My second week of yoga has come and gone, and now I only have three weeks left! The fourth week consists of only two days of training and the final week is testing. So technically, tomorrow begins the last full week of training!
I’ve made improvements in my confidence since last week! For example, I haven’t cried this past week and I have changed my perspective in my class by honoring where my body is at rather than criticizing myself. I have also come out of my comfort zone a bit by talking more with my peers and now I eat lunch and talk with some of them.
Last Wednesday we went into the city and we did acro-yoga which is acrobatics combined with yoga. It requires serious trust in your partners in order to execute the poses safely. I challenged myself by trying things I otherwise would have never done, but I like that about this experience because I’ve been challenging myself constantly. By doing so, I surprise myself with what I am capable of. It’s quite satisfying.
My latest surprise was when I did a forearm stand. So far, I’ve only been able to do it with an assist and I haven’t been able to hold it, but I hope to be able to improve next week. I’ve realized that not only do these challenging poses require confidence, but they also require trust, whether that be in yourself or whoever/whatever is supporting you.
Evidently, this training has allowed me to learn more than just yoga, and it’s fantastic. I’m excited to graduate and to see where my new certificate will take me. Where will I teach what I’ve learned? What will I do to continue to learn?
If I could do anything with my life…I would want to teach and write, whether that be for my own business, for research, or for a book. I would like to travel internationally and domestically to teach and to learn from other people and cultures too.
I can do anything with my life though so it’s just a matter of how I want to make this happen and what opportunities will arise that will shape my life. I often feel a little skeptical of how the universe unfolds but I know I have to trust that I will be where I need to be.
How was this past week for you? What are you looking forward to this week? What are your intentions for this week?
I wrapped up my first week of yoga teacher training on Friday, and tomorrow I am beginning week two. Thus far, the training has been an emotional experience because I keep having to confront my low-confidence. The areas where my confidence has been challenged the most are 1) inversions, or poses where your head is below your heart, and 2) teaching.
I’ve noticed just in my first week of training how most of the time, whether it be in asanas (poses) or in teaching, confidence is essential to success. While physical ability and knowledge are important too, confidence is mandatory. I think this holds true in most areas of life.
This theme of “confidence” became apparent on the second day of training when I was trying to do an L-handstand. First of all, I did not expect myself to do any types of handstands throughout this training, but I surprised myself by trying it and successfully doing it on the first day with the guidance of the instructor. On Thursday, I attempted to get into the inversion on my own, considering that I’ve been executing it everyday with the help of someone. Unfortunately, when everyone was doing inversions easily, I became nervous and afraid to do it on my own. It wasn’t that I didn’t think I was strong enough, I just didn’t feel confident. Eventually, the instructor helped me but I spent the remainder of the class silently crying. I was upset that I was too afraid to do something I know how to do on my own. On the last day of training that week, during the inversion portion, I had the instructor help me the first time and the second time I got into the inversion on my own!
The doubt I have in my abilities is probably a combination of the unfamiliarity I have with the poses as well as the intimidation I feel toward the challenging postures. A majority of the class consists of dance students, so they are probably more comfortable with contorting their bodies into different shapes and they are also more comfortable with physical challenges. Although I’ve been practicing yoga daily, I haven’t even been doing it for a year yet and aside from yoga, I have not had to be this in-tune with my body. I spent most of college not doing any physical activity. Before college, I played and taught tennis, but that type of physical exertion is so different from dance and yoga.
The second time my confidence was challenged was when I taught my first mini class on sun salutations. Once I thought I messed up in my instruction, my lack of confidence consumed me, causing the rest of my instruction to be quiet and full of uncertainty. I know from my experience with my thesis, job, and public speaking courses that I gain confidence from being an expert and with tons of practice. By the end of the training, I expect to be a confident and loud-spoken teacher.
For my first week of training, I recognize how everything I’m doing is out of my comfort zone, but I am doing it anyway. That in itself is admirable, and I need to give myself more credit. In fact, on the first day of training, one of the dancers found out I wasn’t a dancer so she asked me why I was doing the yoga training. I don’t know if she was asking from a place of cruelty like…why bother doing yoga if you aren’t a dancer? Or if she was asking simply because she just wanted to know how I found out about it and what drew me in but…it’s cool that I don’t have a dance background because I bring something unique to the group as well as to future classes I teach.
I am proud of myself for continuing to try things I’m scared of and for having an adventurous spirit. I’ve never followed an expected path such as being a dancer with a side gig as a yoga instructor or studying economics with a math/finance/stat/accounting/business minor. I studied economics and women’s and gender studies, and I’ve never met anyone else with that combination before. I’m also a “normal” person (a non-dancer) that is aspiring to be a yoga instructor because I wanted to learn more and deepen my own practice that has transformed my life and continues to transform my life. That’s amazing.
