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When I Was Young
When I was a little girl, I stood in my kitchen and announced to my mom that I was born to do something great.
I knew this greatness did not come in the form of an occupation such as a doctor or lawyer; I can only describe it as an innate knowing that was already written and created just for me.
Even though I could not exactly pinpoint what that greatness looked like, I do remember feeling, in that exact moment pure happiness, love and excitement for what I was destined to become. Regardless of where you live –Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Saskatoon, Regina, Winnipeg, Ottawa, Toronto, Hamilton, Halifax or Montreal, St John’s – yoga helps us pinpoint things.
Fast forward to the last 10 years (or more), I have survived cancer; I have a stressful career as a RN; I was struggling with a new diagnosis of Rheumatoid Arthritis, and I am juggling a family. I seem to be operating on fear, anxiety, stress, and anger.
I was off balance and felt a real sense of disconnection with coworkers and friends, but most importantly, I felt disconnected from myself. I struggled with what my purpose in life was supposed to be. I truly felt like I didn’t quite fit in anywhere.
I felt disappointed and angry with all the negative experiences that continued to show up in my life. I was confused and really started to doubt my experience as a little girl… that I was going to do great things.
When I started on this yoga journey, I never imagined I would experience a transformation of self-love, self-acceptance, and self-belonging. Being able to love myself and accept myself completely as I am… flaws and faults entirely, is what yoga is to me.
Yoga helped ease my physical pain and stiffness. This was the main reasons for doing yoga teacher training, was I wanted to help others struggling with chronic health issues, improve their mental and physical health. However, I also experienced through regular practice and daily meditation, that the disconnection and sense of unbalance that was all too familiar started to shift. Was it a bonus that yoga was helping to ease my pain?
Absolutely. Was yoga helping me to face my fears and shift my thinking in order to change for the better? Absolutely. In her book, Braving the Wilderness, Brene Brown discusses what the quest for true belonging entails:
“True belonging is the spiritual practice of believing in and belonging to yourself so deeply that you can share your most authentic self with the world and find sacredness in both being a part of something and standing alone in the wilderness.
True belonging doesn’t require you to change who you are; it requires you to be who you are.” (Braving the Wilderness, Brene Brown, 2019). When you belong to yourself, you belong to you.
In The End
You are then free to stop needing to find belonging from a country, a community, a family, a race, a job, an illness, or anything else external in order to be happy.
You can let go and simply be free to belong to your inner self. I truly believe that self acceptance, self-love and self- belonging is the greatness I was meant to do. This is yoga.