Today, I passed my last yoga exam, meaning that tomorrow, after the ceremony, I'll officially be a certified yoga teacher.
I'm truly grateful. Unlike my frequent rambling blog posts, I'm actually kind of struggling to find the words. Today was just...great.
Our final exam was the practical, where we actually had to teach one of our fellow students a one-hour sequence. We were paired up, with three or four pairs teaching at once. The really fantastic thing is that every. Single. One of us. Passed. There's been such a feeling of community in this class, and I'm so proud to have been a part of this group.
Teaching today felt good. There's plenty left to learn, of course, but I had a feeling of peace during my exam. I didn't feel nervous. Just a feeling of, let's do this. So we did. And it worked.
I have been thinking a lot lately about what yoga - and this class - has meant to me. Not yoga as in "poses that make you strong and flexible," but more yoga, the thing that each of us has access to in some shape or form, regardless of whether we've ever taken a class in our life: effort towards stillness. That's it. For some, it's hopping on the mat. For others, it's writing in a journal. Or taking a walk. Or sitting and staring out the window for a few quiet moments. What's your yoga?
One of our final assignments was to write a sort of personal philosophy of what yoga means to us. I ended up writing mine as a rough poem, with words that just kind of spilled out on the airplane flying back to London yesterday. It's rough, and it's raw, and perhaps overly personal, but I want to remember how I felt, and that today was a special day in my life.
I sit, and I think about yoga. About what it means to me.
And I think to myself, "yoga is change."
Where once I could not; now I can.
Where once I thought "never;" now I think, "someday, perhaps."
And I think to myself, "yoga is a song."
It is breath and musicality and dance and feeling.
It is a whisper inside my own mind, and a powerful belting out to the Universe.
Together, all at once.
And I think to myself, "yoga is a lifeline."
It is a thread I am following towards where-oh-where-oh-the-places-you'll-go-I-don't know,
Perhaps directionless and depressed no more...
And I think to myself, "yoga is possibility."
It is here, and it is now.
It is without limits.
It is everything, and it is nothing,
My own to have and to hold.
And I think to myself, "yoga is memories."
It is 19 new friends, laughing together.
It is sweating and crying and loving inside a London Buddhist temple.
It is a Mama Bear teaching her songbirds to fly.
And I think to myself, "yoga is just beginning."
For yoga is: the light that burns brightly within me.