Such a bittersweet day for me. Tonight’s graduation ceremony will mark the end of my fourteenth yoga teacher training. Each year’s training seems to go by faster than the one before it. Each group offers new definitions of sweetness. New learnings. New opportunities for growth.
I still can’t explain it, but the process of completing this training changes people, myself included. Actually, I can. (Explain it, that is.) As my teacher says, “Yoga is much more than stretching your hamstrings.”
Yoga is the process of examining the most important priorities of your life and endeavoring to live them. Yoga is sangha, community. People supporting each other through birth, joy, sadness, frustration, and heartbreak. Yoga is learning to find peace in silence. And yes, yoga is bringing balance, strength, resiliency, and health, to not only your body, but also your heart and your mind.
Every year when I start a new training class, I secretly assure myself that this will definitely be the last one. After graduation, I’ll take a deep breath, convince my husband to move to a tiny house in the country, and finally get those goats I’ve wanted for so long. I tell myself that I won’t have to remain tied to Seattle, which seems so very different from the city I moved to 35 years ago. I promise myself that I’ll get that dog training certification I’ve been thinking about for well over a decade.
I even believe it.
But about halfway through the training, something changes. I grow close to my new group. I read their Yoga Sutra papers. Their often-powerful insights show me how important this work has been to them. I see the steps they’re taking to positively impact their worlds. In short, I realize I’ve made a difference.
So I set the next dates, print the new flyers, and start meeting with the students who will comprise the next class. I vow not to slip into sadness on graduation night. I’m rarely successful, but I can live with that.
I say this about most of my classes, but I still mean it. This class was special. To those of you graduating tonight, I’m proud of you. I adore you. Man, will I miss you. So let’s not say goodbye, let’s say, “Until later.”
Come visit Whole Life Yoga in Seattle, learn about our Yoga Alliance Registered yoga teacher training program, and check out Tracy Weber’s author page for information about the Downward Dog Mysteries series.