Now that we’re in the last week of the YTT, I find myself wishing that each day would last longer and longer. Although this has been one of the most grueling five weeks of my life – physically, mentally, and emotionally – I know I am going to miss it terribly. The supportive, smiling faces of Jessica and Alexis, the comfort of the purposeful daily routine and the camaraderie of my tight-knit YTT group have become such an integral part of my daily life, I cannot imagine how it will be without them.
When I decided to embark on this journey, I knew it would be a challenge. I was hopeful that I would come away with a deeper love and understanding of yoga. I expected that I would improve in my asanas and become stronger physically. Happily, I can already say that both of those hopes have been achieved. But, what I didn’t expect is the phenomenal personal growth that I have experienced. I have been fortunate to be a part of an amazing group of women. We are all so different – completely different stories, ages and backgrounds – but we are united by our love for yoga. However, there is definitely something more than just yoga that has drawn us together. The Yoga Mandala. Jessica, Alexis and her amazing team have done a beautiful job of creating a safe, warm, accepting space for us to explore and learn not only about yoga but also about ourselves.
Through the intense physical and mental challenges, we have each had to face up to our own personal fears and anxieties. We have been required to push ourselves to new limits – facing those fears on the mat and in life. For me, teaching the three classes was extremely daunting – especially after not doing well in my first one. I learned that I constantly say “I’m sorry,” and I felt pressured to please everyone – letting those fears take over my purpose of teaching my students. With the constructive feedback and support of Jessica and my classmates, I managed to stifle those fears more and more with each class I taught. No, of course, I’m not 100% amazing just yet…but it’s a journey – my journey, on my terms. And, I’m so NOT sorry that it’s started with my yoga family at The Yoga Mandala.