I just closed the door on the immersion portion of my yoga teacher training. 3 weeks, everyday 8:30 am- 11pm. Sundays off. Two 90 minute Bikram yoga classes each day. Two 4 hour posture clinics each day.
If you are unaware of what Bikram Yoga is, it is a cardiovascular Hatha yoga done in a 105 degree room. 26 postures and 2 breathing poses. It’s a natural irrigation of the circulatory system. It is challenging, but if you learn to breath and relax, it can also heal your entire body.
As a proud member of the scoliosis club, this yoga has helped me fix my body in so many ways. Finally, I just realized that I wanted to give people what I had found. I always want to help people heal.
When I signed up, I was well aware it would be challenging. I knew it would be stimulating, rewarding, and intense at times. Even knowing all this, it still exceeded my expectations of self development.
Here are my cliff notes for you. A peek behind the curtain of my training experience.
DAY 1 MONDAY
On the first day, my nerves were tangible and vibrating around the room.
DAY 2 TUESDAY
On the second day, I dreaded every posture clinic. I was happy to listen and learn, but I didn’t want to present. Forgetting lines didn’t feel good, no matter how awesome and positive your teacher is.
I yearned for instant gratification.
DAY 3 WEDNESDAY
No words came out of my mouth in posture clinic at 10 pm at night. Out of sheer frustration I began to cry. I continued to cry until I went to bed that night. Exhaustion had set in. Three days in a row of double sessions can certainly help you find quite raw emotions.
DAY 4 THURSDAY
Negative thoughts came into my head like an unwelcome visitors. I was happy for the my peers that they were doing so well. But you know comparison is the their of joy. I know it had only been a couple days! I’m not an idiot. Yet, I was critical of myself and anxious to feel like I was “good at it.”
The teacher left an assignment for us that evening. “Leave the studio tonight and try not to speak, listen to your radio, use your phone, or watch TV. Try and cut out all outside stimulus until you arrive here again tomorrow morning.
Instantly my brain assumed I would be unable to do this. Yet I walked out of the studio, knowing that my husband was long snoring on our living room couch and the kids were sleeping at my in-laws that evening. Why not try?
DAY 5 FRIDAY
The results of this experiment will be another whole blog itself, but long story short, I woke up that morning and went about everything in complete silence. Didn’t scan Facebook. Didn’t listen to the radio on the way into class. It was nothing short of amazing.
To think about how stimulated our brains our ALL the time in 2016. Rush, rush, rush. Screen, screen, screen. Text ,Text, Text. Stop hitting him. Com’on every one it’s time for breakfast. Yes i’ll water the flowers. Did you feed the dog? Alright guys, time to go to the car. That’s it you are going in time out. Say your sorry. Eat your food. Can you run to the bank today? Did you pick up milk? Where are you working today? Don’t throw that. Sit down please. Scan Instagram. Read the iPad while you take a poop. Text a friend, i’m going to be late can you lay down a mat? Yes I’ll probably be home late tonight. Did you unpack the boys wet swim stuff and take out the old food from their lunch box?
Brain moving every where all the time. Which is great. We live a happy, fun, busy life. Yet it was a reminder to take time to actually rest. Go for a run. Go fishing. Lay in the sun. Clean your house alone. Walk in the woods. Meditate. Go swimming. Bake. Read. Garden. Color. Do a puzzle. WHATEVER it is you like, do that thing. They are all a form of meditation. Why do yo think people with hobbies are happier? They have a short period of time in their busy life to stop and only focus on one task. Just swim. Just sail. Just run. Just plant. Just bake. Just sew. Something where you can turn off the external stimulus that we have surrounded ourselves with. Don’t misunderstand, I like my iPhone. I don’t want to get rid of it. But are you taking time to unplug and ground yourself back down?
I know, I know. Shit got deep fast. Yet, that’s what happens when you try new things. You learn new things. Makes sense?
