On Wednesday, I completed the 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training at Charm City Yoga. Looking back at when I registered for the intensive, I thought the completion of the program would bring a sense of accomplishment and a sigh of relief. While, yes, I am very happy to have made it through the experience, I also am sad that the past 3.5 weeks were over. So much has changed. And I met so many wonderful people.
The program was 3.5 weeks in total, covering a variety of topics such as anatomy, physiology, chakras, meditation, asana, and assists. Some things I felt comfortable doing such as using anatomical terms and learning the asanas (postures), other things were uncomfortable such as meditation. My usual response to uncomfortable things is to avoid them. Pretend they aren’t there. And just move on. So typically I would have just said “meditation isn’t for me” or “the chakra system doesn’t speak to me” and leave it.
That’s typical I think of many people. And maybe as you read this you will find some insight, but for now this post is a way for me to get my thoughts written and make some sense of them.
I cried a lot during this training. Whether it was during a profound moment after meditation or just seeing my fellow classmates being completely immersed in their practice, I had extreme emotion. And honestly, it felt good to feel that, because with this training, I had been given a way to handle my emotions. Like I said before, I’m an avoider. I don’t deal with things…I get past them.
During our 2nd class on meditation, we practiced. While the experience was different, my thoughts had a similar pattern that spanned my sessions. And what I realized is that I never dealt with what I thinking when it happened. I was reliving past experiences during my meditation. When certain things happened, I left and kept everyone around me from talking about it. And it’s not just one thing that I’ve done this with – I can count several. Now, I had to deal. I was sitting, silent, with my thoughts….oh what a dangerous place. And everything that I had stuffed away stared me in the face.
But, the practice of yoga and meditation gave me boundaries to set with myself, my thoughts, and my emotions.
Our meditation instructor told me to look at my mind as though I were in the woods. He said “you will see things in the woods, like trees and deer. And some of those deer are going to continually peek their heads out.” Continuing, he noted “what you should try and do when that happens is notice of the deer, acknowledge that it is there, accept that it lives there, and move on.”
That was a very pivotal moment for me. When I have experienced extreme emotion, I usually try to stuff it far far away. Now, he was telling me that I could acknowledge the emotion, accept that I am having it, and keep moving on with my life.
Since that time, I’ve been trying to practice the concept. Here is one example: Currently I’m studying for the RD exam and I’m having immense panic about it (it’s a big deal). But I try to calm myself down by acknowledging that, yes, this is a big time and exam, but I am also putting in the time to study, and I need to keep moving forward to make this happen.
I don’t know why, but the concept of the deer in the woods is having a HUGE impact on me. I thought I would go into my yoga teacher training and come out and teach that would be that. But now I’m finding that I have an outlet that is helping to improve my life!
I am so grateful to have had this experience. I want to keep learning and exploring so that when I do eventually teach yoga, I can hopefully help guide others as my teachers have done for me.
If you have been thinking about taking a yoga teacher training, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT! Also, I have to put a plug in for Charm City Yoga. Nope, no sponsorship by them, just my love for the studio and people behind the name. If you’re in Baltimore, check them out, then take a look into their teacher training.
For those who would like to learn more about yoga, here is a brief book list, some of which we read for our training:
- Yoga Sutras by Patanjali – Sri Swami Satchidananda
- Anatomy of the Spirit – Carolyn Myss
- Conscious Eating – Gabriel Cousins
- Bhagavad Gita – any translation
[above: some of the coolest yogis ever]
Note: pictures above are from my Pinterest Page “Yoga”. Please visit to see full details.