the point in time or space at which something starts.
the first part or earliest stage of something.
the background or origins of anything.
new or inexperienced.
introductory or elementary.
Today was the first day of a new adventure. A beginning, in so many respects. Today I began a summer training program to learn how to teach yoga. For the next five weeks, I will spend eight hours per day at a local studio with 13 other students learning everything about yoga from pranayama and ayurveda to anatomy and physiology.
I feel a lot of things about this beginning of my immersion in this program. Two feelings I’d like to acknowledge are nervousness/apprehension and gratitude, and I’ll acknowledge them in that order.
First, nervousness. Although I have attempted yoga on and off for years, I don’t think the casual way I have approached and forgotten it over time can really be considered a practice (in the sense of repetition/regularity). So, I am nervous. I am committing and throwing myself completely into an intense experience, and I’m scared that (1) it might be overwhelming/I might get burned out, (2) everyone else might be “better” than me (impostor syndrome, my old friend). Better as in: stronger, more flexible, more committed to a lifelong interest related to the physical body (dance, kinesiology, physical therapy, etc.). For many years I’ve been much more cerebral than physical. I’m working to change that but I feel like I’m starting off from 100 meters behind the line. I’m also nervous because I know myself, and sometimes I have difficulty finishing things I start. I’ll often start off on some new interest strong and with the best of intentions, then lose interest or focus after a short time. (I think many of us might recognize this as New Years Resolution syndrome.) I hope this doesn’t happen. Yet, one of the things our teachers told us today is that we will get to know ourselves even better through our experience in this program. I’m looking forward to that. So on to the second emotion: gratitude.
Gratitude. I’m grateful to have the time and resources to immerse myself in this experience full-time for the next month. I’m grateful for the emotional support of my family. I’m grateful to have a body that can support me, however imperfectly, in this journey. I’m grateful to have a curious and inquisitive mind. I’m excited to take on this new challenge and to be a student again. I’m grateful to the other students who are studying with me — I hope to learn from them, and to listen more than I talk.
Our teachers asked us our intentions for this experience, and mine were: immersion, openness, and connection. One way for me to fulfill these intentions is by writing about this journey and sharing with the multiverse. I hope to write more about each of these intentions in the weeks to come. I also plan to document daily gratitude practices, interesting things I learn, changes I notice, and thoughts on how these teachings might impact my personal and professional lives.
I’d like to offer my tentative promise that these blogs will be more interesting or funny in the days to come. I am looking forward to sharing this journey with you! For now, though, I’m exhausted and sleep beckons.