Fellow Hot Yoga Bradford YTTs and the yoga studio owner at the Lotus Heart Centre retreat in Brighton
This weekend, I visited the Lotus Heart Centre in Brighton, Ontario for a yoga retreat. Since taking a hiatus from blogging for a little while, I’ve neglected to mention a few key activities I’ve been participating in, one of them being yoga teacher training.
I signed up as yoga teacher trainee (YTT) October 2014. I’ve been a yoga student on and off for years and was thinking of joining the YTT program for the past two years, but finally decided to join after moving to Bradford last year to get more involved in the community.
The YTT journey has been an amazing one, and far more complex than I anticipated. You can ask any yogini and she will tell you the same thing: Yoga is more than just physical poses; it’s something that requires body, mind, and spirit, and it calls for great perseverance, patience, and practice.
The Lotus Heart Centre retreat brought all YTTs from all three sister Ananda Yoga studios (located in Bradford, Aurora, and Georgina) together. As with the rest of the YTT program, the retreat gave me an opportunity to get to know some amazing people and focus deeply on my yoga practice.
Leading up to the YTT retreat, I was looking forward to two full days of uninterrupted yoga practice. I didn’t count on the amount of introspection the retreat encouraged as well. The retreat and the amount of time allowed for meditation gave me an opportunity to think about my life, assess where I am, and determine how I feel about it. The YTT retreat also helped me realize how important writing is to my personality. (Yes, somehow I always end up back at writing).
Writing is an integral part of my personality but, if I were to be honest, it often seems to get buried under the rest of my life. It seems that, for the past week, writing has been asserting its place as an important priority in my life – yelling, “Look at me! Don’t forget me!”
I noticed it first at the Bradford studio last Tuesday. There was a book on the shelf – one of those ones with 365 intentions – “messages from your angels.” I picked the book up, flipped to a random page, and found the following message (image on the right). I thought it was coincidental – writing being such an important (and yet sadly neglected) part of my personality and landing on this page.
“You’ve probably had many clues throughout your life that writing is part of your nature and purpose. This is a message for you to take time today to sit down and pick up your pen.”
But then, yesterday (Saturday) night, as we were waiting for meditation to begin, a lady beside me pulled out a deck of oracle cards – coincidentally cards that were apparently from our angels again – and the card I was handed told me that I need to clear my mind to be more receptive to messages the world was giving me – whether these were messages from strangers that seemed to be hitting close to home or messages that seem to be coming up repeatedly.
Finally, during our last vinyasa practice this morning (Sunday), each student received a random intention card to read after they completed their practice. I looked at mine to find that it was a card all about expressing myself – about finding my creativity and finally voicing it.
It was at this point that I realized there is no single part of myself that I can separate out from the rest. A little while ago, I began drafting a blog post about how it seems that so many parts of my identity are compartmentalized – from what I do at work, to what I do at home, the person I am with friends, to the person I am with family, the hobbies I pursue in the yoga studio, to the hobbies I pursue in my notebook… all wildly different parts of myself that, oftentimes, don’t meet.
But I realize now that, no matter how varied these parts may feel, in the end, it all leads right back to myself. Becoming a yoga teacher has taken a lot of my time and attention, but it doesn’t make me any less of a writer. If ever, it’s enriched my ability to look inside myself and figure out exactly what I want to say. Even better, as I’ve seen this week, when I am having trouble finding my voice, it gives me an opportunity to reflect and find myself.
This blog, though varied, often has a narrow focus on me as a writer. It includes posts about readings, launches, and the writing process itself, as well as information about articles I write and reviews for games I play. I now realize I need to take a more holistic approach to this blog to fully explain exactly who I am and what my writing is all about. I’ll try better in future. As my angels have said, the more I listen to what the world is saying, the more creatively I can express myself.
And with that being said, from my yoga self, from my writing self but, most of all, from myself – from my light to yours – namaste.
P.S. I’ve officially added a new category to my website: Yoga!