Amy Champ took the Wanderlust Voyager Immersion program at Wanderlust Squaw Valley and wrote about her experiences. To learn more about the Wanderlust Yoga Teacher Training program, click here.
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At the end of our Wanderlust Teacher Training, we gathered on a hillside, surrounded by wildflowers and clouds nestled around the Sierra Nevada peaks. Tucked back in near Silverado, a trail that’s usually buried in snow during the winter, we could clearly see all the peaks surrounding Olympic Valley.
We gathered into groups of four, sharing openly how impactful the training was for us individually. We each spoke uninterrupted, while the others offered us their attentive listening. This was a time where we could share freely, what the most important thing was that we learned during the week.
In our closing circle, some of us were in tears, many hugging, and everyone grateful for how gentle our teachers had been with us. It was really fitting to be able to summarize our experience, and really sit with how far the training had brought us, and to consider what it would be like to go back to our families and communities with these newfound teachings upon our hearts.
For me, it was Patanjali’s verse in the Yoga Sutras:
shtira sukham asanam
In this verse, we are learn that asana should be both steady and sweet at the same time. What I realized personally in the Wanderlust teacher training, is that the sweetness of Yoga can become somewhat of a narcotic. The soft side of healing and the energy of compassion can also lead us to be weak, if we are not careful. We need to balance our gentleness, and that energy comes from the power of core strength.
In my story, I realized that it’s okay to develop more shtira as a Yoga teacher; this means a deep commitment to Yoga, especially in our teaching and being strong in what we believe. To me the steadiness of shtira means having faith in Yoga, being a leader, and being deliberate and purposeful about every movement, the things I do and say.
How about you? It’s a wonderful feeling to reflect on how far you’ve come. Look back on the past few months and years. Can you remember what it was like when you first started doing Yoga?
What’s your Yoga Story? What brought you here, who are your teachers, and what have you learned so far?
Don’t just tell your story. Tell your very own version, with all of the details, embellishments, and juicy bits that nobody has ever heard before.
Stories are important and powerful ways that we pass along our knowledge. Indian mythology is replete with gods, goddesses, spirits, demons and monsters. All of these play a role in the drama of human life, but the gods are known to be larger than life.
And what about yours? Is there a newer, more fictionalized way to look at your personal story? Which god or goddess would be your alter ego? What does your yogic cape look like?
Go ahead and be daring. It’s just a story. Right?
Dr. Amy Champ is a scholar, yogini and writer dedicated to all the simple things in life. Studying yoga and ordinary people, her work is motivated by supporting women’s health and bringing people together in community.