Self Awareness / Yoga

Shari’s Yoga Safari – Post #6

Restorative teacher Training with Cyndi Lee

Ok, this is where things really start to get interesting. Now I get to study with NY yogis in their natural state, without students to impress or hold. Quite a few of the students in the Restorative teacher training are part of the Om 500hr teacher training program so they know each other well and have started to relax around each other. The rest of us joined in as we felt comfortable.

Cyndi offers a relaxed and informal space that we all slowly grow into, as does Cyndi. As the day progresses her pearls of wisdom start to roll out around us, it is interesting to watch who picks them up and who lets them roll by.

I feel slightly out of place, not completely, but there’s a little bit of a sense of wariness in the way people approach me; or is it the way I approach them?

I feel as though the first day has been re-affirming, an opportunity to slow down and come back to the familiar.

I go from the teacher training to a viniyoga class with Lynn C. (YogaLynn), back to The Breathing Project. What an amazing class in the style of Viniyoga. Only 4 students (me being one of them), each with our own ‘issues’. The first thing Lynn asks the class is for an ‘injury report’. there was a mix of physical injury and mental health issues. I could only guess at some of what the other students were working with but, as a therapist, it would be an educated guess.

Lynn held an amazing space for us. She was patient, (except when patience would have ‘fed the monster’ so to speak), she was attentive, she gave each person equal amounts of attention, She was incredibly knowledgeable and nurturing and kind and loving. But held her boundaries and expectations clearly. Inspiring.

Day 2 of the Restorative Teacher Training started with a surprising number of people greeting me with smiles and welcoming gestures. I was pleasantly surprised by this.  I felt grounded, authentic, happy, at peace. free of the demons of anxiety and uncertainty that used to haunt me and make me unsteady. Now I am balanced, now I know I am good enough and this calm, welcoming confidence is starting to have an effect on the world around me.

Parts of the practice challenge me, despite it being restorative, my back feels tight and my emotions are raw. I notice my thoughts, I notice parts of me that feel exposed and vulnerable.

Friends start to emerge within the group. Are they just curious or have I managed to melt some ice?  They’re smiling. I know how to nurture, I know how to hold a space, I know how to smile and welcome someone into being themselves and being ok with that. I know how to help someone feel supported and comfortable, how to listen to their needs and allow them to tell me what they need without feeling bad I didn’t anticipate their every need. I know how to work together with people, I know how to meet them where they are.

I didn’t want this experience to be merely re-affirming. I wanted to be out of my depth, I wanted to feel myself fall and my head to spin (oh, that already happened yesterday…). But here I feel good. I am happy, I am excited, I am ready to dance and sing and I don’t care who’s watching. This is hugely re-affirming,  I feel so happy and nurture a growing sense of gratitude that it is.



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