People come to Yoga so many ways. Some intentionally, some by “mistake”, maybe stumbling into our first yoga class, darting to the back of the room, wondering what to do next. Don’t worry, we all get there in our own time, or lifetimes as it may be for some, and in our own way.
Today, Sadhana Yoga School facilitator, Ashley Davis, talks about her path to yoga and how it has helped transform her into the person she is today, but also bring her dreams and aspirations to life in ways she didn’t know possible just a few years ago.
As with many great experiences in life, her Yoga journey started with a dream, to teach, but unsure how that would come into fruition. It began with a 200-Hour training, and she realized that We hope it will be an inspiration for those out there trying to find their path too.
Yoga has been a part of my life before I knew what yoga actually was. And I’m not talking about being able to bend and twist your body into contortionist postures… I’m referring to a way of being. Seeing the world with open eyes and an open heart, without holding judgment, and recognizing the connection that we all have to one another and to the earth. As a young child I always knew that I wanted to be a teacher, but in what capacity I didn’t know. Even when I went to my first 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training, I did not think that teaching yoga was my calling. I just wanted to know more about the spiritual aspects of the practice. Within the first few days of my program I was inspired, intrigued, and motivated. I knew that I was embarking on the path that I was meant to be on. From that moment forward I knew that I could never know it all, that I would forever be the student on this journey that we call life, and to me that was thrilling.
Since completing my first yoga teacher training, I charged forward into teaching classes, workshops, and retreats, along with taking as many courses that I possibly could to continue to educate myself. So, I can share my knowledge with my students, knowing that these thoughts and ideas don’t belong to me, but belong to all of us to discuss, interrupt, to question, to let go, to understand. I spent nearly 2 years training with Sadhana Yoga School to become a facilitator for their programs, and once I became a facilitator it dawned on me… I had become the teacher that I always wanted to be, without really knowing it.
Teaching Yoga Teacher Trainings has been one of the most humbling experiences of my life, and so incredibly gratifying. To be surrounded by people who are thirsty for knowledge, who want to find their true self, and I’ve been blessed to be there on their journey as they do it. With this understanding in front of me, I want to learn more, I want to be the best me I can possibly be for not only myself, but for my students, for my community… ultimately for the world.
So one day, during a course, I felt challenged by a student… my knowledge or perhaps lack of knowledge or perhaps life experience or perhaps something else was being challenged. I’m not here to assume that I know what others are thinking… all I know is how I felt. That feeling was a feeling of ‘okay, it’s time to learn more’. So I chose to pursue my 500 hour yoga teacher certification, to give me more credibility in my position, but also to motivate myself to stay on this Jnana path of the knowledge.
During my 500-Hour training, I transformed yet again in my own journey. All they asked of the students; to come with a beginner’s mind, to forget what we have learned in that moment, and to allow ourselves to passively listen to the teachings. Every day was a challenge for me… as I am always so excited to interact, question, and participate. Yet at the end of it all, I came to the same conclusion I had come to before… I will never know it all, I will always be a student, and to approach everything with an open heart. And in the process of finding myself yet again, I fell in love with India. Granted I barely got to see the large country, but I fell in love with being in that energy.
In India, people don’t seem to be caught up in the same distractions as we are in the West. There isn’t this need to sweep things under the rug, but to see the world for how it truly is. When I went to India, I went to deepen my practice and my education, and I took away a whole new perspective on life. The gratitude I feel for each experience, each moment in my life is abundant, and the catalyst for it all was pursuing my own path. That path just happened to be yoga. Choosing my own path is what I hope inspires others to do the same for themselves.
One of the things you learn when you enroll in a yoga teacher training – there is so much to learn. A 200 hour yoga teacher training is an excellent starting point, a 300 hour training provides an opportunity to go even deeper into your practice. Although it may start out as something you do for yourself, or in response to a situation, in the end, all your efforts pay off for personal and peer development, and ultimately, as Ashley points out, to be your very best self for yourself, those around you, and the world.
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