A quick snap of my two inspiring roommates and I, pre-yoga in Picton.
I’m back! The 2 Week Intensive Power Yoga Canada Teacher Training Program was definitely one of the most challenging experiences of my life, but boy was it amazing. It’s hard to put into words what all went down there in beautiful Picton, Ontario so I’ll write a semi-brief synopsis–besides, I wouldn’t want to ruin it for anyone who’s considering taking the certification program through PYC one day. What I will say is that I’m feeling more alive, free and connected than ever before. I’ve learned this energetic 5′ almost 4” woman is a powerhouse! I felt so right for this program, so ready and willing to take on my new role as a yoga teacher. I just had to be open to searching my psyche to see what was standing in the way of me being truly powerful and present for my students. Along with many other pieces of the puzzle, I learned that I was truly fearful of who and how I would be in my fullest self-expression, without fear of judgement from others and myself.
Marianne Williamson eloquently describes how such fears can prevent people from standing in their full power, in a well-known section of her book A Return to Love: “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
After some soul-searching, tough-love advice and countless hours spent examining my personal practice both on and off my mat, I can say I am no longer standing in my own way! I didn’t know what I was capable of until I was put on the spot and asked to shine brighter than ever before. I thought I was in my fullest self-expression?! At the beginning of the training, I got called up to practice teach the other 35 trainees and immediately started shrinking– my voice got quieter, my smile turned into a frown and I stiffened up like a robot. I didn’t realize this behaviour was a result of me staying in my comfort zone as a yoga teacher, and that the safe, sweet spot prevented me from being powerful off my mat, too. I was called upon to be louder, smile more, connect with the students and be out of the box. Slowly, one step at a time, I shed the pieces of my armor that were preventing me from doing the aforementioned. I am bigger, brighter and happier than ever before and I can’t wait to share my light with people around the world!
Standing in my personal power means that I choose to be my authentic self 100% of the time, no matter where I am and who I’m with. I acknowledge my emotions and feelings, but separate them from who I am as a whole and let them go. I connect with people everywhere I go, because I believe that positive human interaction is the key to peace, progress and health. When I feel an ugly emotion rear its head, like jealousy or greed, I notice it without judgement, own up to the impact it’s having on me and all those around me, and actively work on squashing it. Standing in my power makes me a fearless yoga teacher, who’s vulnerable with and connected to my students and who’s always learning about myself and the world around me. It means trying on new experiences with an open heart and strong faith that all things will work out. A practice that’s been incredibly effective for me, in terms of finding my voice and inner power, has been to confront my fears head-on. For me, it can be as simple as flipping on my head to test out a new yoga pose, or as frightening as leaving my home country to live in an unfamiliar, wild place for a while. I wear my experiences like little tattoos all over my body, reminding me of how resilient, strong and adventurous I am. Whenever an opportunity arises that gets my heart racing or stomach grumbling, I know I have to take it on.
I’m so thrilled for this next chapter of my life, and look forward to sharing my experiences with all of you!