Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Shift

The past several weeks have been a whirlwind of growth and intensity as 6 months of training towards my 200 hour yoga teacher certification culminated in an amazing and beautiful graduation ceremony for my classmates and me and our receiving our Certification Diplomas. After another 23 hours of intense physical and mental work on and off the mat this past weekend, including athletic yoga asanas, vigorous sun salutations, and each student's practice teaching for a facilitator, we enjoyed a lovely reception and delicious food. My mother, one of my best friends, Walter, and the owner of the yoga studio where I've been teaching, Decatur Yoga and Pilates, who is greatly responsible for sparking my yoga journey all came to share the evening with us all. I even received lovely fresh flower bouquets!

Several of us, including myself, not wanting to end the celebration after the friends, family, and food was gone, went to see a sold out show at the Variety Playhouse of Michael Franti and Spearhead. Franti is an activist, a musician, a filmmaker, and a yogi...not necessarily in that order. He writes about love and peace, accountability, empowerment, and speaking up for what is right and against what is wrong. I'm in love with this man.

Here's my little amateur video of a minute or so of the show.

Well, those who know me know that I rarely go out at night, often choosing to be in bed by 8 or this was an exception for me. I figured I'd go to the concert, stay for a few songs, then leave so I could be in bed before 9 or 10 that night. It didn't happen. I found a seat early on, and once the music began, I hopped up and danced for the next 2 1/2 hrs. The positive energy was overwhelming, and I got caught up in it. I simply couldn't stop! And this is from someone who has proclaimed to not care for live music...afterall, I went to concerts all the time in the late 70s through the late 80s...I was done. But this concert was rocked, yes, but it was about being active and positive and having the power to change not just yourself, but the world. Idealistic perhaps, but why not? Can't hurt.

This week has been anything but anticlimactic. Perhaps I am still on a pink cloud. Perhaps my dedication to abstaining from sugar and caffeine for a solid period of time has given me physical strength and mental clarity and focus...whatever. I see and feel the possibilities so much clearer now. I see that the end of this training is only the beginning of more growth. I see that while the intense work has subsided in this area of my life, yet more intense work and growth is needed in other areas. I also see that my greatest actions are those that give service and compassion to others. Staying present and calm and still are such gifts. I'm still human. I still forget all these things at times. But the training has caused a shift. I have taught several classes this week...more than usual...stepping up to substitute teach when I've been asked, even at last minute, and I see the yoga room and the students differently. I know now that I have my own special contribution to offer and it is enough. I know also that each student is a gift and that I am still and always will be a student as well.


It's all good.

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