Wow. So much self awareness from just shutting the f up from time to time.
Mindfulness Mic drop.
DAY 6 SATURDAY
My muscles were fatigued and my mind was spent. Holding it together all morning was effort. I had worked hard. It was time for rest and the guys I love best.
DAY 7 SUNDAY REST DAY
Spent too much money at Whole Paycheck. Excuse me, I mean Whole Foods. I shouldn’t even be allowed in there. #teatreeEVERYTHING
Then I loved the ever living crap out of my entourage.
We went out for seafood and after we stopped to play at the beach for an hour before it got dark. A woman was waving to Ben and he was putting on a ham show, flirting it up with the Cougars always. She smiled, turned to me and said “you have a beautiful family. Enjoy the rest of your vacation.” I smiled and thanked her as she walked away. Then smiled to myself and thought how lucky we are to live here every day
DAY 8 MONDAY
I was ready to get back to learning. Yet, I couldn’t shake the self doubt. I started thinking to myself, “well no matter what happens Britt, this is still an awesome experience. Even if you don’t get certified. You still are learning so much about yourself and really healing your body. So its a win win. right? I’ll just be positive and try and enjoy myself.”
DAY 9 TUESDAY
We discussed how people need to get on board with understanding their good in both Eastern and Western medicine. Why can’t some forms of energy healing be effective? Why can’t Yoga be the FIRST suggestion if someone has anxiety or depression? But why can’t there also be a time and place for surgery or drugs to be used? Why can’t it ALL exist. Take the best from both.
People are just so stuck in their specific way of thinking. Being open to hearing about something or trying something new, doesn’t mean you have to stick with it if it doesn’t work for you. Massage, yoga, acupuncture ect. ect. You can’t call it hippie dippie anymore. The science will now back it up for you.
Take care of your body. Take care of your mind.
People are interesting.
Stay open minded.
DAY 10 WEDNESDAY
On this particularly hump day, it felt more like a valley day. I was enjoying myself, yet I still found ways to get frustrated with myself. Maybe it was the lack of sleep. Maybe it was the lack of discipline. But instead of cheering for myself, I was my own biggest critic.
So on this very day, the teacher came in a played us the Motivation Mindshift, Tony Robbins Video. Coincidence? Doubt it. I don’t know if I think anything in life is a coincidence anymore. I mean, I grew a human being inside my body. Then pushed him out and he was half of me and half of my husband. After that real of a life experience, I don’t doubt much anymore.
Is life really that random? Or is it just a bunch of low flares around us all the time. Then we choose if we notice or not. Hmm..
Either way, the video raised every hair on my arm. It starts… “There is nothing more powerful than a changed mind…..”
I listen to that video before the afternoon class.
“Most people go through life with their brakes on!”
Then I listened to it as I drove home at 11pm down a dark and abandoned Route 6A.
“The only thing that’s going to make you happy my friend, this year or any other, is to step up. It’s to raise the standard. It’s to discover what you are capable. of and feel that incredible power of pushing through whatever is holding you back and get to the other side of more of your true self. That’s what this games all about.”
DAY 11 THURSDAY
What my social media shows you about Yoga teacher training:
What Yoga teacher training is really like:
More Tony Robbins yelling at me in the back of my mind.
“Most of us don’t use the stuff that we have brought into the universe. Stop wasting valuable time. If you want something, you have got to be relentless, you’ve got to learn how to become resourceful. You’ve got to learn how to become creative.”
DAY 12 FRIDAY
Tree pose on a Friday.
Then I listened to the Mindshift video again before class. I know, I know. Excessive. Yet, it just became a quick and easy meditation. Block out the “I bet class is going to suck today. Ugh I ate too close to class. Hmm.. how nice would it be to take a nap right now?” Just focus on the goal.
” If you look at someone who is really successful and you’re like ‘Wow they’re so amazing, they are such a genius.’ You’ve got to dig underneath and you gotta remember something, people are rewarded in public, for what they practiced for years in private.
