The Journey of Yoga Teacher Training

I always come up with these wonderful plans of how I’m going to blog every week and give you updates and of course, life happens and those plans fall to the wayside. As I was going through yoga teacher training, I thought about updating you on my progress and how things were going, but in the end I decided I’d rather give you an overview after the fact rather than during the heat of it!

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Of course, yoga teacher training ended right before Thanksgiving and I became extremely busy with life and work that I wasn’t able to write anything. It might have also been a lack of words, which you’ll understand in a second. So here I am, 8 days before Christmas and I’m finally getting the chance to explain what an amazing experience I had through my training process. Better late than never!

It’s really hard to find the words to describe what happens when you go through a training process like that. Because, at least for me, it was not just a journey about learning how to do yoga poses properly, it was so much more than that. I can honestly say that I finally figured out who I am as a person and what I want out of life. I want to give people the same experience I had that first day I stepped onto my mat at my studio; a sense of peace. That’s really the only way I can describe it.

As we went through training, it became apparent early on that our amazing teachers Julie and Heather also wanted us to find our purpose. They didn’t care if it didn’t end up being in a yoga studio, just to figure out what is holding us back in life, what we are afraid of. There was one Saturday evening we had to write down our “story”, whatever it was that drove us to have those negative thoughts about ourselves that our ego feeds on. Whatever we were holding onto because we were too afraid to let it go. After writing them down, we shared them with someone in training that we weren’t as close to because they wanted us to expose our stories and get rid of the crap that was weighing us down. Man was it rough, but it really was such a freeing exercise.

As I write this I realize that was the purpose of training, not to just learn how to teach yoga, proper alignment and cues. Those are all important, but the main purpose of training was to get us to let go of whatever was holding us back and make us more present in our daily lives. Our ego reminds us of our stories day in and day out because we let it, but honestly we don’t need to be stuck in our past experiences. I’ve learned that they are important and they shape us to be the people that we ultimately become, but we don’t have to let them take over our lives. We’re all human, we all make mistakes, but the most important thing is whether we learn from those mistakes or allow them to replay themselves in new forms over and over again.

I chose that quote above because I feel it sums up my yoga teacher training in a nutshell. For me, my decision to start training was a new chapter in my book, but after the two months I spent with some of the most wonderful human beings I’ve ever met, it created even more chapters in my life than I could have imagined. Just that exercise of letting go allowed me to put so many issues about myself and my past away and look at life with a new intention. Never allow yourself to become stuck on one moment in your life because so many more will present themselves and you don’t want to miss a second of them!

It really was a crazy, emotional experience, but I knew that this was the exact time in my life when I needed it and really when I would get the most out of it. Had I decided a few months or even a year earlier, I don’t think it would have been the same. I definitely wouldn’t have appreciated it as much or taken it to heart. If you are a yogi and your studio is offering teacher training, do it. It is a bit pricy, but if you are even considering it for a second, do it. I promise, you won’t regret it. I don’t and I believe it was one of the most pivotal moments in my life.

And yes, I’m already planning on when I’ll do my 300 hr vinyasa training and Baron Baptiste’s Level One power vinyasa training :).

Overcoming Doubts and Resistance

It wasn’t until a few months ago that I jumped on the podcast bandwagon. Before then I listened to a few here and there, but nothing really stuck. It wasn’t until I heard Jess Lively‘s interview with my favorite food blogger ever, Jessica Merchant of How Sweet Eats, that I realized I had finally found someone who gets me. Well two people who get me. Since then, I’ve been listening to Jess’s podcast religiously every week.

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(via: The Lively Show)

She has a really great interview technique, where even if she’s interviewing a small business owner or blogger, she doesn’t focus the interview completely around the person’s career. Instead, she poses questions that show the listener the bigger picture of the interviewee’s life. And they always have awesome stories to share!

This week was a really exceptional interview with Eric Zimmer, the creator of another podcast I have since fallen in love with: The One You Feed (and started binge-listening to yesterday afternoon). The name comes from the old tale of a grandfather speaking to his grandson and tells him that inside each and every one of us is a battle between two wolves. One wolf is evil: jealousy, resentment and anger. The other is good: love, hope and joy. The grandson thought about this and then asks “Which wolf wins?” and the grandfather responds: “The one you feed”. It’s an immensely powerful concept that we all contain good and evil inside of us, but who we become depends on which side we “feed” or give power to. We all have the power to change, but it must be a conscious change.

