The Bridge Home

It rained during our teacher training this weekend.

It poured in the early morning and during our breakfast breaks. The Bay Bridge had high wind advisories each day.

It pelted down all throughout meditation and this morning the lights flickered and then simply went out - leaving breath as the only soundtrack for our practice.

The theme for this weekend was the emotional body. It was as if the weather knew.

We focused on how emotions show up in yoga, but also how they show up in our life.

There is a part of me that has always been resistant to this type of exploration.

Simply stated: This isn't practical. This isn't fun. This is scary and uncomfortable. Let's keep moving. 

But a funny thing happened over the last three months: I decided that maybe I had some work to do on going beneath the surface of my emotions. I started looking deeply into what triggers me, what emotions I hold, and where I hold them.

The exploration, as it turns out, doesn't have to be dramatic - but it does have to be purposeful. Looking at what we feel and how we react to it. How can we change? What do we love? What can we leave behind? What no longer serves us?

Not to "cure" an emotion - but to name it, to own it, and to address it - to change the power dynamic and use the emotion in a healthy way. In my case, to begin to sift through fear, anxiety and anger, and come out with insight - not insecurity.

Ultimately, it leads me to this shifting of my own paradigm.

How will I heal without knowing what I feel? 

I can't.

How will I help students heal if I can't access what I feel?

I won't. 

Everyone has a different definition of healing. For me, it is finding peace in the places in my spirit that feel broken. 

I have been blown away watching my fellow trainees embark on similar journeys. All of these souls - so different - and yet all trying to use a new language to frame their teaching and their lives.

This is an act of bravery that a lot of our world sees as a weakness.

Understanding what we feel isn't an indulgent practice. Caring for ourselves and learning to help our future students is a step on a healing road.

The work is hard, but it's worth it.

As training ended today, breaking until the new year, we stepped out of the studio and the rain was gone, leaving behind the sweet chill of early December air.

Peace in broken places.

And this:

My view on the bridge home...Changed. Clear. Beautiful. Calm.