It's been over a week since I returned from Yoga teacher training and I've been having the hardest time putting my experience into words. When I first tried to reflect, all I could think about was my journey to yoga. But not the real journey, just the basic this is how I got here journey. I was merely scratching the surface. So forgive me if this one experience, 16 days, 200 hours turns into multiple posts. I won't deny the word vomit that is about to follow...and I hope you'll be able to deal.
When I first arrived at Yandara, I started to wonder just what I was doing there. I got off the shuttle and immediately began second guessing myself, my practice, and my overall yoga-ness. I was so afraid. Intimidated. Unsure of myself. Shy. I immediately started having flashbacks of being the awkward, nerdy kid in middle school who didn't have anyone to sit with at lunchtime. As I hauled my stuff to my little home (aka my tent) I looked around at the 20 or so other people gathered around the dinner table and started to have major butterflies. Actually, they were more like bats. Big hairy and flapping their wings like crazy.
I ended up picking a tent next to Kim (one of the girls who was on my shuttle from the airport) and figured it was kind of like safety in numbers (or safety in proximity??). Plus, I got a good vibe from her—or rather loved that she talked about good vibes and said everything was wicked great. I also loved that she talked about going to a rooftop bar in Cabo prior to our arrival at Yandara—it made me feel a little more connected to her and a little more at ease. I kept thinking, awesome, this girl likes rooftop bars. She isn't "too yoga-y" to drink. She probably won't judge me. And thankfully, even as crazy as I was being, I was right. My tent neighbor was super duper awesome.
But even with my super awesome shuttle buddy and new tent neighbor, there she was—my awkward inner 7th grader—in full effect. My mind was going crazy with thoughts like: are they going to like me? Who will I sit with? Will they think I'm a total poser? Who will I talk to?
And as soon as I started unpacking the very little that I had packed (aka: way unprepared) I realized that my shampoo and conditioner had exploded in my carry-on and there was literally nowhere to buy anything. I was going to have to ask someone to loan me a few things. I was going to have to ask for help. And anyone who knows me well, knows that asking for help is one of the things I hate most.
All I could think was: shit, shit, shit...
A view of Yandara Yoga School from the beach.
As I made my way to the dinner table and back to the larger group, I heard laughter. Lots and lots of friendly voices and even more laughter. And even thought I was still very intimidated, I was also very warmly received by all (thank god!!). Being naturally shy, it was really difficult for me to open up and just let go. I felt like people (on our very first night) were being so open and vulnerable that I almost didn't feel like I could ever belong.
And in true fashion, as soon as people started asking what I did, who I was, what made me tick, I got self conscious. I'm not the girl wearing the Om symbol around my neck paired with a super flowy dress and wild, untamed hair. I'm not the girl who wears nothing but than lip balm and feels confident and ready to roll in the morning. Nope. I'm more the mascara loving, yet also outdoorsy girl that somehow fell in love with yoga. I love little black dresses, pink things, all things Lululemon, and pretty much anything and everything else that screams I'm super girly. And even though I have accepted myself and am able be ME in my running life, being that girl in my yoga life seemed much scarier.
My tent mate and I doing a double downward dog—awesome! Photo: Adriana Liwski
And this is where my yoga school tale truly begins. Back at the heart of things. It doesn't start with the experienced, all-knowing yogi girl. No, instead it started with an awkward 7th grader. The nervous girl at the dinner table. Full of doubt. Always second guessing. Always unsure. Uncertain. Afraid of the unknown.
My real story starts where the true yoga—self acceptance, letting go, loving myself and my practice, and being compassionate for others—really begins.
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