Jamie Ebert is enrolled in the month-long Wanderlust Teacher Training intensive in Squaw Valley, Calif. Throughout the course of her training, she invites us to join her in her exploration of yoga, self and adventure.
Throughout the next six weeks, I am embarking on a journey into learning and self-discovery and cannot be more excited to share my experiences each step of the way. Each day, I will sit in the heart of Squaw Valley, California at Wanderlust Yoga, a studio with sweeping views of the surrounding mountain landscape, where I will be surrounded by some of the world’s greatest teachers and inspiring students.
Just three years ago, I taught my very first yoga class. Some days it feels like I have been teaching forever and others, I feel the very same as I did on my first day: nervous, excited, and completely sure I know nothing. But the experience of teaching has led me to feel more connected to myself, my practice, and other people. Now, I am in the unique position to begin on a new path to teaching, uncover deeper lessons, and this time it is under the guidance of Ashleigh Sergeant, Meg McCraken and this Wanderlust family.
My original training is in Tantric Hatha/Vinyasa, a style that has given me tradition, discipline, and balance that I cherish. My goal as I undertake the Wanderlust Yoga Teacher Training will be to bring these amazing lessons with me as I open my eyes and heart to new teachers and practices, guaranteed to broaden my understanding of both my practice and teaching.
For my first lesson, I am diving into something filled with tradition, from the very origins of Hatha Yoga: Surya Namaskar — the Sun Salutation.
There is a simplicity and reliability to sun salutations that lights me up to my very core. Each time I show up on my mat to practice, I get to begin again — start over, and press the reset button.
Through warming up my muscles, connecting to my breath, I start each practice with the perfect introduction: a Beginner’s Mind and a few Sun Salutations. Over time, it’s possible to advance in practice and become more connected through meditation, but it is essential to approach each practice and each day with fresh, humbled eyes. For me, there is a direct connection between my daily practice of Surya Namaskar and uncovering your ability to see the auspicious nature of each and every moment. The reason? I notice that every single day, I move through the same postures and every single day my body and mind will feel different in those movements.
As a yoga teacher, I have sometimes felt compelled to reinvent vinyasa, innovate the perfect warm-up, sequence of standing poses, and inspire students with my creativity. However, I have found myself always returning back to the classics. I find something new within the same familiar movements: slowing down my movements and timing per breath to last even longer in each pose, reveling in the movement of my spine between the deep contraction of Chatarunga Dandasana and deep spinal extension of Urdva Mukha Svanasana (Upward Facing Dog).
Sometimes, I even learn that no matter how many times I have completed the same series of movements, it may feel like the very first time – and I don’t always mean that in a good way. It is the most certain of ways for me to remember a vital lesson: every day is different. Each time I show up on my mat, anything is possible. I could move into practice and feel like Wonder Woman or I could just as easily feel like a beached whale. Sometimes, I try Chatarunga and I wonder how I have ever felt strong in that pose before and other times, I think I have come so far.
At the end of Surya Namaskar A, I look into the depth that this practice provides for my body and mind. It warms you up from head to toe and builds that heat in a perfect crescendo of movements. For me, the beauty of simplicity is the best foundation for creativity and inspiration. I love this practice and how it changes me to my very core. If this is any indication of the inspiration I can find from a new Teacher Training, I await each day with giddy excitement!
Jamie Ebert hails from the northern end of Lake Tahoe in Truckee, California. She spent her formidable, early adult years developing on the Eastern shores of Lake Champlain, otherwise known as Burlington, Vermont. She teaches yoga, manages the Wanderlust Yoga Studio in Squaw Valley, California, is incredibly geeky and passionate about all things photography, fantasy, pet-related, and of course yoga. Ever since she was a tiny person, she’s loved being a student and nothing has kept her more riveted than discovering the wide world of yoga. Now, she chooses to spend her time sharing, learning and refining her practice, while deeply aspiring to leave seeds of inspiration everywhere she goes.