DAY 13 SATURDAY
At Noon training ending. I was driving down 6A on Cape Cod in a jeep wrangler singing Bob Seger at the top of my lungs. Someday lady you’ll accompany me…. Beeping at strangers. Deciding to be proud of myself. Deciding I work my ass off this week and that is good enough for today. I will get better. But for today, I’ll celebrate.
Zero personal space upon arrival of home.
I liked it.
DAY 14 SUNDAY REST DAY
Food prep like whoa.
“Look Mom! We shuckin’!” Ben, 3
DAY 15 MONDAY
Trust the process.
The Dad was still surviving.
The mornings were hard to leave the boys. Yet, they continued to amaze me everyday at how flexible and adaptable they had been.
DAY 16 TUESDAY
I felt differently. My body was stronger. My mind was sharper. I was happier.
I told a class that night, taught by a yoga man wizard. The class was packed. His energy was vibrating all around the room. Every one moved at the same time as his words. What a magical trick. The power of group energy is fascinating. How you can’t recreate this work out while you are home and alone. You can’t.
It’s why i’ve always loved team sports. Yes the exercise and actual game is great, but there is so much more to it. There is so much people gain from being part of a team. Taking turns carrying each other along throughout life. It’s actually quite remarkable.
I continued to stick the Mindshift video on youtube and put my headphones in before class.
“Most people give up on themselves easily. You know the human spirit is powerful? There’s nothing as powerful. It’s hard to kill the human spirit. You are unstoppable.”
DAY 17 WEDNESDAY
It was easier to focus, knowing that they boys were at all their favorite places, with their favorite people all week. They would ask me what I learned at school. I told them, “Head shoulders knees and toes.”
DAY 18 THURSDAY
We watched a video all about body language. Yes, the body language of others will help shape our opinion of people whether we realize it or not. But did you know you always can tell your own brain the same thing? Amy Cuddy talks about how we actually can change the way we think about ourselves through our own body language. You can Check it out here. She works for Ivy league schools dealing with the psychology of business, yet this can be applied to any life situation ever. Brilliant. Same tiny things, that can change our whole persona.
DAY 19 FRIDAY
We couldn’t stop laughing. In fairness, you try and keep a straight face when someone is telling you to do “camel toes” instead of “camel pose.” But in the silly late night laughing during posture clinic, I realized something. I loved them.
Connecting with other human beings is what life is all about. Meeting different people along your journey that we call life. Getting unlimited support from two women who a month ago were strangers to me.
How can I repay them? How do you repay someone who has given you an experience? Not a gift. Gifts are tangible. An experience is life changing.
DAY 20 SATURDAY
During the 33rd class of the immersion part of the training, I was basically carrying my own dead carcass across the finish line, like I was in a Lifetime movie. Yet, it was beautiful. Beautiful for the feeling you get when you actually stick with something. The accomplishment that floods your body when you obtain a goal. The pride you feel when you take a leap of faith and your life changes forever.
33 Bikram yoga classes completed in 3 weeks with the help of 3 amazing teammates and 2 outstanding coaches. Good thing this isn’t even the end, it’s just the beginning! ❤️😉 33 classes? What a fitting number, because I am basically the Larry bird of yoga. You would look at me and never guess I would be great at yoga, metal spine and all. But I am dedicated and I will out hustle you, because this is what I am meant to do. #33
DAY 21 SUNDAY REST DAY
Teacher training is only half way done. The immersion part may be complete, but now I gotta get my teacher hat on. Study my ass off. Which will take some focus because you know how much I love doing the opposite of what I am suppose to be doing. But this is truly different. It’s the first thing I’ve ever worked hard at, but equally enjoyed. This is definitely just the beginning.
“Telling yourself everyday, here I go again, and I got what it takes. T
his is my day and nothing out here is going to stop me.”
Thanks Kelly & Lee.