Finding My Place by Maddy Heikkila (YTT Assistant)

Wise Leader? Crap, I got the wrong card. I think for a second about grabbing a different one from the line of Sacred Traveler cards that Hilary laid out on the ground and realize it's too late, everyone's already here. It's the first day of Yoga Teacher Training and I'm sitting at the front of the room with the lead teachers. I feel like I'm in the wrong spot. I decide to take the card as a sign and try to shift my perspective but it still feels weird.

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Hilary Buckwalter Kesti
The Hidden Purpose in the Wound: Living Into the Metaphor of Scoliosis by Hilary Buckwalter Kesti

Through suffering I have met new parts of myself. It’s almost as if scoliosis was a training ground, a Heroine’s journey into the underworld to gather the materials that I would eventually require. In these underworld journeys, in our suffering, this is where we dissolve, and meet the multiplicity of ourselves. Hillman called this necessary disintegration in the underworld, “falling apart.”  This is where soul rejoins symptom for me, in the dissolution, the loss, in falling apart to a larger story; making room for what serves soul.

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Hilary Buckwalter Kesti
A Transformative Weekend by Susan Marinac (YTT Cohort 1)

Moving through Dream Tending, there seemed to be a common thread while we were sharing our dreams in circle. One of us would share a dream and often start out animated, laughing, light hearted while explaining the goofiness of a dream. But as we tended the dream together, through focused questions while uncovering the symbolic meaning, the dreamer’s mood would visibly shift and become more serious as the unconscious meaning of the dream would come into awareness. We all saw and felt this as a collective experience and a deep social connectedness. It was incredibly powerful, that feeling of dropping down into the unconscious, together.

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Facing the Unimaginable by Hilary Buckwalter Kesti

...I’m talking about the other kind of Hero’s Journey. The one where you are summarily grabbed from behind in a sleeper hold by the Fates and then thrown against your will into a dark pit of steaming vipers, landing at the bottom, alone, with your femur bone sticking out of your thigh. This is the Hero’s Journey where you face the unimaginable. This is the descent into the Underworld.

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Reflections on Teacher Training: Crash Course by Hilary Buckwalter Kesti

On my first day of teacher training, I found myself in downward facing dog during a class practice. I was feeling quite proud of myself and my ability to get my heels all the way down to the floor. Suddenly, the lead instructor pointed out my red face, hyper-extended joints, and that I wasn't breathing. I was shocked. I had thought that I had been doing the pose "the right way."

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Reflections of India: My Greatest Teacher by Katie Olson

Allowing my mind’s energy to sink into my body — this is the moment India became my greatest form of meditation in life. Simply going with the flow. I honed into my inner strength, my breath, the wisdom of being human, I tapped into a peaceful space inside of myself in the midst of an absolute cluster fuck and I promised myself to stick with it for the long haul, six months of studying India’s culture.

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Erika Fryklepak
Reflections of India: Lessons in Balance by Emily Ostos

When asked to write about my experiences traveling around India, I found myself initially torn. Do I write a shiny, sugarcoated yogi blog about a Nag Champa scented journey to the Motherland of Yoga? Or should I be brutally honest and open, concerning all aspects of my trip? Having been an experienced backpacker, I’d thought my travels in Central and South America would’ve prepared me for travel in India... I was wrong. 

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Hilary Buckwalter Kesti
When It's Hard to Get to the Mat by Hilary Buckwalter Kesti

It’s not always easy to commit to a daily practice of yoga and meditation. Recently, I have had to reassess my own practice in the face of other commitments like motherhood, business ownership, farmlette life, and grad school. It feels like there are many things competing for my attention, and yet I know, that without my practice things will feel even more out of balance.

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A Clearer Path: The Yoga Sutra, by Hilary Buckwalter Kesti

The Yoga Sutra is basically a road map. It is a pathway of knowledge, wisdom, and disciplined practice to achieve what many yoga practitioners refer to as enlightenment or Samadhi. In its simplest form the Yoga Sutra can be thought of as an instruction manual for healthy and whole living. It’s really, pretty cool...

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