I’ve got a lot of catching up to do. It’s a little daunting to jump back in the game, but I think the best place to start is to answer the question, “where the heck have I been?!” My hiatus from this blog began right after the boys started their (then) new Montessori, last August. Soon after, I took a massive leap to become a yoga teacher. It was not an easy decision. I had for a very long time yearned to do it, but it felt like an impossible dream. How could I possibly leave work, the boys, Jordan, my home, my existence, etc. for an entire month to go do this?!
I started toying with the idea about a year ago. Jordan was crazy supportive from the get-go. I dipped my big toe in the water by heading to Houston for a 3-day workshop series with Ana Forrest last May, the creatrix of the style of yoga I’m passionate about. It literally blew me out of the water! I knew after that weekend I needed to do it, but my sense of obligation to everything else still stood like a 10 foot brick wall in front of me.
One by one, the layers of bricks came down. I was terrified to talk to my boss about this idea, but when the conversation finally happened, it was a non-issue. Complete support. My mom gleefully agreed to stay with Jordan and the boys for the whole month I would be away. Jordan never wavered in his enthusiasm and support of my dream. My heart ached at the thought of being away from my boys, but that would be temporary.
The only thing that was standing in my way now was myself, and I realized that it had been me all along. But isn’t that always the case? We use other things as scapegoats to not confront our fears. For me, the fears were deep and plentiful – putting myself first, opening myself up and seeing what (if anything) was inside, following my passion, and GASP!, believing I could be a great teacher. Terrified and exhilarated, I chose yes. Because if I didn’t, I’m not sure what would have happened.
I spent the whole month of October in Houston. Up at 5am to make the 6am meditation of chanting, singing, dancing, and Ana’s inspiring words. After that, two hours of intense, sweat-your-brains-out-yoga. We got a short break to refuel and shower, and then it was back in the studio at 11am for teacher training. This lasted until 5 or 6pm. Back to the hotel for dinner, homework, epsom salt baths and sleep.
It’s hard to describe what this training and what Forrest Yoga means to me. The physical yoga was fantastic, but it was almost a vehicle for something so much greater. I got to know myself again. I uncovered emotions and memories that had been buried in my body – in my muscles and bones and cell tissue. It was CRAZY and unexpected to witness what came up. I found intense joy in my heart and felt my spirit loud and clear. I saw all the ways I mutilate myself and numb myself to feeling (eating, multitasking like a maniac, never saying no). I practiced speaking my truth in the moment (and not in the moment); clumsy and frightening at first, but so liberating and constructive. I learned to breathe VERY DEEPLY and purposefully. I snuggled up with my future-wiser self and laid out a path for becoming that person, letting go of the things and ways that prevent me from being her. I got totally triggered and instead of running away from it, I confronted it head on to get to the roots. I faced my imminent death in a drum pounding, soul bending, tear jerking ceremony, distilling what my unresolved business is and what is most important to me. Most of all, I did this in a community of incredible people who were all just as committed to this journey as I was. They are my tribe.
It was the training that keeps on giving and I continue to come back to the work I did. I wish every person on this planet could do something like this.
Now I am a Forrest Yoga teacher. I teach 4 classes a week, tomorrow I’m leading my very first workshop, and I even have a private client. I have a website, which totally makes it official: www.forrestyogaaustin.com. I still work at my part-time job. I’m still a mother to two wonderful boys. I’m still a wife to the husband I love with all my heart. I mean more to myself now. I take care of myself better. I breathe bigger and deeper. My voice is stronger and clearer. I still struggle with a lot of the same things I did before, but I have tools and awareness now. A support system.
I’m on a path and it’s just the beginning.