And it's all over. 200 hours later.
Weekends one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, and now ten. Observations. Journals. My first teaching experience ever. My first headstand. Plus that one time I wept my little eyes out during meditation.
Today was about two things, in my mind: saying goodbye, and celebration of our accomplishments. This morning we went around the room and talked about what the course had meant to each of us. I don't think I can convey the emotions in the room: there were lots of tears, not just about our own journeys, but about those of our new friends.
It's kind of crazy how much we've shared with each other in only three months. 19 girls plus our Mama Bear instructor, Corrie. We've told each other super-personal secrets. We've stuck our feet into each other's faces and laid down on top of each other in quite the multitude of vaguely-kinky postures. We've talked - a lot - about poop (it was in the syllabus!)
After receiving our official YogaLondon t-shirts, we made our way outside for one final practice together: the "Marathon of Yoga" - 108 sun salutations. Why 108? Well....it's a special number, basically. Ask the Hindus or the Buddhists or a mathematician or Elizabeth Gilbert. It also took us two hours and fifty minutes, so...that happened.
Each of us had to teach five sun salutations, with Corrie making up the difference at the end. We were each given a theme. Mine was Joy. Others had Love, Courage, Sense Withdrawal, Creativity, Growth, Voice, etc. And so, these weren't "normal" sun salutations. We samba-ed. We did sun salutations in Spanish. We embodied the Lion King (as the soundtrack played, no less). We high-fived partners while in high plank. We (gloriously) massaged each other while in child's pose. We followed skipping sunflowers by turning to face different directions. We did a round of pregnancy sun salutes, cradling our phantom baby bumps. One girl came around when it was her turn and popped an M&M in each of our mouths.
I was one of the last to teach, and I think my "Joy" theme may at times have come across as "Enthusiastic Drill Sergeant." Sometimes I'm a little loud. Hopefully I managed to bring some joy to everyone around me, because they certainly did the same for me.
When it was all done, we had a fabulously decadent picnic with chips and dips and cake and pizza and - the kicker - lots of Prosecco. Yes we're all yoga teachers now, but we don't always have to be healthy.
A few of us hung around afterwards for some acro yoga playing, lying on top of each other in even more ways than before. Can you lie down on top of your friends? I can. (My yoga friends, anyway. Other friends might not appreciate it quite as much.)
Corrie said something beautiful today: "Remember that every time your mind told you over the past three months, 'I can't do this,' it was wrong."
I listened to my heart, for once, in signing up for this course. It was a true privilege.
Thank you, thank you, thank you and Namasté.