It's been an interesting 3 days since the end of yoga teacher training. Surreal, yes, definitely. But I've also felt very sensitive. Monday was rough. I felt very raw and hyper-sensitive. I actually spent the better part of the morning crying. It was hard to even exactly name why I was crying. It just felt like a really painful heartache, like I had lost something really special to me. It took a lot of effort for me to go to work that morning, I just didn't feel like I had the energy to function in the "real" world. Which made me very grateful that I was no longer working at my old job in retail security--I couldn't imagine having to do that job or work in that environment after the day that I had on Sunday. I didn't realize how much it took out of me. I had said in a previous post that the Mala felt like the culmination of everything that I had learned in the training. The whole last day felt like the culmination of the entire training. It took everything that I had in order to get through that day. All of my emotional strength to get through the rest of the day without breaking down into tears after such a disappointing practicum. All of my physical strength to get through nearly 4 hours of asana practice (2 hours for the practicum sequences, about the same for the Mala) and all of my mental strength to stay so focused and present during the Mala. Although, maybe that was a different kind of strength or effort, because at some point, the mind left and all that was left was intense focus. I'm not sure if that makes sense, but that's what it felt like. Mix-in the range of emotions that I was feeling and I felt like I had no energy left the next day.
Thankfully there were 4 kids joyously running rampant around the condo building playing hide-and-seek, because silence on Monday was very hard. Because when it was silent, I felt that same heartache that I did that morning. I went to the yoga studio that evening to take a gentle class. Even though my body actually felt very strong despite doing 108 Sun Salutations in a row, it was still tired. I could feel it whenever I tried to exert any energy, the muscles were fatiguing quicker than usual. Which totally makes sense--that must have been the equivalent of running a marathon! I saw my Ashtanga teacher at the studio and she checked in with me (both about the last day of training and about a medical issue that came up during the last week and a half). I told her about how badly the practicum went and then how amazing the Mala was and that it was like being in the best version of a Mysore room. She gave me a high-five and said, "Thanks for representing!" It was truly such an honor to be able to represent and share that practice. I'm excited to get back to practicing it--but not yet. She told me to come back whenever I was ready, which is what I needed to hear, because I feel like it's going to be a little while before I practice again (in my world, that means probably a week, lol). I went to a Yin class that night, and that was pushing it. Not physically, Yin is not a physically demanding practice. Emotionally, it was very hard to just sit with myself and silence. After the day that I had on Sunday and the whirlwind that was these last few months, that was asking a lot.
I made a big change in my life in order to do this training. Yes, that change needed to happen anyways, but it was signing up for the training that eventually made it happen. Now I find myself in a similar place that I was in when I graduated from college, unsure of what direction to take. One thing that was really nice about the training (aside from getting to completely immerse myself in something that I love) was that it gave me direction, something that I hadn't had for the last 2 years. I think a lot of the heartache that I'm feeling is also realizing how much, somewhere along the way, I had started to believe that maybe I was "supposed to teach yoga." I didn't realize how much I had been hoping that something would click in my head and I would be able to do everything that everyone told me I "should be doing." Only to find out, that I'm no where near ready for it, or if I even actually want it. I almost think that I have been so desperate for direction that I let myself believe something and try for something before I even knew if it was something I wanted. That's one reason I think it will be a little while before I practice again. Right now, that's asking a lot. Even just running through a single round of a Sun Salutation or a single down dog is enough to bring tears to my eyes. I don't have the energy for it right now.
I'm feeling more stable than I was on Monday, but I can feel that it wouldn't take much to make me lose it. So, I'm "sitting with it" as much as I can tolerate and waiting for the "all-clear" from my body and mind. And, obviously, writing about it. I tend to forget things very easily, especially if they were stressful--that's my mind's "coping mechanism." But, I don't want to forget this, what I'm thinking and how I'm feeling right now. I don't want to languish in it; but this was a big thing in my life, and I want to remember what happened.