Anyway…I want to write a blog at the end of every week to reflect and to set an intention for the upcoming week. I’m doing this specifically for the yoga training to ensure that I gain the most from my experience, but perhaps I’ll continue to do it afterward too.
My intention for the second week is to practice confidence and to meditate on the confidence I want to cultivate. I also want to practice teaching sun salutations and study the asanas so I feel more comfortable with them from a teacher’s perspective.
Do you have any reflections for this past week? What are your intentions for this week?
Meditation is a buzzword right now, and understandably so because it is a great practice for a variety of reasons. I’m not going to go into depth about the benefits of meditation because, as evident in the title of this post, I’ve only been meditating for more or less, 30 days. Instead of me discussing meditation at length, I’ll just link y’all with some great posts to check out if you want to learn more about it at the end of this post.
I was inspired to meditate because I’ve been deepening my yoga practice and I am going to train to become a teacher in about three months, and meditation is critical to the yoga practice, especially if I anticipate teaching at some point. So I decided to attempt a 40-day mantra meditation challenge, hosted by the Journey Junkie.
You are supposed to do 40 consecutive days of meditation to ensure you build a habit of meditation, and for mantra meditation, you have to say the mantra 108 times. People hypothesize that 108 is significant because 1= God or a Higher Power, 0= Emptiness or Completeness, 8= Infinity. 108 is significant for other reasons, but you can read more about that on the Journey Junkie’s post that I linked above.
In order to ensure that you are repeating your mantra 108 times, it is helpful to have a mala necklace. Mala necklaces have 108 beads, plus the guru bead (which you don’t use for the meditation) and tassel (not all malas have tassels though). When you use the mala to do a mantra meditation, it is called japa mala meditation, because japa means repetition.
I got into a horrible fight with my mom on the last day of spring break. She had gotten back from a difficult medical seminar and she was trying to relax at home when I came downstairs from my bedroom to sit with her and my sister. It was late, around 10:30pm, and they were planning the family trip to Disney to celebrate my graduation.
I was joking with my sister and mentioned how I was turning twenty-three this year, which prompted my mom to ask me what I am doing with my life. Assuming she was joking too, I responded that I don’t know (which is pretty true though). For some reason, this response instigated the fight, which was essentially about how I need to get a job and how I’m not doing enough and how what I’ve been doing my entire college career has been a waste of time.
I stopped crying daily. I didn’t realize I had stopped crying daily until my girlfriend was talking about the “getting-an-internship” struggle. I empathized with her and said, “Yeah, that process sucks. It used to make me sad, but not nearly as sad as how I’ve been feeling now that I’m graduating and in need of a job.”
Then I stopped for a moment because I realized that I hadn’t cried about graduating and needing a job in quite some time. I haven’t been excessively stressed to the point where I make myself physically sick, nor have I been excessively distracting myself from reality. I’ve been productive and calm.
She asked me how and why I’ve been so much calmer lately and I surmised that it was influenced by my daily yoga practice.
She agreed and pointed out how before when I wasn’t doing it every day, I would regret not doing it that day.
I added that I feel a little more…confident in myself. By that I mean, I know I’ll be okay after graduation. I’m unsure what I’ll be doing yet but…I think when I invested in myself by upgrading my blog, I’ve begun to see more of my value. Although I’m still working out the goals for this blog as well as what I want to do to achieve them, I feel more confident than ever that I will get to where I want to be. This feeling has manifested in other areas of my life, including my thesis. I’m more confident than ever in regards to me being able to complete an excellent thesis.
It’s awesome seeing how one small decision to practice yoga daily has affected so many areas of my life. The online yoga community I’m part of has helped inspire me to start taking action, also fueled by the fact that the ending of my undergraduate career is the perfect time to take some risks! I am not tied down to anything, I don’t have a ton of responsibilities yet, and I’m young. Now is the time to take my passions further!
I’ve been considering to invest more into my yoga practice and I am also considering higher education again. I haven’t thought about it since September but doing my thesis (and killing it!) has reinspired me that maybe conducting research is one of my callings. I’m unsure still, but I’m open to the journey!
I was woken this morning by my aching head. Before I drank water, took Tylenol, and put a cool pack on my head, I checked my email. I received an email that I received another merit scholarship from my university, which surprised me. The surprise, however, was drowned out by the distress I was experiencing…
I’m going into my final semester of school in January…and I have no idea what I want to do with myself after I complete my degree. Everybody says that they didn’t know either, and they joke that at fifty, they still don’t know what they want to do…but it’s incredibly unhelpful. The direction I seem to be leaning toward now, though, is to take a gap year between graduation and a “career.” I feel like this is unacceptable to do like…I’m graduating and I am uninterested in something related to my major that would provide me with medical benefits? After four years, scholarships, and tons of hard work, this is what I’m choosing to do with my time?
