Teacher Training was AMAZING!! I wrote about my fears in going to training in my last post and I am SO glad I faced them. I made some wonderful new friends, started to get some personal insights, watched other people grow into a better sense of themselves, learned SO much and had an incredible amount of FUN! No one commented on my body, no one looked at me like I shouldn’t exist or as if they were disgusted with me. No one shied away from me and I even got hugs from complete strangers! It was SO magical and I feel as if I can’t do it justice because there is just so much that happened that I can’t explain in words.
The strangest thing is the little connections that were made in the room – I cannot help but know that I was meant to be in this room with these other people, we are so connected in such profound ways that I simply have to marvel at.
Little bit of props to me, I did VERY well with my body comparisons and self-judgments. Of course there were some thoughts there but I was quick to shut them down – that is not what this place is about. There were people of all different body types and although my mind told me on multiple occasions that I was the biggest because of x, y, z I didn’t allow that to change my sense of worth in the group – how HUGE is that!? I had a sense that I needed to be there and no matter what was happening in my mind or how ashamed I felt of my body I wouldn’t let myself leave the room or the scenario. One thing we learned how to do pretty early was small assists for a few different poses – I was MORTIFIED, someone was going to have to touch my body. You can read why this is such an issue for me in my post on shame from a while ago but long story short – I feel ashamed of my body and apologize profusely in my mind that the person doing the assists has to touch my awful fleshy body. I apologize for their inability to find certain things (shoulder blades for instance) when 2 years ago they could have counted every rib. Well, one of the assists we did was to stand behind someone in downward facing dog, reach into their hip crease and gently pull back. My mind squirmed and screamed and cried and apologized but I didn’t allow myself to say anything out loud – I never said anything because there was nothing to say, I was not going to apologize for my body existing the way it does now or for a bit more searching in order to find my hip bones. I didn’t apologize for the extra weight my partner carried while lifting my feet in a plank or for having to touch my thighs. It doesn’t mean I didn’t feel all these things but the important thing is that I didn’t apologize for them and I didn’t let me apologize to myself either.
Food was a little chaotic just because I had no sense of what timing would be. Now that I have a better idea of it I can talk to my dietician and have a plan set for the end of the month when we meet again.
One amazing thing is that I started realizing that I was changing my self-definition. I was in this room of yogis and one day they would know me as the girl who runs the body image workshops and works with eating disorders who used to struggle with one herself. Until this point my definition of self has always been eating disorder first, everything else secondary but now I am putting yoga first and the eating disorder secondary. One day soon I won’t be the eating disordered girl who practices yoga, I’ll be the yoga teacher who had an eating disorder. It’s a small shift but already it feels liberating.
There’s SO much more I want to say but I think I need to sit with it a little longer – I’m a stewer, I need to sit with my thoughts before I can put them into words that make sense.
Long story short – I took a major risk and faced some very real fears and it paid off. I experienced more growth that I thought I ever would over 3 days and can’t WAIT to continue along this journey <3 There is no growth without dissonance, no change without discomfort. Take a chance, you never know how strong you will be until you try.