Also, it was really cool to hear Lauran reflect on her process of growth and evolution over the last few years since she enrolled in her first Immersion. You know, I am not the type of person who throws words around a lot and says things like, "It will change your life!" but really, Immersions can really change your life! If nothing else, they seem to be a container in which we can observe, reflect and shift ourselves and during which we are paying a certain kind of attention to ourselves that really facilitates change. Sometimes I think, well, maybe all of us would be changing anyway over the year. I mean, sure, we really might and probably would be.
But I am also reminded, when I hear about people's lives and how they shift in the process of study and practice that is an Anusara Yoga Immersion, of something Paul Muller Ortega said about initiation. He said that initiation can set into motion a series of shifts and changes that would not otherwise happen. So these changes would exist as potential options for each of us but would not actually come into being except with the right catalyst. So it seems more and more clear to me that Immersions are a certain kind of catalyst for a lot of us. Sure, we would still grow and change and so forth without them because hopefully, all of us are maturing and consciously working on ourselves. But there are a certain set of shifts that get set into motion when we sign our name on the dotted line, give ourselves to the process and see it through to the end.
So I got a chance to hear a bit of Lauran's process over the last few years and after so much work inside and out- she is now engaged to be married, handing off her business, moving to Costa Rica and approved for Ansuara-inspired status. And from where she was when I first met her these are more than small shifts! And being a part of someone's process of growth is something that is deeply satisfying to me as a teacher. There is a nectar in bearing witness to someone's life unfolding that is quite rich, rewarding and inspiring. You see, when someone I am teaching and working with answers the calling of their heart and steps into becoming their best self, it calls me to do the same to remain worthy of my very precious seat of teacher. Seriously, this is good stuff and I know of no other job like it.
I feel full of that kind of inspiration lately as so many people are stepping into very awesome opportunities and stepping up into greater roles of leadership and empowerment. Mandy (also recently engaged!) has a video in with an assessor and should be finishing her certification soon. Jess Goulding was just approved for certification and will submit her application and video in the next week or so. Chris Muchow is a new teacher in town (check him out 5 times a week at The Castle) and while I did not train him (He comes from Denver by way of Amy Ippoliti) he will be finishing his certification within the year also and will add his brilliance to our band of illustrious teachers here in Austin. This weekend also marks the end of a year-long Immersion and Teacher Training process with some great trainees at Breath and Body Yoga and so a good handful of those grads will be entering the stream of certification and applying for their Anusara-Inspired status within the next 6 months or so.
These kinds of milestones are pretty exciting to me. I do not think external validation is necessary to be a good yoga teacher. I really don't. No one needs to stamp their approval on us to make our offering worthwhile. They really don't. In fact, by the time that anyone gets these formal designations bestowed upon them, they are already great teachers, they are already making positive contributions to their communities and they are hopefully, already empowered in their own hearts. In fact for many people, by the time that the official stamp comes along, it is less important to them than when they started.
And yet, the formality of going through the steps and jumping through the hoops and allowing the sometimes maddening and frustrating unfolding of the process to season us is a rite of passage and an initiation. It becomes a tangible way to mark and codify the sometime intangible process of growth and change that is involved for each and every one of the people who go through the certification process. And it absolutely sets into motion a series of changes that would not otherwise happen.
Anyway- that was Tuesday and then Wednesday was a fun and full day of teaching- 9:30 Focus on Form, 11:00 Seniors and 6:00 Int/Advanced. Both the 9:30 and 6:00 classes were so well attended and with such sincere students I was blown away. We are really deepening a lot these days and it fills me with inspiration and gratitude.
All right. Back to the email and the curriculum design.