I never intended to be a Yoga Teacher but my practice has been so significant to my own growth and health that it became impossible for me not to share it. I first found my voice to let the connected consciousness that is Yoga flow through me, when coaching elite teenage cyclists. These girls empowered me in every aspect of my life to be my best and keep trying. When I first assembled the Pretty Fast Girls, I had let go of my dream to continue my career as a Pro MTB racer... as a mom. I was dealing with some pretty intense hormonial imbalances that were quite dehibiliting off the bike. The intensity of racing pushed me beyond a healthy threshold. By riding with these girls, I was inspired to race CAT 1 again. To do that meant taking care of my body, mind, and spirit in a way that set a good example. So I started on the mat.
As all Yogi's know, it all starts in the intention you set in your yoga practice. So instead of continuing to try to practice with a toddler, I surrendered to joining a class to get my practice back on track. I was incredibly fortunate to have MC Yogi's Friday night vinyassa class as the only one I could make it too. His playful fluid way of inspiring the balance of compassion and ambition empowered me to lead the Pretty Fast Girls in a daily practice each day of our 3 week camp. This experience was life changing on many levels.
As I believe life is a quest for knowledge, I decided to take a teacher certification training. There were lots of options some of which were short and basic, but I wanted to back up my 16 years of practice with a strong foundation so I took James Miller's 200 hour course. Sanskrit, anatomy and alignment were my priorities to master but what I walked away with was much deeper. I learned that the biggest impact a yoga teacher could have came first by dedication to my own practice. I learned that the real beauty of yoga is that it is for everyone and it is not about contortionist accomplishments.
One of my favorite lessons came in the very first week when I met Tom. Tom was an older gentleman that had found yoga late in life and was there to share it with the elderly crowd in a humble connected way that really inspired me to let go of stereotypes. He did not look like a yogi but his passion to share it was courageous and he stuck with it and now is certified and sharing, most likely helping his students move through life with more ease.
That first week Tom and I were paired up in our training's Partner Yoga Workshop. After a day of learning we were assigned a task of creating a posture together based on the concepts we had learned. It was obvious right away that Tom was quite intimidated by this and my level of expereince so I quickly asked him, "what is your favorite posture?"
He answered promptly, "downward Dog... but I can do something more challenging."
I responded, "how about you go into Down Dog and I will..."
Before I could explain my idea, with a big grandfather laugh he said, "If I'm in Down Dog I am solid as a brick, you can do whatever you want and won't hurt me!" He could tell I was worried about his age making him fragile. We both had the character to make great Yoga teachers. We made each other feel at ease in the challenge and the result was a balanced composition worthy of a photo share. I am truly grateful for meeting Tom. Enlightenment comes in the most unexpected ways. I hope this little story inspires you to look under rocks for this little gems.