Aaaaaahhhh… July. A month of gorgeous weather, vacations and in my case new beginnings!
As you likely know if you read my others blog posts, there have been some major shifts in my life in the last few months. So much so that I missed the June YTT weekend to spend extra time with my sons, who needed it. These last few months have been a roller coaster for me, with fear and pain as my sidekicks. I am able to ride these waves, I keep busy, I smile, I laugh, but those lows come, they hit hard and it’s been a rough ride. So, all this to say, I came to this YTT weekend expecting lots of intense emotions. It delivered.
To recap the weekend quickly, before getting to the mushy stuff: We learned lots. We started with another amazing anatomy lecture Friday which led to an A-ha moment for me (see my top 5 below). We stepped out of our comfort zone and cued our first few poses to the rest of the group. We did lots of yoga, including a ‘gentle’ (ahem) practice with Rozel and Melissa – my entire body ached. The good ache, the one you love to feel because it signifies progress! We exchanged, we meditated, we swam over our lunch break. We talked about the intentions behind the poses we do. What we feel in these poses, what they signify, what they’re helping us work through, and how we can transmit these bits of information to students in an approachable way.
The last part of the weekend was dedicated to Hindu mythology with Bram Levinson (who is pretty frickin’ amazing) and this is the part I want to focus on in this month’s post. There is just so much to say.
For me, Bram’s take home message is simple, it boils down to: find your dharma, and live it. What is dharma? Essentially, it is your mission in life. What you’re here to do/share/live. Sounds simple. It’s not. It’s a life-long journey of self-study and acceptance. We talked about God/goodness/divinity, whatever word you want to use to define this force or energy that animates all things and unites all of us. In Hinduism, this force is called brahman. We talked about the power of that force, and what you can attain by choosing HOW to use that force or that energy. And the power you have when you realise that only you can decide how to use it.
To some, maybe future students, this may not resonate, the concept of a unifying force within us. It can seem esoteric. That’s ok. Our role as yoga guides then, can include trying to weave some of these concepts in our classes, in a way that is more tangible – helping our students see or feel this energy and realize it’s potential. Helping others understand that what you put out there matters: your actions, your reactions, your words, your thoughts. You don’t have to become a Hindu scholar to know that if each and everyone of us becomes even just a little more conscious of that, good things happen. And really… doing, being, choosing GOOD, what is so esoteric about that?
During our afternoon discussion, we each talked about ourselves, our journey, what brought us here, to this YTT. I was surprised to hear so many similaritie in all our stories. Each of us is here looking for something: knowledge, transformation, our voice, our strength, our purpose. Each of us is there hoping to better know ourselves so that we can better serve our purpose, our dharma. We’re not there to change who we are – that is not what transformation is in the end. We’re there to learn about ourselves, all of it, the good, the bad, the ugly.. the imperfect. Turns out all these imperfections, mixed with all the good stuff.. it’s what makes us ‘US’, unique. And what each unique person brings to the word has value and is important. To quote Bram, “the imperfection is perfection”. And that friends, is the transformation.
Bram talked about finding your dharma – the thing that you are good at, without training, your natural talent, ability, super power (that word is from me) whatever you want to call it. What is this thing and how can you use it in this world, in your time on this earth. I thought long and hard about this. It’s so easy for me to find my flaws, what I could be better at (guess I’m good at that!). But I was able to come up with a little list, which I am proud of, and which I will share. I hope all my wonderful warriors in the YTT will also come up with their own list (Maria!) and if any have a tough time, we’ll gladly band together and help them make their list.
Here is mine: I am compassionate and empathetic. I am an optimist. And, in the last few months, I’ve learned that I am strong AF (this swear word was inserted specially for Bram!). These things about me make me good at my job, which I love. Perhaps that is my journey, my dharma, using these abilities to help my patients in my work. Perhaps these abilities are what make me the mom that I am, guiding my two little humans through life. Perhaps these strengths will be used through yoga, to help others in different ways. I’m not sure yet. I’m figuring things out.
This month, I was floored by the support and love I felt from all these amazing women whom I am just starting to get to know. I feel so grateful tonight. Grateful that I discovered yoga, grateful that I was led, by pure happenstance (or was it?) to this studio and grateful that I chickened out 2 years in a row before finally registering for THIS YTT, to meet THESE humans at THIS point in my life.
Get out there and be YOU. There is just not enough time to spend it trying to be anything else.
JULY’S Top 5:
1️⃣ A-ha moment: you should be using your glutes to come up from forward folds (thankyou Stephane). Otherwise… low back pain!
2️⃣ Favorite Hindu God: Nataraja – dancing Shiva, dancing over the dwarf of ignorance…. Loosely translates to dancing over the daily dramas (bullshit) as life goes on around you. To the enlightened person, daily dramas have no significance
3️⃣ My weekend moment of pure admiration: Rui’s led meditation
4️⃣ The moment I’m most thankful for: Gabriella and Carol’s raw emotions, shared with me, during savasana on Saturday. I felt their energy ACROSS the room. This for me is not only an important moment of the weekend. It is a moment I will forever hold in my heart.
5️⃣ Best girl power moment: when Maria cued her final sun salutation B absolutely perfectly in Ashtanga class and we all exploded with pride and joy for her.
Thank you, all of you beautiful warriors. See you soon!
Nadine is the 2018 winner of Energie EnCorps YTT #WhyIamWorthIt Scholarship,who will be blogging on her Yoga Teacher Training experience over the course of the year. Follow her journey. Celebrate with her in her a-ha moments, relate to her struggles and learn how the philosophy of yoga can be brought into your own life. Thank you so much to Nadine for letting us all into your mind this year. Learn more about the Ashtanga Yoga Teacher Training and Mentorship programs at Energie Encorps West Island, an internationally recognized Yoga Alliance School, click here: https://bit.ly/2ASHwg5 Interested? Follow Nadine Dumas on instagram!