When I was 17 years old, I idolized my Yoga teachers. I remember this intense pleasure when a teacher would vividly and perfectly describe a physical sensation that I was already feeling. Or the slight annoyance yet personal validation when one would call me out for opening my eyes in savasana by asking, “Hey Maria, what are you thinking about over there?” I felt a total sense of wonder and awe in how they helped me control my own body.
I attributed my progress not to my dedicated practice but rather to the persistence and vast knowledge of my teachers. At one point though, things shifted inside me and I remember thinking, “If they can make me feel this good, then I can make other people feel just as good, too.” Before I knew what I was getting myself into, I set my sights on becoming a Yoga teacher.
Years passed and I remained steadfast in my Yoga practice. My obsession with Yoga partially comes from an extremely personal place, using it as a source of solace and a path of transformation in my life. On the other hand, my motivation to teach Yoga, while rooted in a genuine desire to help people “feel good,” is also my own way of seeking control.
There is a lot of power in guiding a group of people to move their body, expand their breath, observe their mind and embrace their emotions. When given the opportunity to lead people through a shared experience of Yoga, I am there to help them to deepen their awareness and regain control of their body and mind. But at the same time, I am exercising my own skills in letting go.
By practicing Yoga, I learn so much about myself.
By teaching Yoga, I learn so much about transforming myself.
I discovered ways for recognizing my own cognitive beliefs and the limitations of those beliefs. I have realized that there is no “attainment,” there is no real end goal. As a teacher, I am not sharing what I have learned in order to show you what I have accomplished. I am sharing what I have learned in order to better understand all the other (infinite) ways in which I can practice.
In attempt to propel our own “transformation process,” we must delight in our desires. Because to change something we must understand it; to understand something we must be curious about it; to be curious about something we must experience amazement, delight and a sense of wonderment, which ultimately sparks us to... create change.
Let’s not forget the most important part of the whole process of transformation: letting go. This is first mistake that most of us make. We cling to control in order to speed up the process, to reach our ultimate goal or achieve that ideal scenario. But by clinging to control, we have forgotten that our life is a process and there is no end destination.
So what is it that you want to achieve? And how can you allow it to happen?
Because the “transformation process” is happening at all times, without question and without effort. Only when we step back, let go, and then dive back in can we actually steer the boat in the direction of our dreams.
In February of 2018, I will move closer to my dreams by leading a 200-Hour Yoga Teacher Training in Atlanta, Georgia. The 8-month program is designed to empower Yogis to become authentic teachers and courageous leaders. If you desire to change the world, transform your life and deepen your practice of Yoga - then this training is for you.