What I Learned from Jumping off a Cliff.

Via Michelle Marchildon
on Feb 18, 2012
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Go Ahead, Let Go and Jump
Go Ahead, Let Go and Jump

For five years I have worked toward my certification in Anusara Yoga. Then just like that, all my hopes and dreams were gone.

The teachers who already have their certification can keep that forever, even if they don’t stay with what is left of the yoga school, as a symbol of what they earned. But I was almost there, not quite, ABC (All But Certification), 750 hours up to my keister in effort. If you multiply that by an average of $30 per hour, plus travel costs, I spent more than $25,000.  For that I was Anusara-Inspired, and now that’s Expired. God I hope my husband doesn’t read this blog.

So when it came time to take a stand amidst the divisiveness that will end Anusara as we know it, I ran right up to the cliff, then balanced on my tippy toes. At my back were so many people and a system that I loved. In front of me, was a whole lot of uncertainty.

This wasn’t my first time at the edge of a cliff. Years ago when my boys were just eight and ten, we found ourselves at the edge of a cliff while skiing. At our backs was a long hike up to the trail. In front of us was about a 15 foot drop over a rocky wall. As I was leaning over to unfasten my skis (because any rational person would have hiked backed up) one boy jumped. Then went the other. I did not have a lot of time to think; I was angry and terrified my boys were going to kill themselves. So off a cliff I went.

 “Holy cow,” one boy said. “Mom went for it.”

Any rational person would wait and see what happens to Anusara Inc. But sometimes, being rational is not what is required. When you are at the edge of a cliff, what you might need is courage and trust. This is the ultimate test of yoga. Will your belief in a greater good, a Divine good, a Universal good carry you through? Will God, or the Tooth Fairy, or whatever you believe in, be there for you? Will “You” be there for you?

What makes the jump easier is knowing exactly who you are, and what you stand for. When my boys jumped, just like any mother I had to go after them. There was no question. In this case, it was really the same. When I looked at the facts, and I do mean the undisputed facts in the matter when you clear away the “kulaid” and the craziness, Anusara, INC. no longer made sense to me.

So Mom went for it.  Just like any cliff we encounter, it wasn’t as far down as I thought. And when I landed after the jump, I felt proud and very alive.

What I learned from jumping off a cliff is that I was already closer to the bottom than I realized, and jumping off was the only way for me to get back to the top.


About Michelle Marchildon

Michelle Berman Marchildon is the Yogi Muse. She’s an award-winning journalist, and the author of Finding More on the Mat: How I Grew Better, Wiser and Stronger through Yoga. Her second book, Theme Weaver: Connect the Power of Inspiration to Teaching Yoga, is for yoga teachers who want to inspire their students. Michelle is a columnist for elephant journal and Origin Magazine and a contributor to Teachasana, My Yoga Online and Yoga Journal. She is an E-RYT 500 with Yoga Alliance and teaches in Denver, Co where she is busy raising two boys, two dogs and one husband. You can follow her on Facebook at Michelle Marchildon, The Yogi Muse. You can find her blog and website at www.YogiMuse.com. And you can take her classes on www.yogadownload.com.


4 Responses to “What I Learned from Jumping off a Cliff.”

  1. longtimeyogi says:

    love the kulaid

  2. Nicely done Michelle. And I can totally relate to jumping off the cliff, having done that a bit on my snowboard. Funny to think of this situation parallel to that… There are many mountains, many paths to play upon.

  3. TaraFirma says:

    None of your efforts or your learning will ever go away Michelle! You can take all the positive aspect of this experience forward, leaving what no longer serves you behind. And I'm right there with Katrina, on my snowboard and the cliff…very liberating experience!

  4. G.C.Aloha says:

    Nice piece. I agree that sometimes jumping into the unknown is the only way to grow in your life and to align with your own integrity. For what it's worth, Noah Maze has stated that as he and Darren and Christina put together their School of Yoga, they are looking for a way to enable people who've been pursuing their Anusara certification to finish their now-non-Anusara certification with them. But you probably know that already. In any case, I'm sure your training and experience will see you through just fine. Anusara Inc would have us believe that the only way to become a yoga teacher of repute is to have the Anusara license and seal of approval, but there's a whole world of yoga out there waiting for us.