For some years, I’ve been a writing teacher who incorporated yoga occasionally, but today, I begin my life as a yoga teacher who brings in writing. Waking up, I felt like I was about to start Kindergarten, but instead of a Cinderella lunchbox, I shimmeyed into my new exercise camisole and yoga pants. I feel excited. I feel a little nervous. I feel like I’m ready to walk to the curb and wait for the yoga school bus to scoop me up.
I also feel indebted to Linda Blackburn, my therapist (who has since moved to the Northwest) who, when hearing me say, “I know this sounds crazy, but I want to be a yoga teacher,” didn’t burst out laughing, but instead answered, “Of course you do.” That response, plus the support of friends — none of whom voiced the parade of self-doubt ticker-taping across my brain (“You’re too fat. You’re too old. You don’t look good in spandex’) — made it possible for me to simply follow where I was led.
And where was I led? After months of exploring teacher training options, I had a dream that I was visiting with one of my yoga teachers, Gopi Sandal, in a London loft, near where she learned yoga. She was showing me a picture of a yogi, then saying he was her teacher. “You’re my teacher,” I told her, and when I woke, I knew she was the one I would train with, so no surprise that a few months later, when she announced her first teacher training class, I signed up without a second thought.
Avoiding second thoughts is key here. There’s no rhyme or reason for a woman who can barely touch her toes and finds being still extremely challenging to pursue yoga, but yoga pursued me, which is to say that what yoga means — yoking, connecting — unfurled like a lily on the the water. I knew what Gopi said was true: that lily was inside me too, and beholding it opened up the heart of my life.
So here I go, ready to lead other people in doing what has been one of the hardest and most beautiful things for me. If you’re local, come join me at 5:15 at Westside Yoga.