In stillness there is peace. In movement release.
Traveling to Costa Rica for my advanced YTT in January, I knew I needed some type of life-altering experience. Yoga was starting to feel stale and cliche and not enough in the face of all the world’s problems. I had no idea how this experience would bring me back to inspiration but I hoped it would.
I’m still processing all the ways in which I grew, changed, and unraveled during those 3 weeks in the jungle with Lakshmi Rising School of Yoga and Wellness. The first major shift was at the end of week one. Walking in silence down trails to waterfalls, after a week of nurturing practices and prana-rich food, it hit me that I had finally down-shifted. My being felt more settled and peaceful than I could remember feeling in over a year. Even as someone who has worked to create a peaceful natural space for others, I struggle so hard to sit in that peace and let it fill me. I desperately needed to be taken away from my comfort zone of being a busy and important person in order to actually reset. Being a participant, a student, a guest for once, instead of a teacher/guide/host was so sweet and necessary.
My comfort zone is the mask of the strong, calm, and steady woman. Feeling and releasing my emotions has always been something I’ve avoided at all costs, through dissociation, numbing, burying it all inside. I know now that this doesn’t serve me well, especially with being an empath and a teacher. But I still have a hell of a time finding ways to feel things and let them go. In our last practice of teacher training together, Liz expertly guided us through an expressive, emotional ecstatic dance journey. After moving energy through several songs, sweating more than I have ever sweated in my life, suddenly I felt tears welling up like lava bubbling up inside a volcano. As a person who can hardly ever cry even when I know I need to, feeling the dam break and giving in to vulnerable, sweaty, ugly, messy tears was the release that I desperately needed. I cried for myself, my ancient stubborn patterns, my failure to practice what I preach, my broken relationships. For my students and the heartbreaking things they’ve told me, which yoga seems like not much to offer in the face of. For all the people in the world who deserve more than what they are given and for my own guilty, responsible, heavy privilege in the face of that.
Being a yoga teacher and holding space gets heavy after all, despite all the benefit I gain from it. I realized in that sweaty, messy tearfest dance that I have to keep finding these places where the space is held for me. I have to find ways to express, to let things filter through, to heal, to cry, to dance. I have to keep myself open and clear so that I don’t continue to bury everything, or numb it out by my ego-driven busy life. I have to go back to the jungle, to dance and flow and be still, and let this shit go more often. And I have to give myself credit for all the work I have done, even when it never feels like enough.