Show Up. Stay. Do the work.
This is the secret mantra to finishing strong in a 200 hour yoga teacher training program.
In yoga studios all over the country teachers in training are in the final push towards certification. When I signed up for my 200 hour training I originally adopted the mantra scary is my happy place. My intention was to graduate as a powerful, impactful teacher. To cross the hurdle from student to teacher I had to dig deep. This required a new mantra:
Show Up. Stay. Do the work!
1. Show Up.
To really show up we have to decide. This is more than the initial decision to sign-up, this is bigger than the money and a great many weekends spent already. Really and truly—decide—am I willing to do the work? If the answer is a big,”Hell Yeah!” then start digging. There is not a human breathing that doesn’t need to grow.
We all need to grow. In Sanskrit this intense self study and reflection is called Svadhyaya. In English; know your shit.
Know all your shit—both the things you were asked to learn and put in our heads and the things already going on inside our heads that need to be dealt with. This is where I had to learn to use feedback as fuel towards growth. When we get feedback—especially the hard kind that hurts, implement right away! Create a pattern interrupt by getting right back up there in front of the class and trying it again.
This goes back to #1—but deeper. To stay means we must commit. We cannot wait for someone else to tell us what we should be doing. Want to teach a community class? Reach out and say so. Want to assist? Show up and offer to assist.
To stay means doing the homework, supporting each other in community classes and being accountable—each and every week. Committing also means showing up on the mat as often as humanly possible—because the hard truth is:
We have to be in charge of our own growth. But here’s the gem about committing—the thing that whispered to do teacher training? We have a, I dare say, holy responsibility to honor that. This path is not for the weak. Not just anyone is chosen. Something moved in us—someone gave us something in a class somewhere and the sacred stirrings of service rumbled through our bodies and minds prodding us to action. Honor that. Or Don’t. But once we commit, the freedom of that conscious decision comes with the radical responsibility for that choice. Complaining and not doing the work is a cheap luxury of the disempowered. That ain’t us.
3. Do the Work.
Doing the work requires that we face our fear. Recognize that our deepest fear is our light. If we are honest with ourselves we know—greatness is possible. That little voice or feeling that whispered? It knows it’s possible. And there are 1000 ways to sabotage it. I, myself, have tested most of them out! But here’s the thing—the moment we face what scares us about teaching, a whole world will open up. It is not by accident that we begin the sequence as children—moving slowly to honor the sun. Only then do we move into warrior. We cannot get to balance, grounding or any of the heart openers until we move through warrior. Us. As. Warriors. So please, in the name of all things sacred—take out a sword and finish off whatever dragon still haunts you. When it falls—take a breath, bow, and then say a prayer like this, “Rest in Peace Motherfucker.”
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Apprentice Editor: Ashleigh Hitchcock/ Editor: Jenna Penielle Lyons