As I mentioned in a previous post, I started yoga teacher training before and gave up about a month in. The timing just wasn’t right, which turned out to be a blessing in disguise. But the call to become a yoga teacher never left me and even in a meeting with the Infusionsoft Dream Manager, I made a plan to accomplish this goal.

I started YTT back in September and this week, I celebrated the completion of my first 2oo hours.  There is lots of content out there about how YTT changes your life, and while none of those articles resonated with me, I must admit that I am not the same person I was when I started training.

I went into the training feeling strong and ready to turbo boost my practice. Little did I know, we’d start with deep immersion into the philosophy behind the practice of yoga, before moving on to the anatomy and practice teaching. This philosophical practice is what I held onto when in the second module of training, I fell ill and all I could do was show up.

But that’s just it, I kept showing up. Despite being in pain and feeling like my practice was stunted, I made my way to class, determined to complete what I started. YTT requires lots of movement, but I found myself unable to move through much of the asana and had to learn to accept where I was physically. I also had to incorporate more meditation into my practice.

I’ve been sick since mid-January and while I’m feeling a little better, I’m still seeing doctors to find out what’s going on with my body. But this long bout of still unexplained illness taught me to let go of what I thought should be and instead make slow sustainable progress through the YTT program and back to health.

It also challenged me to maintain my integrity. I could have given up again, making the excuse that I didn’t feel well — and I didn’t. But I was determined to do what I had set out to do and become a yoga teacher. And there’s something powerful about knowing that despite all of the obstacles, I completed the training and that I didn’t give up.

The whole experience made me see yoga in an entirely different light. While I’ll likely still approach it as largely a physical practice, being sick taught me an important lesson in humility and accepting exactly where I was. As I surrendered to the physical limitations resulting from my illness, I found new ways to modify poses and began to rebuild strength from the ground up.

And I shared this experience in my practicums. When I was able to extend my arms fully for the first time in months, for a full expression of Warrior II, I shared this excitement with the students I was guiding. It was a victorious moment where they too got to see the result of my practice of Kriya yoga (slow sustainable progress).

Going through YTT while not feeling as healthy as I’m used to feeling helped me let go of the ideal of what I should be able to do and allowed me to rebuild my practice in a new way. I’m still rebuilding but I feel strong and I know that I can teach yoga to anyone — even someone who thinks they aren’t strong or flexible enough to do yoga. I’ll teach them to build strength and a yoga practice from the ground up and make slow sustainable progress.