This past Monday, twenty-two students, five teacher training assistants, and I completed an eleven-month journey together. A journey that saw us through illnesses, addictions, pregnancies, deaths, engagements, divorces, moves, job changes, and more challenges than one could think possible in less than a year. And yet we stuck through it. Together. It was only appropriate that we should celebrate.
We began with a ceremony to set intentions and commemorate our time together.
We finished in a circle to honor our community.
Afterwards we drank wine and ate delicious Greek food.
Which is, of course, infinitely more delicious when shared with friends.
Before we knew it, it was time to clean up, stack the blankets and head home.
But even though the training is over, their work is just beginning. You see, these people are my tracks: the imprint I hope to leave in the world.
Taking yoga teacher training is a responsibility. It only starts with the classes, the homework, the missed family events, and the late nights designing seemingly impossible yoga sequences. The real responsibility begins the date you finish. The head of our lineage, Desikachar, says that if you learn the yoga teachings but do not share them, you have stolen them. They are not the property of any individual—they belong out in the world. During our ceremony, we chanted a single mantra: Om Namaha “not mine.” A reminder that what we’ve learned is meant to be shared, whether or not we ever perform another asana. Yoga is the act of living in greater balance, more aligned with our values. Yoga helps us ensure that the tracks we leave behind are positive ones.
A personal message to all of these lovely new teachers: You were my thirteenth yoga teacher training, and like each group that preceded you, you were special. I wish I could give you the confidence to know what great teachers you already are, but the best teachers only gain confidence with time and practice. I’d like to say “make me proud,” but you already have. Instead, I’ll just tell you the truth: you’ve each taken a piece of my heart.
Use it well.
Namaste, my friends. I am better for knowing you.