28 Days. It sounds like nothing, right? In the grand scheme of things when we discuss our lifespan, twenty-eight days truly is almost nothing. It is just a small fraction of the huge phenomenon that is our life. And yet, in twenty-eight days your whole world can change and anything can happen. And for me, it has.
98 Days. As I sit here writing, a mere ninety-eight days have passed since I completed my Yogalinda 28 Day Intensive Hot Vinyasa Teacher Training. If everything can change in as little as twenty-eight days, then imagine the possibilities that await you in ninety-eight.
So what are the huge changes? How has my life changed so in the past three months?
I can say with confidence that almost every facet of my life has been touched by my experiences since I began my teacher training back in October. That is not to say that everything has been smooth sailing – I have hit many highs, many lows, and many downward dogs along the way. However I remain certain that each and every experience is allowing me to follow my true life’s path and leading me to a brighter future.
To start, I was blessed with the opportunity to begin teaching immediately after the completion of my course in November. Thanks to Heather at Yogalinda, the studio went from being my school, to hosting my first real position as a yoga teacher. While I was delighted to begin, the fear of teaching was not an easy one to overcome. As many of us are all too familiar with, great opportunities, while always welcome, may also be the source great anxiety. This situation was a wonderful example. I have struggled with anxiety for a long time, and yoga has always been a wonderful outlet for me. However, when I was faced with the challenge of leading a class and standing up to my anxiety, I felt the weight of the pressure baring down on me. I spent the first few classes trying to hold it together at the front of the room while my students stared me down expectantly. My breathing was shallow, my hands were shaking, and I mixed up my inhales and exhales a handful of times, but I made it through. After the first three classes, my anxiety began to subside and my confidence in my practice and my skills as a teacher began to shine through. Classes and sequencing are now something I look forward too, rather than sending me in to a panicked frenzy. I finally feel as though I’ve earned the right to being called a real yoga teacher and only hope that as time passes my skills and abilities will only improve more.
As much as I have learned at the studio, outside of the classroom is where I really feel the true growth has occurred for me. Teacher training is so intensive that for 28 days you practically live, breath, eat, and sleep yoga. By the end, my body felt so clear, clean, and detoxified and my mind received even greater benefits. What they fail to mention though, is that it is incredibly easy to fall out of this healthy routine when reintroduced to the world outside of yoga. The first week after training is a nice break from the monotony of the routine and is a nice chance to relax and recooperate. Where I went off track, was extending that R&R a little past its expiration date. I went from practicing yoga 6 days a week to being lucky to squeeze in 2, and my healthy diet, sleep schedule, and exercise routine all began to suffer. It surely did not help that my course was quickly followed by Thanksgiving and Christmas which meant lots of eating, drinking, and spending an absurd amount of time with family members. By the time 2016 rang in, I felt as though almost all the progress I had made was void due to my harsh fall off the bandwagon. In a little over a month, I had gone from feeling the best I had ever felt, to hosting a three-week consecutive virus party starring bronchitis, the flu, and a bad stomach bug. As much as I wanted to point the finger and defer the responsibility, there was no one to blame but myself for this and I felt a great deal of disappointment.
Here is where the miracle happened – that “Ah hah!” moment that yoga and my training has really taught me. Rather than falling back into old habits and allowing this feeling of failure evolve into an excuse to give up, I channeled my experience from teacher training to rediscover my fiery passion for life, yoga, and for my well being. I first took charge of my diet and my habits at home, before diving headfirst into a yoga challenge at the studio to get my body, my mind, and my practice back on track. Nothing is worse than watching your health suffer at your own hand, and I felt as though the knowledge and experience I received through my teacher training allowed me to recognize and address the issue before it could perpetuate into a real problem.
Nowadays, I have even bigger hopes peeking out over the horizon and yoga is allowing me to pursue them unabashedly. I am currently working on starting up a small yoga business offering outdoor yoga events, private classes, and special workshops that I hope to have off the ground for the start of the Spring Season. While this is a more temporary profession for me – I do have a degree after all – this experience has also awarded me some wonderful ideas and business plans for my future career. My passion for yoga, meditation, and a healthy lifestyle are now a driving force and guiding factor for my work in mental health and my dreams of owning a teenage therapeutic center. I have received incredible support from my students and fellow teachers in all my endeavors thus far and can only hope that I will continue to be so blessed in the future.
Ok, so maybe these changes may not seem as life changing to you as you may have imagined, but that is because each of is awarded a different experience from our yoga teacher training. These little life changes, are things I had been avoiding for years and I finally feel as though I am clearing my hurdles and moving forward. Upon discussing the matter with some of my fellow trainees, it is undeniable that each of us saw enormous changes in our lives immediately following the course. Some changes were small, some grand, but all changed our lives forever due tot the knowledge and enlightenment we recieved about ourselves and about the world we find ourselves in.
So what difference does 28 days make besides a certificate and a hard body? I have taken charge of my life, my health, my career, and my future – that’s what 28 days can do.
by Meagan Maria Klein/ 200-hour yoga teacher training Certificated at Yogalinda in 2015