Twelve of the smiling faces in the picture below represent the first 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training graduating class from Santosha Yoga. The one sitting front and center with the really big smile is me, the proud teacher of this wonderful group.
The first Sunday that we met 4 months ago, we all sat in a big circle and I mean a really BIG circle. Everyone was checking each other out, wondering who of the group was going to be able to do handstand or scorpion pose first, making sure that there was enough distance between the blankets that we were sitting on so no one invaded anyone else's "space".
This past Sunday was the last time we met as a training group and we were literally sitting on top of each other. Knees touching as we sat in easy pose, a hand on a shoulder or a pat on the back and lots of hugs as we reflected on the time we spent together, as we became a "community within a community" as Susan put it.
You may have noticed that in the short time that I have been blogging, I have never really talked about the physical poses, the asanas, of yoga. They are just a part of the true essence of what yoga really is about. It is important to keep the body strong, but also as important to keep the mind and heart strong. I really didn’t keep track of who could or couldn't do what pose. Of course I noticed how their bodies were becoming stronger and leaner, their poses much more aligned. But I also noticed how the students honored their bodies more and let go of their egos. I watched as their hearts filled with compassion and wisdom for others. I saw how the circle gradually became smaller each week.
Don't worry if in your yoga practice you don't ever get up into handstand or scorpion, or if shoulder stand eludes you, it's all good. Whatever pose is your nemesis just let it go. Is your breath strong, are you calming your mind, if so you are practicing yoga. Do your best to "tightened up" your circle and just breathe.