Eric talks a lot about the amount of comparing we do in our own lives. We either compare ourselves to others who we consider better than ourselves to make us feel worse about where we are in life or what we have. Or we compare ourselves to others who we consider to be worse off than ourselves so that we make us feel better about our own lives. And by doing so, we’re distancing ourselves from actually being able to understand and get to know the people around us. It’s such a profound concept but so true. A few months ago, I noticed how much I was judging the people around me, people I didn’t know and even those that I know personally. Most of the time the judgement was completely unconscious, a thought would just pass through my head: “what a terrible shirt she is wearing” or “wow, I wish I could do a handstand like her”. We’ve been programmed by our culture to favor our ego over the “good wolf” inside of us, so these thoughts may always be present in our lives (unless we become highly spiritual yogis), but I’ve been working towards acknowledging these thoughts and attempting to reverse them. I do so by reminding myself that while the girl who wears her sunglasses on cloudy days on the train does come off as a b***h, I do not know her story or her journey, so I should not judge her without first getting to know her.

It’s also reminded me how much we live in our own heads. I am constantly reminding myself that the conversation I’m having with myself and the way I am seeing the world, is in no way the same as the person next to me. That’s one of the reasons I’ve become so obsessed with podcasts like these because they allow me to see the world from someone else’s perspective, even just for a fleeting moment.

I don’t want to give away too much more about Eric’s interview, but I will say that he really opens your eyes to the idea that there is no reason that you can’t have the things in life that you really want. We can all have the career we’ve been dreaming of, find that person whom we’ve been searching for and live the life that we want for ourselves. If you have 45 minutes free today, listen to his interview, I promise it will be worth it and it might just change your life!

The Importance of Signs

I’ve been away from you all for so long again! It really has been completely unacceptable, but as I’m sure most of you understand, life takes over and sometimes does not let go. Another issue I’ve been facing is deciding where to take this little blog next. While I still find myself drooling over cookbooks and recipes, my interests have taken quite a shift lately, which makes me think it’s time for my blog to do a little shifting as well.

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Knock You Naked Brownies

It’s been so long, too long! I’ve missed my little blog and all the cooking and baking that comes along with it.

Since we last saw each other I have, started and switched jobs, moved back home (not to my enjoyment), contemplated going back to school and then came to my senses, became an even stronger coffee addict and managed to lose my mind. So all in all not that eventful. I’ll try to catch you up to speed in the coming months.

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Just In Case You Forgot About Memorial Day Too

I know that I haven’t posted in a while, but how is it Memorial Day already? The past few weeks have been beyond hectic: moving out of my apartment, moving back home, starting my job, working full-time, graduation. The list goes on and on. I’ve only been working for three weeks, but I know exactly what everyone is talking about when they say that before you know it, you look up and years have passed by. I looked up and saw that it was Memorial Day already and was in complete disbelief because the weather has been anything but “summery”. Here’s to hoping that wherever you live is much warmer than New Jersey.

But lets talk food. I wanted to bring you some amazing recipes to celebrate Memorial Day and grilling and hopefully sunshine and warm weather. Any of these are sure to be crowd pleasers for your party tomorrow. I will, unfortunately, be working so eat a little extra for me, will ya?

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Spinach and Artichoke Pasta

So I know I’ve been gone for awhile, but here’s the sitch. As you heard me mention multiple times last week, I have finally finished college (well except for an impending photography final project that has been completed for a week, but I never bothered to submit) and last weekend I moved most of my stuff out of my apartment. Well the most important stuff. And I started my new job! Yeah, I would not recommend making multiple major life changes in 48 hours, but hindsight is 20-20.

Spinach and Artichoke Pasta | ohsodecadent.com

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Whole Wheat Blueberry Lemon Pancakes

Spring is here, spring is here! Well not yesterday because it was rainy and therefore cold, of course, but yes overall spring is here! I can finally put away my winter jackets and I have moved on to wearing flip-flops and flats. Maybe it’s still a little early for flip-flops, but I’m one to throw them on when it’s freezing outside.

I have no response to this. I am strange.

Whole Wheat Blueberry Lemon Pancakes | ohsodecadent.com

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