This thing called a yoga practice is not about the postures or even the sequencing. It could be about the playlist, but even that is questionable.
The practice is accepting that your actions ON the mat, mirror your life OFF your mat. How you react when you fall out of a pose is exactly how you react when you don’t get your way. The key to yoga is observing these details and making changes so you can realign yourself and live your “best life”.
Want to take yoga off your mat for real? Enroll in a yoga teacher training. You may never become a teacher, but the lessons in these trainings will change your life immediately.
They’re sneaky, these teacher trainings. They are advertised as, “Learn to teach, teach to learn.” And, “Want to change the world? Teach yoga!”
Let me tell you a little secret: you may or may not change the world, but what’s really happening is that you begin shifting the second you step on your mat. A great facilitator will hold a mirror up to your face and say, “Are you ready to put yourself out there and be transparent, drop the labels and integrate what you are learning?” And you will say, “Yes!” And then the shedding, I mean training, begins.
CAUTION: enrollment may feel like an ass-kicking. All this growth and elevation, transmutation, levitation and meditation; pranayama, asana, dharma and karma. It’s never ending and it’s deep! I’m seriously considering a 3-year sabbatical where all I do is take non-stop trainings and travel to India, Egypt and Peru. Maybe then I will have it all figured out.
The funny thing about this yogic lifestyle though, is that when you think you have it figured out, you will inevitably run into some road-block-trigger, (relationship issue) which seemingly keeps happening TO you! Ah ha! That’s where this observation thing and the breath really start working their magic…. Nothing happens TO you, it happens FOR you.
All your triggers, patterns, misalignments, irrational fears and beliefs come rushing to you at high speed. The great thing about this is that it’s a life-long practice and there is no test at the end. If you are wondering, “Will I really benefit from this?”, the only answer is yes.
What you will learn:
Techniques – How you operate off your mat in relationship to yourself and others. What you do when you are uncomfortable, pissed off or scared.
Sequencing – How you plan or direct your day, your week, your month, your life. How you react when something doesn’t go according to the sequence you had planned.
Assisting – How you relate to others in relationship. Do you put yourself out there with a quiet confidence or are you a bull in china shop? Can you inhabit another person’s space without intruding? Do you know when to assist and when to allow the other person to learn on their own?
Philosophy – Beyond the prophetic musings of the Gita, the Sutras and the Pradipika there is high truth. Have respect for these words but apply them or they are no good to you. Stop quoting, “Be the change you wish to see” and do it already.
Anatomy – Your body is the vessel that gets you from point A to point B. Understand that what you “feed” it, on every level will either harm you or help you and believe that the body can heal itself.
Alignment - How you integrate and actually LIVE what you are learning. So that what you do, matches what you say and how you think. And how you think is ONLY aligned with the heart.
The business of it all – Want to make money teaching yoga? It IS just a business, but one that should be held to a higher standard of integrity, setting the bar high. Treat it that way, always.
If you “do” this yoga thing, go all the way. You might as well, you have your whole life.
And if you really are interested in taking a yoga teacher training, find a teacher that you resonate with deep into your soul. Someone who speaks your language. Someone who has done the work. The Yoga Alliance lists yoga teacher trainings held across the nation. These people/schools are accredited and will yield you a certification at the end of your training. But do remember, your training never ends so keep going back in for more. A single 200-hour training will only scratch the surface. Each time you go back in, go deeper and truly integrate the teachings so you find the true meaning and purpose of your life. And honestly, it may take a lifetime but so what, right?
My own Embody Truth Teacher Training Program (200 and 500 hour) will begin January 2015 so stay tuned and let me know if you are interested in digging super deep… that’s what this is about. We will scratch the surface and then dive on in. Why not right?
“I must be a mermaid. I have no fear of depths and a great fear of shallow living.” - Anais Nin
That is the essence of Embody Truth.
Please leave any questions or comments in the comments box below.
By Dana Damara
“My passion on the mat is proper alignment, powerful breath and effortless flow so you feel that off your mat. Your practice becomes sacred space where you arrive to find more meaning, depth, authenticity and integrity in your life."
- Dana Damara: mother, author, yoga instructor, speaker and yogini. Visit www.danadamara.com
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Hearts Wide Open