“I have been waiting forty years for this one month.” This was the testimonial I gave verbally to Emerson on the day of my graduation from the one-month intensive 200-hour teacher training in January 2015, and I meant it with all my being! “Karma teacher training transformed me, changed my perception of my existence and saved my life.” This is something that I have said everyday from about day 3 on. The experience that I had created in my life was so different then the one my heart and soul wanted to create. Mental health issues and addictions had driven almost all of my familial and personal relationships. I grew up in a fear based home but I also grew up knowing that I was loved and that unity was first and foremost as was service to humanity – a dichotomy I had yet to understand.
“ You are not your story, your thoughts or your feelings”. These were gems that both Emerson and Michael reminded us of routinely. I remember that first day of training. We started off with a meditation I couldn’t silence my fears in and an asana practice that literally brought me to tears. I felt like a farce, a poser, and an intruder unworthy of the scholarship Emerson had provided. The first weeks were so emotional. There were times I cried out of sadness, others out of frustration and sometimes out of habit. Out of habit? Wow! That was an amazing discovery for me. There came a point in training where I was tired of feeling like a victim, tired of being a victim, tired of acting like a victim. I began to ask myself what I was crying for. How were my tears and pain helping me anymore? It was time to stop feeling so much and to start taking more action. “Your pain is just lessons, only hold onto it as long as you need to.” This was one of the messages that Michael gave as he guided us from yoga doers to yogis. I still cry sometimes but I have learned to love those tears and the release and revelations found in the space where they were generated.
We have all found ourselves struggling along our path at some time in our lives. We have all looked for the lifeboat to save us when we felt we were drowning. What I learned is that we possessed our own lifeboat all along – yoga showed me that and Karma Teacher training brought me to its door, walked me in and showed me the space that was always there waiting for me. I entered that studio on the first day with very little yoga experience having spent most of my previous years in my house, shades drawn, sedentary and eating my emotions away. I walked out one month later a yoga teacher.
There are so many beautiful people to acknowledge and to thank for guiding me and for sharing in my journey. My fellow students, thank you for actively creating a community of support and safe space for sharing and healing. Guest teachers, your knowledge and light is crazy amazing and advanced our courage and practice beyond our imagination. To the assistants who helped us find our pose, thank you for holding us at our edge and for making savasana a greater state of bliss! Nargis, your beauty, smile, encouragement, hugs, belief and patience grace Karma Teachers and you are a blessing to each and every student and soul that enters the studio. Derrick, oh Derrick, you clearly have been giving love in all your past lives. Your presence is like a warm hug that you have been waiting your whole life for and your excitement, encouragement and belief in us is infectious. Your participation and place in our training was immeasurable!
Now for Michael and Emerson…
Michael, I can’t even properly express how beautiful and amazing you are. The gift of your light, love and guidance in the yoga teacher training experience is incalculable. You are a perfect mix of strength and compassion. You guided me to my edge and showed me how to love myself wherever that edge was. You are light, passion, strength, courage, fire, safety, honesty…you are love. Emerson, I overflow with feelings when I think of you. You are truly a soldier of love who stands with no armor, fortified only by your love, light, honour, humility, kindness and selfless giving. You carry your intentions with you everywhere. I would not think you were real if my path was not blessed by crossing yours. Thank you both for sharing your journey and for guiding others along theirs. Thank you for transforming me, for giving me tools, for helping me to save my life and for giving me the gift of being able to help others save theirs.
These souls, these lights, this essence and intention are gems that cannot be hidden in the alley where Karma Teachers is located. As you walk down the alleyway your consciousness is necessarily awakened to the location yourself and of others have in this world. When you walk through the doors it is reminded of what matters most, of the importance of compassion and giving and that we are all of the same light and love. I cannot think of a better place to enter this center of truth. We are all brothers and sisters and there is no separation in yoga – it is union.
Tags: 200 hour yoga teacher training, karma teachers