“It’s never too late to start something new, to do all those things that you’ve been longing to do.”—Dallas Clayton
“You’re never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.”—C.S. Lewis
By the time you are reading this, Dear Reader, I will have embarked upon a new journey, well, semi-new. I have had many passions in my life as well as many dreams. I am blessed with the love of my family who has always supported the exploration of my passions. From teaching to traveling, from reading to once-upon-a-time running, from writing for the local newspaper to creating my own blog/website, from cooking-up recipes to learning about nutrition, and all my other past and present pursuits, my family has repeatedly said, “Do it.” Therefore, when I began to talk about pursuing Registered Yoga Teacher training (RYT)—they once again rallied around me, and said, “Yes, do it.”
Now, my new journey begins, and I couldn’t be more excited and more nervous all at the same time! Questions full of doubt fill me head: Will I be the oldest person in class? Can I manage working full-time, and keep up with my writing/blog, and study/read for RYT? Will my body hold up to the long stretches of sitting combined with long sessions of practicing yoga? Can I memorize and understand anatomy, biomechanics of movement, Sanskrit, foundational teaching methods, and all the other new information that will be required of me? What will my classmates be like? What about the instructors? Oh, the list could go on . . .
Still, my husband, John, says, “I’m excited for you! I think this is your calling.” My daughter, Madelyn, encourages, “Mom, you’re going to be great! I’ve been telling my friends about what you’re doing.” My mom, dad, siblings, and other extended family members have chimed in their encouragement as well. Therefore, I am taking a leap of faith; I will step out of my comfort zone, and embrace the unknown.
RYT began with a long list of assigned readings. The first of many, I am told. I have read, underlined, highlighted, and written notes. Some of the readings were technical and filled with new vocabulary, and I struggled to understand them. However, I am going to put my faith in the instructors’ abilities to shed light on those subjects. Many of the readings were eye opening, while others were quite deep and profound. All of the material, however, inspires a sense of excitement over learning new information!
I have encountered several people who are under the impression that yoga is a religion. It is most certainly not, nor is it associated with any specific religious affiliation. That said, I have read about, as well as encountered a number of people, such as priests, pastors, and lay people of various faith backgrounds who practice yoga for the sole purpose of settling and clearing their mind in order to strengthen and increase their ability to focus during prayers and the readings or studying of scripture. In fact, I have a friend who just recently shared with me that one of her pastors from a few years ago, was regularly required to participate in yoga classes, along with his fellow classmates, as an integral part of his Christian seminary education.
Additionally, I have yet to find any conflicts between my faith/belief system and the practice/teachings of yoga. If anything, I continue to discover many parallels. For example, part of my readings and practices for this month are centered on the ideas of nonviolence and purity in thoughts, words and actions. Next month’s lessons will focus on truthfulness as well as contentment and gratitude. Other months will concentrate on lessons of nonstealing, self-discipline, nonexcess, self-study, nonpossessivenes, and surrender. All of these ethical guidelines are worthy and noble, in my mind, no matter your religious views.
To be certain, the names of traditional yoga poses are rooted in one of the oldest, if not the oldest forms of recorded language, Sanskrit. Furthermore, while the numerous Sanskrit words can be found in religions other than Christianity, the names of the poses are not tied to those religions. They are quite simply the names of yoga postures and nothing more.
By becoming a yoga teacher, I will be able to share with others the one form of exercise I have been able to consistently practice for over 20 years. It was the only type of exercise for which I was given clearance to do for over a year after doctors discovered I had three bulging discs and an extra-vertebrae. Yoga increases the ability to focus, strengthens muscles and bones, increases flexibility, decreases stress, reduces reactiveness, and can calm and clear the mind just to name a few of its benefits. Additionally, yoga can be practiced in nearly any location, including home, and can last a short as five minutes to two hours or more, and all times in between. The workouts can be quite gentle, moderate, or rather vigorous; and, yoga can even be practiced in a chair!
I am eagerly anticipating the day for which I will step off my own yoga mat, and into the world as a certified yoga teacher. In a world full of stress, anxiety, and busyness; a world in which we frequently sit more than we stand; as well as a culture that often promotes the “no pain, no gain” philosophy, especially when it comes to exercise, I am extremely energized and enthused to soon be able to offer an alternative to the traditional grind, pound, and push workout. I look forward to sharing a form of exercise more than 5,000 years old that will enhance overall vitality and health of mind, body, and spirit. Therefore, I will study hard, read much, listen carefully, and keep my mind, as well as my heart, wide-open as I come full-circle within yoga.
You’re never too old to learn . . ..