It’s all yoga!

Yesterday in my Pregnancy Yoga Teacher Training we were discussing the qualities of a teacher; ranging from the voice and language they use to the space and atmosphere they create. In groups we discussed negative experiences we’d had with teachers, and we discussed positive and inspirational experiences with teachers.

One thing that was apparent from the discussions was that the atmosphere or space created by a teacher is so important – a space of inclusivity, openness, and acceptance. We talked about how our role is to meet practitioners where they are in that moment, offer to guide them through a practice, but ultimately know that their practice is personal and unique to them, and it is what they need in that exact moment.

I often remember one of the most profound moments I’ve ever had in a yoga class – it was during my teacher training where we started each day with a practice. We were invited onto our mats, invited to check in with our emotions, our bodies, our energy – and I burst into tears. I ended up spending most of the hour crying, just sat on my mat.

There were a few potential reasons for my crying, all spoken about in an Instagram post I made at the time (below). But regardless of the reason for my tears, they were needed, and more importantly, in that space, they were welcome. I felt held. It was exactly what I needed in that moment, and that’s yoga.

View this post on Instagram

What a rollercoaster of a day! ~ Yesterday we handed in the keys to our flat and our new house resembles a building site / Tetris game / storage unit. Last night was spent trying to relax as much as possible, along with finding suitable yoga clothes, one of my many yoga mats and all my Teacher Training materials. ~ This morning I arrived in Oxford ready for my teacher training, and with everything I needed! We always start the day with an hours practice. We were standing at the top of our mats, checking in with our bodies, our emotions, and our energy, the next thing I knew, I burst into tears. I spent most of the hour crying, just sat there on my mat. I wanted to run away, to hide somewhere, but I stayed, and more importantly, I just let myself cry. ~ I’ve got no idea what it was, it could be the stress of moving coming to an end, it could be the pain I’m in because of a shoulder injury, it could be exhaustion, it could be that close friends of mine are feeling this way and I’m channeling it (I have friends this happens with!). I suppose it doesn’t matter what it was. I just needed to cry, and in that space in the studio, on my mat, I felt safe enough to do so. ~ Everyone was amazing of course, lending me essential oils and tissues, hugs and kind words. ~ I guess the reason I’m posting this, is to let you know that it’s ok. If you turn up to a yoga class, or practice at home, and emotions come out, it’s ok. Sometimes I find myself in hysterical laughter, today I cried. And that’s ok. The whole point of yoga is to do what you need to do in that moment. ~ The rest of the day, was then amazing! Great modules, fantastic teachers! My fellow trainees took me to an open air market where I had Ethiopian food for the first time in 10 years (when I was in Ethiopia) – it makes me homesick, I miss Africa. ~ So yes, a real rollercoaster of a day! Now for the drive home, then dinner and a movie with Joe to celebrate our new house 😊 ~ Image description: the view from the window of our studio. A university/college building with a tree in the foreground – lit beautifully in the sun. ~ #YogaTeacherTraining #Yoga #YogaPractice

A post shared by Sarah (She/Her/They/Them) (@accessibleyogawithsarah) on

It can sound like a joke when we say to practitioners that if they want to spend the entire practice in a Child’s Pose or curled up in blankets they can, but we mean it. Yoga is about being in the present moment, meeting our bodies and minds where they are in that moment, and turning our attention inwards, acknowledging, and accepting what’s there.

According to yoga philosophy and psychology, the only place to begin an investigation of yoga – or of anything for that matter – is the present moment, because this is all that is actually occurring. The future has not yet arisen and the past has passed, and therefore the only thing we really have to investigate, and the only way to begin paying attention is from within this experience as it unfolds right here and right now.

Michael Stone – The Inner Tradition of Yoga

I wasn’t sure what to call this post, but I decided on ‘It’s all yoga!’ because that’s what my group ended our conversation with – after we’d talked about crying in yoga, spending the practice curled up in blankets, strong asana practice, meditation, mindful movements…if we’re tuning into the present moment, it’s all yoga!

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