Re Kindling my inner flame though Y Respira Teacher Training
a journey inward embarked by Lillian Isabella I entered this studio for the first time, averted gaze, shoulders tensed, holding my breathe. As I walked the pebble stone path (suffocating myself) I held my guard as strong as I could. I was broken, and I was dragging the shattered remnants of myself beside me. Clinging to the hope that my search would lead me to somewhere I could collect and give myself back together. I had forgotten what it was like to feel whole. The world had only weathered my spirit for 23 years- but heavy waves erode the strongest of the stone- I had begun to crumble. The last year being harder than anything I had ever imagined. The world was becoming very real- and I was not dealing with this new found vision well. I needed to re-root myself and let myself have the will to grow again. The ability to breathe again. I wanted to be alive, awake, present. I didn’t know all of this at the time of course. I just knew that the worked was a bully and I was broken. Boohoo. Poor me. I didn’t see much passed the end of my own tear stained nose.- Not that I was looking inside either. Really, just personal limbo. Unsure all the time. A year of death, divorce, violence, drama, and self abuse had me sacred. And I played my role of “victim” to a T. Wandering lost, searching, (halfheartedly), I didn’t want to take responsibility- to take control. If I stopped victimizing myself- and failed- be able to blame the waves of the world on my woes. I just wanted for anyone to keep rocking my basket and tell me it wasn’t my fault. At the end of this path, I walked up through the warm, welcoming doorway and the most miraculous thing happened…. I remembered to breathe. Talk about rebirth. I took one class with Y Respira before I inquired with Claudia about teacher training. Even though I had been introduced to yoga at a very young age., my exposure had not yet found its way back into my everyday life. Practice here… there…talked about it…stretched a little. I had thought, wanted, talked the talk- still I had yet to really stretch it out and walk the walk. Who was I to attempt to be a yogi? I lacked confidence, self-discipline, and balance. I had no focus. No point. And topping it off was the grace Lizzie McGuire (if you don’t know the character -she’s Lucille Ball clumsy).
My first class had me leave feeling centered for the first time since, well since I could remember. I grabbed a card and found glimmer at excitement. I spent the next week comparing teacher trainings in the triangle area. Talking to my parents, friends, and contacting other studios. At the end of my research and an enlightening one on one chat with Claudia, I could just see the universe shooting beams of sunlight in the direction of y Respira. I could do this. “Yoga is for everyone” she told me. Yoga is for me too? I questioned myself, could I do this? “Yoga is for everyone” soft and confident Claudia’s voice bounced back to my skepticism. I decided to commit. I don’t think I knew at the time, but I wanted to breathe again. I was tired of starving myself of life, My lungs filled with stale cigarette smoke. Wheezing, as I complained about how, I couldn’t sleep at night. How I couldn’t breathe. As I would shallowly inhale another burning layer of tar I would scowl anyone listening- asthma. Coughing- struggling- my lungs pushing smoke through my swollen esophagus- it’s not my fault, it’s asthma. “ I can’t quit” I would say, “I just can’t handle it right now.” “I’m going thru too much.” “ I just need to relax.” On top of that my doctors had me prescribed to what looked like an entire pharmacy- Tranquilizers to help me sleep. Benzo’s to calm my anxiety. Amphetamine, – to help me focus. Just to name a few- and I NEEDED them. I wasn’t sleeping, ever. It still took me all day to get out of bed. I needed them, but they weren’t working. Oh look, wine. I can’t sleep. I don’t want to move.
I need a cigarette
Oh look wine.
Why is my life so hard.
What did I do?
Then I started training
I quickly learned I really didn’t do anything… Well hey! There’s a problem right there to be solved. When you do there’s no time to worry about what’s been done. I started to breathe again. With each class I could feel my focal point strengthening. My physical practice slowly strengthening- bleeding into the 8 limbs of yoga, my spiritual practice. I had started to grow again. The lessons were never planned ahead of time because Claudia takes the time each day to see where we are as a class. What we can absorb, what we can retain, what will be beneficial. Morning kicking my booty with the physical trainings, afternoons for spiritual and technical studies. Or field trips, or workshops. Everything in balanced abundance. The human body, the human spirit, the origins of yoga- not just the Hatha foundation but a significantly deep dive into the diverse realms that bloom out from that. Asthanga, Hot Yoga, Kundalini, laughing in so many shouts. One thing I believe mad a huge difference to me was that we were not with strength, patience, and compassion,but also with high standard set of one day being able to educate with the same admirable attributes. To be pushed just enough to proceed, and encouraged with out being coddled. Everything was steady breathe and mindfulness. Learning that yoga reaches way beyond the end of a sweat soaked mat. And the more I applied yoga to my daily en devours my life smiled back, my personal practice smiled back. I smiled back. Within weeks I had quit smoking cigarettes. Binge drinking. Reaching for a bottle of pills every time I was uncomfortable. My personal relationships became relationships instead of battles. I spent my day preparing to fight. For the first time I started to open my eyes and realize- I can do this. Yoga is for everyone! I was making progress, but still fighting myself. Fighting my breathe. After all change is hard and self realizations is painful and work is self explanatory. Dues I will gladly continue to pay for the amazing transformation my life has begun. I had problems sleeping, waking, getting up and moving. I have a teacher who cared. Cares enough to note that and to call me and remind me not to be late. To remind me to be mindful. To remind me- Yoga is for everyone. I’ve never had a teacher make me feel important. Like my success was important. To insprie me to do better because I was capable of being more than I was allowing myself to be. I have now. I was given tools and instructions. I was given the chance to utilize them. The results are undeniable. Through this teacher training program and the rediscovery of my breathe I have unearthed my passions, my purpose and my motivation to make a difference in the world around me. The opportunity O have been given- and given myself to find balance and to share those tools with those around me. Some broken, maybe not. I ‘m learning that it doesn’t matter where you are when you start as long as you start. Be present. Breathe deep. Have Faith Have Hope! Have Fun! Now nearing the end of my training my thirst for knowledge is far from quenched. In a good way- Inspired. I am starting to find my own voice and can already see it helping to shape my life. I sleep well all night. I handle obstacles instead of hiding. I have confidence, balance, focus. I set healthy boundaries for myself and those around me. I have a firm understanding of what I’m doing and why I want to teach yoga. The benefits of that yoga lifestyle are undeniable to me. Literally. It is life changing. I’m finding my connection to the earth again. I’m finding myself again and thanks to that I can help others do the same. Claudia is the only teacher I have ever met with the passion for actually teaching. She really cares about what she teaches- she lives it. And it’s important to her that you learn to live it too. Starting with first nature breathing. She teaches you to keep yourself alive. Awake and alive. She helped save myself (as only I could no longer drags beside me as I stroll happily down that pebble stone path. I no longer yearn for glue. What I thought I needed to be put back together I learned to release. Scattering my baggage back into my center. My hearth. Devouring it like a fault line and recycling it into power for my core. I don’t need to be whole, I need to grow. Wholeness is perspective. Growth is irrefutable. I’ve learned so much about me, about others, the human body, diet, teaching, YOGA! Yoga!Yoga! Healing. Now I can help heal. I can inspire growth. Thanks for the seed! I’m so excited to see the rest of this garden grow! I will always remember- Yoga is everyone.