I feel like it's time for a bit of a recap. Ya know- a bit of introspection. My yoga journey has been on a bit of a metamorphosis, like a weird reverse beautiful butterfly to lumpy squishy caterpillar.
I will be entering my 7th year of yoga in January. I still feel like a complete yoga noob.
I began my practice journey because my friend said it was cool. Seriously. So we found the most attractive dude teacher in Montréal (YMCA on Rue Peel) and attended power flow. I had no idea what I was doing, practiced with almost no mindfulness. I was a stiff, impressionable shadow to my friend S's beautiful gumby shine.
Strangely my practice went through a pretty rough period about two years in. Upon my arrival in Vernon BC, I discovered I wasn't a fan of any of the yoga instructors and spent a significant portion of our stay rediscovering what yoga really meant to *me*. Which meant it no longer meant the same thing it used to when I was a 'Friend Shadow'. I had my own yoga.
Which I can see now didn't go over well with 'Friend S.' Yoga became a competition between us, without my consent. It was bewildering to hear things like critiques of my yoga pendant necklace, how Ashtanga was the best yoga, how often or how hard she practiced... I remember feeling that something wasn't right, I no longer felt confident with my ability in my practice. I was no longer a 'good' yogini.
Follow that up with the announcement that she was taking a Yoga Teacher Training course. Before me. I got to hear all about her intense weekends, what they were learning, how awesome it was. I tried really hard to be supportive. She stayed in our apartment for the majority of the course (weekends). Until it became so bad (combo of yoga jealousy, weird competition and family issues- she had broken up with my brother in a terrible way) that I had to ask her to find another place to stay. We haven't really talked since. I think she's happy.
It's been almost two years since that moment... and I'm sad to admit that her yoga practice and my own yoga jealousy has followed my own practice around like a strange infection. A yoga infection. I considered taking Yoga Teacher Training myself. It would be wonderful to learn more and actually be able to share yoga with others. I've decided not to. That has become her path, her journey- not mine.
Even though it seems like you aren't *really* into yoga unless you've been to a YTT- every serious student has taken the training after all, in some manner.
But. I'm really not looking for a new career. I'm not looking to experience extreme emotional intensity and bonding with other random yogi classmates. I've decided that it's really ok to be a yogini and not an instructor. My experience and my insights can still be valuable even though I haven't taken a 200 hour YTT certification.
It's time I truly find the yoga that is *me* and not her. A 'I don't think about yoga every second of the day', un-Bhagavad Gita Goddessian spirituality with a serious bent on the environment- type of yoga. Something that is true to myself and my own personal practice while still allowing room to grow.
What about you? What has un-teacher training taught you about your yoga?