I started writing these lines a couple of months back, in March, when I came back from Modern Yoga Teacher Training Immersion in Brighton, but as the pandemic was spreading I just couldn’t bring myself to finish it…this was one of the least pretentious and most fulfilling experiences in my life, and I really wanted to be in a better state of mind to write about it.
I’d say it all started a couple of years ago. Not sure how long, but since I’ve done my first yoga TT I always felt like I didn’t have enough resources to continue to teach classes. And I did try… It was especially weird cause I felt like I had no body knowledge for a practice that was so body-oriented. And not a lot of yoga knowledge for that matter…
The Internet wasn’t big at the time, at least not here and I thought that in order to teach I was supposed to have pretty photos, yoga voice and be extra bendy (three thing I will never have/be). It quickly started feeling fake and unbearable to deal with and also so stressful on account of the studios I was working at – I had everything from loud people/music/training in the other room, dirty floors, no windows, no heating, all the way to a disgusting but rich sexual predator/owner of a studio…
Teaching yoga is so glamorous, right?
I stopped teaching and continued to practice more or less on my own. I never felt as good as I felt the first time I practiced it with my first teacher (the one I left because I moved) that was gentle and welcoming. Yoga started being this “thing” that we should conquer more and more, while at the same time full of MLM vibe with new TTs emerging every day and/or mystifying but fake and superficial spiritualism.
After I went so so low in my life with different personal and professional challenges I returned to yoga, returned to it with new enthusiasm and hope of finding something I couldn’t before, especially inspired by several good experiences of online learning in other fields.
That’s how I found that the Internet today is full of different learning opportunities that even if you have all the time and money in the world and everybody stopped creating new content you would still need a few lifetimes to go through them all… And also, not one thing was accessible to me in a financial sense (did I mention that I worked in the non-profit sector which meant no regular salary and no savings and also I live in Serbia)…
Maybe I would have chosen another teacher that was giving a scholarship for a one year 300hrs TT honestly, but no one did… Well, nobody that made sense to me. Brea Johnson was the only one at that time that sounded no-bullshity, inspiring and knowledgeable while also offering scholarships.
It is so funny come to think of it – when she asked us to answer what “move with love means to us” Celine Dion’s “Power of Love” was stuck in my head for days and I am sure that some of the ideas from the song ended up in my answer and finally spoke to Brea’s Canadian heart (is that cheating? 😀 )
After I had the most normal interview in my life (and I had quite a few of them and none I considered normal) Brea offered me a scholarship for the whole thing! WOW! I was ecstatic, but still wasn’t sure how I could finance my trip to this immersion (I set myself to write about here), but I was fortunate enough to have a partner with a steady job who was incredibly supportive: you have to do this. I did.
I had a truly magical year of discovering all that is to be discovered through MYTT online program. Each day I studied and practiced and did homework created profound changes in me – everything from actually making me stronger, mobile, coordinated and so on, to a gentler person towards both myself and others as well as more resilient one.
In the meantime I have decided to open my own studio (to rent an apartment with a room for small groups really) and the education I was receiving started to prove itself with each and every day. Not only in the sense of classes, but also running a business, promotion, being clear on goals, how and what I wanted to teach and why! All of these created a profound sense of fulfilment for me and still continue to do so. Detailed feedback I receive from my students regularly proves that.
Finally, the immersion time came and we were supposed to meet in Brighton for five days. And I was liiiiike: what more could we possibly get out of this?!
Wow, I had no idea.
Before I left for Brighton I was a bit scared. I was sharing a house with four other women and I was scared if all of them would turn out to be these healthy-practice two times a day-pretty leggings roommates. OKOK, I am a bit on the introverted side, but ahaha, what waited for me when I arrived were cookies! OK, Eva and Kat H also, but come on – cookies!
Five days with Eva, Patrizia, Hannah and Hanne, but also Kat H and Hayley as guest stars of the 10 Baxter Street Show, turned out to be filled with food, tea and coffee, walks and talks about not just yoga, but everything-life.
Brea and Kat B welcomed us in the most H+B fashion of recognizing weirdness and excitement of the beginnings, and talking just about that for the first hour or so with each and every one of us.
Yes, during the five days we were nerding out about the body, anatomy, exercise, but always returning to our framework of consciousness.
During these five days I had the opportunity to practice with who I am sure are some of the world’s best and kindest teachers. I went to meet and learn from one, but I returned having almost 30! Thank you all!
Still, the thing that brings me most joy in this is everything that happened later – how we continued to be the much needed support to each other, so we can separately be of support to some other groups in our surroundings. I keep studying with some of these nerdesses through our weekly book club, and I am sure we will even develop some cooperation in future. Just watch out ; )
I have no smart conclusion here, except maybe to leave my definition of moving with love (the one inspired by Celine Dion, yes):
…moving with love can also be going somewhere where you (or anyone) haven’t gone before, even with a bit of fear, but driven just by the ultimate need to learn – learn about yourself, the world, people, universe – even when you don’t know how that knowledge is gonna affect you…cause, for example, you know how sometimes you need a dose of badassness (that’s not even a word, is it?) in order to move with love…