by cara alling
I felt a mix of emotions today after teaching the noon Hot60. Proud, relieved, even a bit elated.
Ever since I discovered the evolation Beyond 26 & 2 training (a program for certified hot teachers who are looking to deepen and expand their knowledge and experience), I’ve been both excited and anxious. I’ve been excited to spend a week in the yoga bubble – talking about, reading about and thinking about yoga – and have no choice but to practice every single day (every day!). On the other side of the coin, I’ve been anxious about leaving my life for a week (surely it will fall apart without me, right?!) and feared that I just wasn’t going to be good enough at teaching.
By the time I taught that Hot60 class, I’d only been in training for 4 days. 4 days! And even though I was a bit nervous (new studio, different heating system, plus those windows with ocean views) I felt so ready. I’d made friends with the other trainees, and I knew there would be friendly faces in the room supporting me. I had also received some positive feedback that calmed my fear of being the worst teacher. I knew I wasn’t.
I got through the class like any other, one breath, one posture at a time. Sometimes even in that order.
I spent the walk home to our training house contemplating why teaching that class was such a big deal and why it felt like such an accomplishment for me. And I did know.
Five years ago, my Dad had a major stroke. As I took over as the caretaker for both my Mom and my Dad, my world got much smaller. I gave up my studio yoga practice (both teaching and practicing) and shifted my focus to caring for my parents and taking care of my children. Then three years ago, I met the man who’d become my husband. Not too long after, my mother passed away. And from there I learned about the waves and crevices and ripples of grief.
So, to say the least, the last 5 years has been one continuous cycle of caretaking and adapting to new, emotionally significant circumstances. It wasn’t until the Fall of 2016 that I started to hear the call. The call to push the edges of my cocoon. I decided to start teaching again.
Since it had been so long since I last taught, I wanted to spend time studying and re-immersing myself in my favorite yoga. The 26+2 series.
I came across evolation’s teacher training program and everything just seemed to fall into place for me to spend a week in Santa Barbara reinvigorating my teaching and practice. Even though I think it would have been beneficial to have some of the other teachers from my studio, or other studios in my Beyond 26 & 2 training, I firmly believe it worked out for the very best to go it alone. This yoga has always been a safe place for me to to practice pushing my edge before transferring that same effort to my life off the mat.
Attending the Beyond 26 & 2 training was like a concentrated dose of everything I love about yoga and what it’s done for my life. It gave me a safe place to take several steps out of my comfort zone and investigate being in a space where uncomfortable doesn’t mean it’s time to quit, it’s just time to take a breath and a moment of stillness and then keep going.