On Wednesday night, I took a leap. One I’ve been waiting to take for a long time. Years, even.
I finally submitted my application to go to yoga teacher training.
Writing those words makes my heart flutter like I’m going on a first date with a boy I’ve admired from afar for years. I don’t even know if I’ve been accepted yet.
I began practicing yoga in 2008. I remember the first day I walked into a class in Ping at Ohio University. I was so nervous. The room was heavy with perfume, sorority girls, and hushed chatter. I went alone and I felt alone, but not for long. I didn’t expect to feel any different after class–I was just looking for a new way to exercise–but I left with what I describe to my friends as a “yoga high.” I felt brand new. Weightless. Elated. Like nothing could hurt me.
To this day, I still get that same feeling every time I leave a class.
I look a leap even going. I was never the type of person to do something solo. Different then than I am now, I needed company at all times. My social circle. My group.
I don’t know how I ever talked myself into going alone that day.
Towards the end of class, as I laid in my very first savasana, I heard Imogen Heap’s “Hide and Seek” crooning in my ear.
You only meant well…
Well, of course you did.
As I write this, I’m listening to it now, reliving the feeling all over again. It felt perfect.
I was a freshman in college when I started practicing yoga. It was fall quarter, my first one, and I remember grabbing a hot Tazo Zen tea from The Front Room before walking to class. I was beginning a new relationship (with the man I’m now married to), figuring out how to live on my own, and still getting over a relationship from the past. It had been months since we’d broken up, but the weight was still heavy. It didn’t help that here we were now, more than 150 miles from home, in school together once again. I’d lost a piece of myself after the breakup, not because I lost him, but because I literally lost myself. If I’m being honest, I was missing pieces during our entire relationship (because of our relationship), but after it ended I threw myself physically, mentally, and emotionally in several different directions, at several different people. I had multiple short relationships–some I wouldn’t even call that–but I hurt every one of the people I dated if I wasn’t letting them hurt me. It wasn’t until I met Dom that I felt at peace again.
But Dom was coming down from a breakup too. He was slightly broken, but we were also discovering each other, trying to get past old wounds. It was hard. It was a tough beginning. We knew we wanted to be with each other, but we also damaged each other, throwing our troubles in each other’s faces. We were learning to stitch the wounds closed–all the wounds. I often joke that we broke up every Saturday night, but that’s because we did.
Every Sunday morning we’d pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, start over, get breakfast. We fought hard and we loved hard. It wasn’t until we left Athens that we figured out how to drown out the noise.
In the chaos, yoga was what gave me hope. It sounds cheesy, but this is one of those times that I don’t even care. It literally changed my life.
Seven years later
In 2015, after I had wanted to become a yoga teacher for years, I finally decided I was going to make it happen. I would get the funds together, submit my application, take the first steps. I looked into every program in my area and even some that weren’t, and I finally found the one that would work for me. My plan was to go in the spring while Dom had a work lull, but I found out that we were unexpectedly pregnant. I was obviously so thrilled, but it did hurt my heart a little to know I needed to wait longer. The dramatic part of me was afraid it would never happen, but Dom thankfully eased my mind.
I ended up finding a new studio with a program that was the perfect fit for me. That’s where I submitted my application on Wednesday.
I spent hours perfecting each answer to every question. I consulted in one of my best friends from high school (who recently went to a yoga teacher training program), in my yoga teacher, in my husband.
In the end, I decided not to share my yoga teacher training application with anyone outside of the yoga teacher training program I was submitting it to. I answered every question with pieces of my soul that I don’t share with most. I wasn’t ready to spill that to anyone other than those who were making the final decision quite yet. Plus, I started this journey on my own; wasn’t it right that I take this next step alone, too?
And submitted it felt like giving away a piece of myself. It felt like taking the part of my heart that I’ve spent eight years building and giving it away, open to judgment. It scares me shitless. I’ve been told not to worry, but what if I’m not accepted? What then? It would be my biggest dream shattered into a million pieces.
That’s what gave me uncontrollable butterflies in my stomach last night when I hit “send.”
This afternoon while writing this, it’s Thursday. I had dreams all night about being accepted, starting yoga teacher training, what it would be like. I woke up and had plenty to keep my mind occupied, but still.
At 1pm, I received an email from an instructor (the one who receives the applications) asking me to come meet with her in person for a 30-60-minute meeting. It feels like those first date heart flutters all over again. I’m sitting here tearing at my cuticles waiting for her response. I suppose telling her I could meet her in 3.5 hours was a little forward.
Soon I will know more–whether or not I get to follow my dream of attending yoga teacher training at this time, and whether or not I get to follow it at the studio of my choice.
Part of me is at ease, and part of me is in a spiral of panic. The rest of me is YouTubing pranayama exercises in an effort to not have a full-blown panic attack.
But regardless of the decision, I’ve never been more grateful to be on this journey.