Saturday, September 13, 2008


For those of you who didn't know, today I attended the first day of a twelve-week yoga teacher certification course. Two hundred hours of learning anatomy, Sanskrit, teaching skills, business practices, and of course yoga poses up the wazoo.

Don't worry...I'm not quitting my day job. (Well, not yet.)

My knee has healed quite a bit over time. I am able to use the elliptical machine, bike, walk up to two miles in one shot, and - of course - do yoga. To be honest, once I increased the frequency of my yoga practice my knee's health improved significantly.

A while ago I made a list of the things I wanted in a job, what I wanted in my life on a daily basis. It was:

Open work schedule (avoiding nine to five gig)
Wear comfy clothes
Be my own boss
Not have any direct report employees
Look forward to work at least half of the time
Be a positive influence on the world

After bouncing around the list it just occurred to me that maybe, just maybe, becoming a yogi could fit the bill.

The idea of quitting a regular safe steady day job scares the crap out of me. And signing up for the class was even more terrifying. What if I wasn't thin enough? Flexible enough? Spiritual enough? Pretty enough? Graceful enough? Yoga-ish enough?

When I received the email welcoming me to the program it is an understatement to say I was thrilled and relieved. But next came the hard part.

Walking the walk.

Today was the first day of class, from nine am to six pm. Tomorrow is more of the same. I do the whole weekend thing six more times, and every week I also have two weeknight classes lasting two hours each. Plus twelve hours of observation in my own time. And I read three books and write three papers.

Oh, and of course at the end I have to take a couple of certification tests and demonstrate that I can teach.

You would think with that schedule I would feel overwhelmed. But I gotta tell you I am just plain stoked. Over the next twelve weeks I am going to learn a new skill and discover things about myself and twenty-two other people. At the end I may not have a new career, but I will have traveled a new road and will be all the wiser for it.

The lead instructor suggested we all journal, and after class today I felt the call to blog. The class was positive, consisting of introductions, some basic anatomy, teaching theory, and a little practice.

Of all the moments the one that hit me the hardest was that after several hours of studying bodies in the room of all shapes and sizes, resting and in motion, I glimpsed myself in the mirror and for the first time in I don't know how long I was perfectly happy with what I saw.

That is a big deal. Normally I cringe seeing my reflection. But today my first thought was actually, "Huh, I look fine. Why am I so obsessed with looking different?"

Not a bad lesson for a first day.

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