Class Notes, Week 62: Closing Circle

The Moksha yoga teacher training program requires me to journal once each week about my experience with the poses and assignments + my practice and progress. This is part of that weekly assignment.

This will be my last post with the title “Class Notes.”

The reason?

This:

Yes, I am certified!

As my Facebook announcement sums up best: “A seed planted with my first yoga class at 19 years old … has blossomed into this.  I have never worked so hard in my life.  Thanks to my family, friends, teachers and colleagues for your support, encouragement and patience over this past year and a half.  Namaste indeed.”

It’s true: I have never worked so tirelessly and so passionately toward a goal.  This experience and credential is as valued — if not more so! — than my degrees from Northwestern University.  I worked so much harder at this.  Perhaps to the chagrin of my parents (who invested a lot of money in my university education), there’s more personal meaning and significance bundled into this single piece of paper.  Plus, this accomplishment goes far beyond embodying a vocation; it’s simultaneously been a journey of tremendous self discovery, layered with intense emotions, personal growth and transformation.  While all of this happened in college, too, it didn’t happen to the level that I experienced during yoga teacher training — and certainly not in such a condensed amount of time.

Along with the elation and joy I get from finally holding this piece of paper, it’s also a powerful reminder of what it took to get here: endurance, perseverance, sacrifice.  Of course … the endurance, perseverance and sacrifice was all worth it.

Last night, my teacher trainee group gathered at Daren’s loft to celebrate our collective milestone: yoga teacher training graduation.  Decked out in white, just as we had been at the Opening Circle (read about that here), each of us had a chance to recount how the program served us and how we plan to apply our knowledge into the world.

As we went around the room, a beautiful collective transformation sprung to life.  How far each of us has come in the span of a little more than a year!  It seems like only yesterday when we were at the Opening Circle, meeting each other for the very first time.  And now, we were recounting life progressions such as this:

  • One peer found empowerment to divorce her husband of 18 years because they were no longer in alignment with each other
  • One peer was able to establish a daughter-father relationship that didn’t exist prior to the teacher training, rekindled with the help of our anatomy class and understanding the neurophysiology issues that effected her father
  • One peer jumped ship from the corporate world and back to school so she could forge a career in Eastern medicine and acupuncture
  • One peer built a for-profit kids yoga business; another peer also nurtured an existing kids yoga service that is currently tethered to Moksha Yoga Center
  • One peer is going back to school to get her nursing degree
  • One peer decided to leave her boyfriend of three years because the relationship no longer served her
  • One peer finally eliminated all anxiety and depression medications from her health and wellness routine
  • One peer is developing a business plan to open up her own yoga studio
  • Nearly all of my peers are teaching yoga in some capacity or continuing with a work-study position at Moksha Yoga Center
And then, of course, there’s my own transformation — still very much a story in progress.
I attribute all of this empowerment and listening to the heart to the crazy amount of meditation that transpired with this teacher training program.  Attending yoga classes and keeping a regular personal practice was a huge requirement, after all.  When so much stillness is being cultivated through yoga, it creates fertile ground for clarity.  And with clarity, change becomes less scary … and more possible.  Hooray for new possibilities, and for moving forward in life.

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