It’s tough to put into words something that was so amazingly life changing.
My YTT journal is full of unfinished sentences and a whole lot of chicken scratch…basically a million and one bullet points of thoughts and feelings that I haven’t been able to properly get down on paper (and I’m a writer!)
When I signed up for yoga teacher training, I expected to do a lot of yoga. I expected to learn a lot about the poses and how to teach them…along with some breathing and meditation techniques, anatomy, injury management, and ayurveda.
I didn’t expect to discover myself.
I thought I knew who I was, and to an extent I wasn’t wrong. I’m loyal, intelligent, witty. I am a perfectionist. I do everything I do with passion and conviction…because I don’t even start something if I’m not completely sure after hours of researching and questioning and deliberating in my insanely intense mind. I never missed a day of teacher training or a homework. I cried when I didn’t get 100 on our test, because it meant that I wasn’t perfect…that I didn’t know everything.
Then my teacher texted me that she found it funny that I didn’t do as well as I would have liked, because it was a chance to let go of the perfectionism. That’s when I got it. I understood why I couldn’t complete thoughts or formulate sentences in my journal. I wasn’t supposed to. Something bigger was sorting itself out.
Yoga teacher training was my opportunity to break down the walls that were blocking me from seeing who I really was. I am a perfectionist, but this is a characteristic to which I had been attaching myself. A characteristic that has led me to try to plan everything, know everything, have everything in order…instead of just enjoying life as it comes, knowing that it will all work out as it’s intended.
I might be a perfectionist, but it’s not who I am. What I am is human, and we are all, ultimately, the same. We are all on this earth, sharing these experiences that we cannot control, learning a lesson that will lead to another greater lesson, whether we accept it or not.
I don’t know everything because I’m not supposed to. What I do know is that I have a purpose and that I am on the path to discovering it and living it every single day.
My job and purpose as a yoga teacher isn’t to be perfect. My job as a yoga teacher is to hold space for you until you can accept things exactly as they are. Just at my teacher held space for me to accept the world as is; to accept what I know and don’t, what I can control and what I can’t. To hold space until I could see the lesson and to be ready for the next one.
One of the greatest moments during my graduation was hearing one of my teachers say, for me to repeat, “today I am a teacher.” And I felt like a teacher. And it isn’t because I know how to teach you 109 poses, lead you through breathing exercises, or can name every bone in the human body.
And while I do know all of these things and know how to teach them (I should!), it’s more than that. After my final teaching, one of my students (whom I’ve known for a very, very long time and was there to support me) came up to me and simply said I get it now, I get why you get up every morning and come to yoga. I think the greater gift, as a teacher, is what my students will discover about themselves when they come to their mat and allow me to hold enough space for them to turn inward and discover whatever it is they’re meant to discover.
So, yes. I am still a perfectionist. I will proofread this post ten times. I will make a million and one note-cards for my next training and probably ask one hundred time, “is this on the test?” But somewhere in the back of my head, I will always know that I am not defined by how well I do on the test, but by how well I live my life’s purpose.