The Middle

You know that nervous feeling when you’re too far into something to turn around, but not quite sure how you’re going to pull off getting to the end, since you’re barely handling the middle right now?

I’ve got it. Bad. The feeling sort of weaves through my day, fading to the edges, coming center again, then blending with other anxieties to form one ultra-mega-doom-you’re-doing-life-wrong montage of misgivings, skirting back to a homework item or two on a to do list, catching in my throat a few hours later, drifting out of reach but not out of sight as the night winds down.

Sanskrit. Anatomy. Public speaking. Sequencing. Assisting. Leading meditation. Connecting without oversharing. Vocabulary. Being serious without taking myself too seriously. Refining my own practice. Energy. Money. Scheduling. Reading. Injuries. Diplomacy. Persona. Philosophy. Practicing what I preach.

My anxiety is perhaps less symptomatic of teacher training than it is indicative of how a radical personal challenge can emphasize the aspects of ourselves that aren’t so helpful. For me, it’s sort of an interesting paradox that I was drawn to yoga teacher training at all, given how down on myself I can be in many of the areas requisite to teaching yoga. Teaching anything takes confidence, something I’ve struggled with my whole life. So why even try?

Because my heart said so, and because I’ve taken a lot of cues from the outside world about how I should look and who I should be that led me nowhere particularly good. So, I might as well follow this smoke signal from the inside and see what it’s all about. Maybe we’re not the people we need to be when we start something, but we become those people by doing the thing we love. I really love yoga. It’s a channel for acceptance, presence, health, gratitude, healing, and it’s a way to tune in on our own potential. What’s more enchanting than humbly appreciating your own existence, in real time? When I practice yoga, it’s always enough. Just to be present, and to breathe, I always feel more whole afterwards.

“Imagine that the universe is a great spinning engine. You want to stay near the core of the thing – right in the hub of the wheel – not out at the edges where all the wild whirling takes place, where you can get frayed and crazy. The hub of calmness – that’s your heart. That’s where God lives within you. So stop looking for answers in the world. Just keep coming back to that center and you’ll always find peace.”
Elizabeth Gilbert

I want the lessons of yoga to use me as a conduit. I want to support other people in being their best selves. I want to put out the subversive message that fulfillment comes from within. I want to believe it, too. I’m certainly tongue-tied on transitions and awkward at assists right now, and there’s a small mountain of homework between me and knowing what I’m talking about, but if I can excite one person someday about having knees that bend or a mind capable of observing itself, it’ll be worth it.

 

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