Becoming a Yoga Teacher was such a special experience and time in my life. The choice to embark on the path to becoming a teacher was met with all kinds of emotions; I was basically offering myself up in the rawest form, so letting go of fear and insecurity was a big part of the process to make space for the gifts that yoga would teach me.
Prior to teacher training, I was an avid yoga practitioner and like most was drawn to the path through the idea that yoga offers intense physical fitness that may be gentler on the body. Over the years, I have observed yoga in many forms, but for me this practice or philosophy is continuously teaching me to connect, evolve, love and forgive; it is a way of living. One of my favorite parts of this practice is that you are always a student first and becoming a teacher only smoothes out the circle, as you begin to share the teachings through your own expression. In addition, Learning and evolving as a student and then lovingly teaching others to soften their ego, open their hearts, and let the practice melt and mold their life, is such a beautiful experience. I have gotten the opportunity to watch yoga spill into many lives and wash away so many negative emotions/experiences, clearing space for the practitioner to fill up with love, peace, and begin the process of changing the way we think and/or live. It has been such a blessing as I have learned and been inspired by so many yogis.
From the 8 limbed path, the asana (Hatha – physical poses) practice is what attracts most students. Every pose is guided with breath, creating and opening a space which allows a natural flow of energy, filling one up with the powerful vibration of love while at the same time softening the ego. Every yoga pose is constantly evolving and presenting the yogi with a different set of challenges. When we move into a pose we explore, starting with breath and alignment, but then moving into a much deeper experience. We move deeper into the pose till we find the sweet space where our mind softens in combination with the physical essence making way for the connection to spirit. This feels like the brightest, warmest light guiding us to the seat of our soul, which divinely balances the mind, body, connection. One pose that offers a unique connection to this feeling is Triangle pose.
A triangle has three equal sides that in yoga form represents the mind, body, and spirit. This pose teaches us to be strong and through strength seek balance in all aspects. For me personally, this pose has always presented many challenges which is really exciting as each challenge will present an opportunity to evolve in the pose and life. While in Triangle pose, a practitioner creates a beautiful line of energy from the hip to the crown of the head (one angle). Oftentimes, when creating this line or angle we sacrifice another angle losing internal and external balance. As a teacher, I have watched so many struggle and/or suffer within this pose. Going too deep to the floor with your hand closes off your hip, your foundation, if not planted strongly, will offset the support you need to work the upper portion of the pose, and a hundred little subtleties in between….this metaphorically represents life so adequately which is why it is one of my favorite poses. Why do we choose to struggle or suffer at all? There are so many ways to make this pose more accessible to each yogi, but the point here is that mirroring triangle pose, in life we often choose to struggle or make things more challenging following the guide of the ego.
After observing many triangle poses, I believe that on the outside we want the pose (our life) to look picture perfect as this is our (societies) idea of measure. We are challenged by the belief that if it doesn’t fit into “perfect” then it might not be right or we are doing it wrong. Naturally, if we do not allow time to learn in the pose and surrender to the pose we will never understand the true essence of the pose in its entirety. Forcing oneself too deep into the pose before we are ready will create imbalance and throw off the “tri” angle weakening the basis of the pose.
What triangle pose taught me:
I have spent every class in at least one triangle pose and I have spent many classes struggling with how I think the pose should look. After years, I realized that surrendering to the pose and to the practice my body would naturally soften to a place where I would find a spiritual openness. A place where vital life force would lift me up to an awareness going far beyond the pose. This place I feel the breath connecting to my heart and moving throughout my entire body; the earth beneath my feet feels like it is the only support I need in the world because we are all one. When it actually comes to the idea of the “tri” angle or mind/body/spirit, I have realized the greatest gift of all: The spirit is love, the spirit is God, God is the spirit, and God is love. The spirit is the only angle that we need to believe is perfect in its divinity. When we KNOW this all the angles in our life will be in perfect harmony. We will begin to listen and be guided by this internal spirit instead of our environment. We will embrace the loving nature of life and soften all the boundaries that we have created and have been created for us. We will forgive always without reason, we will love stronger as it comes from an internal fire, and we will embrace the true idea of peace that runs through each soul. We will recognize oneness for its true definition and apply this to everyday living, identifying the ego as the plan that keeps us believing we are separate.
May we all embrace this gift, peeling back the layers of our veil and connect to our divine spirit!
Many blessings in light,