“What came up for you there?”

I recently completed a 250 hour yoga teacher training for Vinyasa style yoga. Its something I have been wanting to do for a long time now. I have been teaching yin yoga for about 4 years now, but Vinyasa is another animal. The teacher training was held at a studio I teach at which helped me feel much more settled right from the start.

The training was predominantly led by the incredibly wise yogini Sarah. The words spoken were from a powerful place, a stream of consciousness of some deep, thought provoking and at times cutting truths.

There was a particular emphasis on incorporating yoga, the whole spectrum of yoga into our daily lives. Not just the asana (postures) but the living, breathing embodiment of all that is yoga.

After the first weekend of the training I realised that this was going to be very much a life altering course. Spending time journaling and reflecting is something I have often done in my life, how ever having someone give you prompts to send you down a certain path can open an opportunity to ask questions and contemplate things you perhaps avoid. Not even things you consciously avoid, just the way your brain has defaulted to processing information perhaps for your sanity!

One evening we touched on something called shadow work, if you aren’t familiar with the term, it is a process of firstly acknowledging, then confronting the “darker” or more privative sides of your human experience e.g. rage, envy. We did an exercise where we focused on an experience of trauma in our past and imagined ourselves being there with our younger self, what we would say or do to comfort them. I thought back to a time of deep, deep sadness and anger and imagined supporting that little fella, giving him a hug and consoling him. I know it is all in my head within some deep meditation but it felt so real, so healing, so much so in fact that it I couldn’t help but ball my eyes out. Me the 31 year old crying, me the 8 year old crying, present me, crying mainly from a realisation that I could go back and give support and love to myself and actually feel that comfort as an adult. Like some scene out of Back to the Future, the photograph of my younger self was healing.

This work is so powerful when facilitated in a safe space, I am so very grateful for being able to take part in that course, not just to learn a few postures and how to put a sequence together, but for guiding me into a very personal experience of these deeper practices of yoga.

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