked on to my Asia travel itinerary with no more deliberation than just a “it could be kinda fun” mentality. 

I’ve always been a keen bean when it comes to exercise and I’ve tried my hand at many things, from running to spinning to yoga to hardcore boot camps. My fondness and respect for yoga has developed slowly and somewhat sporatically over the years. I was first introduced to yoga as a form of exercise through Bikram yoga, a very intense style of yoga. During that stage of my life, unless exercise was sweaty and strenuous, it didn’t count, so Bikram was perfect at ticking those boxes. After I left Charlottesville, and the Bikram studio there, I left my yoga practice behind and went back to my tried and true form of exercise - running. 

Over the past year or so, I rekindled my affection for yoga and began educating myself on what else yoga has to offer, in addition to the asanas (yoga postures). As the sister science to Ayurveda, yoga has so much more to offer the practitioner than just physical activity. It was with this realisation that I decided I wanted to learn a bit more about yoga and all its mental, physical and spiritual benefits. 

Doing this teacher training course not only helped me to further my own personal practice but also taught me to respect the journey that comes with the practice of yoga. My lovely teacher, Sarah Walsh from Drishti, continued to remind us that “yoga is the journey to nowhere.” There is no “destination” at which you’ve made it and never need to do yoga again.  It’s the day-to-day discipline of coming to the mat, doing what you can on that day, and being content with yourself and your body, without judgement.

Unless you’re constantly checking in with yourself and your intention, practicing yoga asanas can quickly become a practice of the ego whereby you either feel successful and proud for nailing a tricky posture or you feel frustrated and jealous when you can’t do something (and perhaps the person next to you can!). If you can turn your focus inward and allow yourself to be happy with where you’re at on any given day, that’s a good practice. This is certainly not something I have yet mastered, but it’s a good reminder on those days when you don’t feel like practicing or are starting to get agitated with yourself on the mat. 

 

 Messing around on our day off!

Messing around on our day off!

In addition to advancing my own practice during the training, meeting lots of great new friends, gaining a greater respect for yoga and living it up on a beach in Thailand, I discovered that I do actually, in fact, enjoy the teaching aspect of yoga and would like to incorporate yoga into my nutrition and lifestyle counselling program for my one-on-one clients. I’m so excited to get to Denver where hopefully I can pick up a couple classes at a studio, or even hold some classes in the park when the weather is nice! 

Exciting times! 

Steph xx

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