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February 8, 2016

Everything I Need to Know I Learned in Yoga Teacher Training.

Used with permission via Cecille Photography

Two-and-a-half years after my first “Assisting Training,” I’m now 500 hours deep into doing Yoga Teacher Trainings, and I love it.

I want more—and then some more after that, and then some more after that.  The growth and possibility that happens in those places and spaces has been—for me—pure magic.

Each lesson leaves me more aware and more grounded—more accepting of myself and of my world.

Yoga Teacher Training has literally changed my entire life.  

I could go on endlessly about the lessons I’ve learned, the things I’m still learning and the teachings that have been passed down to me as a gift to share with others. There is so much, and yet—really, it’s quite simple.

Yoga means union—in all things, for all things and of all things—and when we begin to see life that way, as union, everything shifts.

Here are some things my teachers—and their teachers and their teachers’ teachers, have to say about that:

1.Everything is connected.

People, places, things—they’re all energy, and they’re all interrelated. Your mat especially, is a reflection of your life. If it’s happening in your practice, it’s happening in your life.

2.  You are exactly where you are supposed to be.

There are no accidents or coincidences. Not really. Each experience is created by you and for you—to learn, to grow, to love, to live. Be grateful for this moment—for each moment.

3. You think your own reality.

Thoughts are energy communicated to the world. We’ll find what we expect to see, we’ll hear what we expect to hear, and we’ll feel what we expect to feel.

Be miserable—or motivate yourself. Whatever has to be done, it’s always your choice.” ~ Wayne Dyer

4. There’s a pose for everything—you control your response to life.

Asana (the poses) is just one of the eight limbs of yoga, and your attitude is just one part of who you are. Open your body, and you invite in change. Open your mind, and you invite in change. Open your body and your mind, to do the work, to practice and to learn to control what happens in you when the heat builds—when things get uncomfortable, when you want to react—and everything will change.

5. Doing no harm begins with yourself.

We see things as we are, not as they are. You cannot offer or receive compassion from others if you do not give it first to yourself. You cannot be truly kind, if you are not kind to yourself. You cannot offer peace, if you do not first find peace within yourself. Be kind and generous to yourself first, and it will expand beyond you.

6. Show up powerfully, as you are, and you’ll attract your team—show up as someone you’re not, and you’ll attract opponents.

Nobody likes a poser. Be you, do you, speak you. The people meant to be in your space will show up. Choose your words and your company with care.

7. Find your “True North,” and stay with it.

Find your center, your core, your values. Decide who you are and stand tall. When you waver, come back to center. When you fall, come back to center. When you are distracted, come back to center. We cannot move powerfully through life without a center from which to start.

8. Grace offers wings—judgment offers only chains.

Softness always wins. There is possibility in letting go. If you hold on tightly to that which you know, you may never know what those seeds will grow—seeds and souls need light, space and love. Open your hand, release your expectations, and observe what happens.

9. There is no one coming to save you—you must do it yourself.

You determine your reality. You determine your responses. You decide what right now looks like. You say when.

“Change happens when the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of change.” ~ Tony Robbins

10. Meditate, meditate, meditate.

In stillness, we find peace. In stillness, we find our center. In stillness, we find the space to move. Take the time to take the time, this you will never regret.

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**Author’s note: Special thanks to my teachers Leah Cullis, Anne Marie Kramer and Jessica Micheletti, my very first yoga teacher.

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Author: Michelle Sweezey

Editor: Yoli Ramazzina

Photo: Used with permission, via Cecille Photography 

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