I guess I feel like I’d be wasting my time by taking a gap year because I feel like there is this expectation to get a career-type job and therefore I feel pressured to do that too, although the idea of it makes me miserable. And I’m making myself miserable by considering what feels right to me. What feels right to me is to take a gap year.
I just finished sending…at least 10 job applications out. My creative writing class this morning got cancelled because my professor is sick so I took the down time to do that since later I want to focus primarily on my senior honors thesis. I have a five-page proposal due on Monday so I would like to write two pages today and finish it up by Friday so I can submit it to my advisor. I feel like this may be a far-reaching goal but I’ve been pretty focused lately so hopefully I can bang out out five pages before the weekend, which would give me ample time to revise it.
Anyway…I feel like I’ve been a little frazzled lately…I don’t even remember if I disclosed that I’m doing an honors thesis and if I’m taking creative writing! Well..I’m doing an honors thesis and I’m taking a creative writing. It’s awesome because they’re both forms of writing that challenge different areas of my brain. The class is part of my initiative to keep writing for myself…last year I kinda disappeared because I had all this sadness pent up inside and I didn’t even know where to begin to write but…I figured it out with some time and patience and I’m back to writing pretty regularly.
There are a couple of articles though that I’ve been putting off posting…it’s just a matter of me sitting down and taking the time to paste them here. Perhaps I’ll do that tonight during a break from thesis writing.
I wanted to come on here to express my stress about my life after college…which has pretty much all that I’ve spoken about. My girlfriend is more excited about it than I am, but she still has another year of school. I don’t know…I don’t know if I should’ve planned differently but at the same time…I need to stop comparing myself to others, even if they have similar career interests and/or majors. I’m on my own damn path, and it’s awesome and I’m going to flourish!
I had an epiphany last week and ever since I’ve been feeling a lot more upbeat…granted I still feel sad once in awhile but for the most part I’ve been a whole lot better. The passing of time may have contributed to me feeling more content as well but anyway…I just wanted to share my thoughts.
I’ve realized that it’s okay to still be upset about how things fell apart with my ex, but I shouldn’t let feeling sad about that hinder me from doing and achieving things. I’ve also learned the power of gratefulness…acknowledging people that are in your life and have stuck by your side is a really heartwarming realization and it feels really good to say ‘thanks’ and make them feel appreciated. Valuing those people that are truly there for you, both new and old, rather than that one person that doesn’t seem to give a shit about you anymore is helpful to stop you from feeling so upset about a breakup or an exfriend…by acknowledging and appreciating the people that are in your life rather than that one person that left makes you feel loved and worthy of love. I follow a lot of “positive quote” Facebook accounts and it’s nice having my entire feed be flooded with inspiration and positivity. Most of the quotes and pictures have provided me with some comfort and have helped me move forward. Being surrounded by inspiring, powerful women that I look up to and want to be like has been really helpful too…seeing all the opportunities that are available to me at college and how they can help me become like these strong women are motivating. Seeing how my role models interact with people…romantically or just as friends…and seeing what they do to achieve their goals has given me a model for what I want/what I should do to get to that point. Wearing clothes that make me feel attractive, strong, or whatever adjective I want to feel, has helped me look at myself positively in the mirror rather than seeing a lost loser girl…appearances aren’t everything but for me, the way I look affects my mood and my mood affects the way I dress so if I pick out something that I like to wear and that makes me feel beautiful then I’ll generally feel happy and then I’ll pick empowering outfits for the rest of the week and stuff. Wearing things that make me feel good causes me to smile more, which instantly boosts my mood, and sometimes people will compliment me on my outfit or makeup and it makes me feel even happier.
Not only has all these little epiphanies enabled me to be less sad about my ex, but it also has helped me overcome feeling so lost at college and it has given me more solid goals for my future, which will help me get more assimilated and stuff so yeah…I’ve just been finding a lot of role models and inspirational things in my life and finding happiness in the small things, like conversations with strangers on the bus. It has helped me feel more positive and I think feeling positive attracts people to approach you and communicate with you so then you end up feeling even happier…it’s a win-win.
I hope some of my epiphanies will help you guys, girls, and everyone in-between find strength in yourselves and strive for your dreams…also, LOVE YOURSELF…it’s a process and you’re not always going to love yourself but trying to do so will improve your life dramatically. Hope you’re all having a great weekend, stay safe and warm! xo
“Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional”
I had a really great day today, one of the best days I’ve had in weeks.
I woke up this morning with no message or call from my ex (I had asked to talk to her last night) so instead of just…waiting…I sent her an open and honest text about what has been bothering me because in the other text I sent her, I acted like everything was fine when it wasn’t. I’m still waiting for a reply but I’m just glad that I got it off my chest because I feel more proactive and in control rather than just waiting to get shit on.
After that, I had class and although nothing special happened, I had a great time after that.