Vor nun fast drei Wochen habe ich mein Yoga Teacher Training erfolgreich beendet. Nun bin ich Yogalehrerin. Die drei Wochen im Ashram waren für mich eine wunderbare Zeit: Es war intensiv, herausfordernd, anstrengend, magisch. Oft bin ich an meine körperlichen und psychischen Grenzen gestoßen. Ich bin über mich hinausgewachsen und habe mehr gewonnen, als ich mir jemals vorgestellt hätte. Es war eine Erfahrung, die mein Leben nachhaltig verändern wird. Ich bin dankbar für diese einzigartige Zeit und danke allen von Herzen, die sie ermöglicht haben: allen Teilnehmer*innen für ihre Liebe, allen Lehrer*innen von Green Yoga für ihre Zeit und ihr Wissen. Und nicht zuletzt mir, dass ich diesen Schritt gegangen bin.
Teil der Abschlussprüfung war es, einen Aufsatz zu verfassen. Diesen möchte ich gern mit euch teilen. Da der Kurs auf Englisch war, ist auch mein Text auf Englisch.
For me, life has always been a strange adventure. I always felt a bit off – either being too much or too little, too talky or too shy, too friendly or too grumpy. Sometimes it was super easy to address people, sometimes super hard, if not impossible. I grew up, trying to fit in, trying to respond to all the expectations surrounding me, but never truly knowing who I was. What did I want from life? Who do I wanted to be? Who was I? Who am I? It felt like everybody knew what they wanted – even if it was just choosing between tea and coffee. I never knew – to many appealing options. Now that I think of it, it feels as if there had always been so many doors to choose from, asking me to be conscious about my choices.
Earlier this year I had a coaching session, wondering where life would lead me the following months and year. I picked a card with a yellow door on it. My path would lead me at some point trough this door and closer to my purpose. But what is my purpose? It feels as if I have been struggling my whole life with finding the sense to it. I tried so hard, thinking, asking, reading. As society and school taught me, I used a very intellectual approach to this. I ended up working as a teacher, with every year working, I became more exhausted, unhappier. I understood more and more that the life I was leading wasn’t meant to be like this. There were other things waiting for me. I decided to take a year off, a year to leave my city, to see the world but mostly to travel inwards, to find out, where I truly wanted to go, who I wanted to be. Who I am.
The discomfort of new beginnings
As Yoga has been part of my life a long time, I decided to book a YTT to start my sabbatical. I hoped to find some answers in a place far from my usual life, far from friends, family and the problems and blocks that hold me back. The day I went to the Ashram I was super nervous and anxious – how is it going to be? With whom am I going to spend these three weeks? What, if they don’t like me? What, if I don’t know what to say? What, if I don’t have anything to say? Now, after the course, I still carry these fears with me, but I learned how to cope with them, I learned to be gentler, more loving and more forgiving with myself. And I feel that I went trough that yellow door, that I came closer to know my life’s purpose.
Benefits of a daily Yoga routine
Many things during the training helped me to get to that point. At first, the Asana practice. It was wonderful to practice in such a nice place as the Shalla – everyday at the same place, at the same time, with the same people. As many options always knock at my door, I am really bad with daily routines. Doing the same things everyday was a challenge for me. Keeping up with it – and also with the Yang practice - made me feel very strong and confident.
Being part of a Yoga community
As I mentioned above, I was a bit anxious about the group dynamic: spending three weeks with a lot of people without much space for just myself was also quite challenging. After years of shared flats, I have been living on my own for the last two years. During that time, I enjoyed my own space a lot. But sometimes I also felt a bit lonely, I missed shared meals with flat mates, cozy evenings together on the sofa. As you can see – I am always a bit torn between options. That feeling remained during my time in the Ashram, but it was easier than in other social situations: I could always choose to sit with someone while eating or I could choose to eat alone. If I choose the latter, nobody would ask me, whether I was alright, I didn’t have to give explanations or words for my need of silence and alone-time. But sometimes I struggled with this need – I felt somewhat alone, I felt as if I did not belong. I felt weak, not able to keep up with the pace of my surroundings. Also, an old, very well-known feeling of mine. I wished for closeness but didn’t know how to approach people, because I often don’t have so much to say. But with all the lovely people around, I realized that belonging doesn’t depend on the amount of words, that I speak. In the end, I felt that I belonged to the group even though sometimes I feared that I did not. I realized that I am unconsciously keeping people away from me because I don’t believe in my own value, because I often believe I have nothing to offer or to contribute. With everyone around so open-hearted and so welcoming, something changed for me. It feels as if the laughter and all the love that surrounded me cracked something open. I am very thankful for this unique experience that allows me a new beginning.
Healing trough singing
On many occasions we were chanting Mantra together: In the Shalla before Asana practice, on rainy story nights, when the rain would drop so hard on the roof that all we could do was singing. In the evenings in the living room with a warming fire in the fireplace. Chanting mantra during a difficult Yoga session helped me to not give up. Knowing that everybody else was struggling gave me strength to believe in myself. Singing and music have a very loosening effect on me: I always have to cry because I am so moved. Chanting Mantra, singing with the group, accompanied by the harmonium amplified this effect: It made me feel so good, I loved it so much. In these moments I never doubted belonging. I felt not only belonging with the group of people I was surrounded by, but also with the hole universe. I am very grateful for all the mantras we learned and chanted. I love to sing them by myself, feeling their vibration. Knowing these mantras is one of the biggest gift I received during the YTT.
During meditation and philosophy class, we often talked about life’s purpose. I can’t tell anymore, whether I was thinking a lot of it during the training. But at some point, I realized, that I liked teaching. As I was never sure, whether I wanted to be a teacher or not, this was a really nice realization. I enjoyed planning my yoga class and doing it with all the lovely people I met during the teacher training.
At the end of the training, Atma told us, that these three weeks planted a seed in us. If we took care of it, one day this little seed can become a strong tree, its roots deeply anchored within the earth, its branches reaching high into the sky. I can already feel the roots growing: Now that I have left the Ashram nearly two weeks ago, my purpose becomes clearer and clearer: Yesterday I was talking to a friend and colleague on the phone. I could express exactly why I don’t want to go back to my old job: I don’t want to be part of a system, that puts processes over people. A system, that asks some much of people, but doesn’t pay attention to the individuum.
My life’s purpose is to teach people, but not in a conventionally sense, not as a teacher in the so inflexible school system: I want to share my experiences with others, I want to help them heal. I want people to get to know themselves, I want them to develop their full potential. I want people to be happy to be alive and not to see life as a burden. I want them to be happy, whatever path they chose for themselves.
Yoga is the answer
For me, I found that the yogic path is the answer for everything: Yoga makes me move my
body. Yoga makes me find stillness. Yoga helps me to go within. Yoga helps me healing. Yoga makes me feel connected – to the people, to the universe.
Sometimes it is not so easy to sit still, to practice, to stick to it. But I experienced that Yoga is the path, that is always there for me. And that this path will always lead me home.