Reflections on Teacher Training: A Profound Opportunity by Erika Fryklepak
There are few things that make me feel more alive than the sight of a pile of good books waiting to be read (though it would be time-well-spent to conjure a list of other things in that category). Yoga Teacher Training, for me, began with a stack of books. Pure potential, maybe a slice of Overwhelm. Schoolgirl giddiness for adults. What changes and challenges will these pages bring?
Then there is the gathering itself. Imagine a group of like minded seekers all in a room together. Such a gift. At the beginning this is a group of strangers. Looking around the room, we merely see exteriors — sizing up — how friendly she is, how fine his posture is, how articulate she is about her background. We are all behaving. All open-mindedly-tentative.
We enter into yoga practice over the course of many hours in this room together. Our external shells start to crack off, some gracefully, some suddenly. Like prairie dogs, we alternately pop out of ourselves and start to be seen authentically — vulnerable and in the sunlight. Turns out it feels good in the sun. We bask in our shared learning. We study the postures, we study ourselves. There’s space for all of it.
I experienced my breath for the FIRST time. I experienced how my spine moves. My first downward facing dog. Walking and body mechanics are suddenly a fascinating thing. A scientific astonishment and a moving meditation, simultaneously. I meditated. I sat still for hours. I learned ancient wisdom from lovely people who gave the information willingly. How is it that I had been searching for years when the information was here and waiting?
I made fervent plans for how I would help people with this knowledge, this wisdom. “What is the entire world doing, IF NOT THIS?!”
Community is essential in this learning. We gain so much by hearing each other, and by being heard. Yet its a bonus to the REAL GEMS. It’s a personal journey, ultimately, so much is internal work.
The first weekend of yoga teacher training drew to a close. I rejoined the world. I integrated what I learned, or some of what I learned. I let the rest soak in — the sunlight that had shone on my skin, soaked further into my being. It’s all there. It’s all good. Ah, digging in with that stack of books. Windows into ourselves, gifts from teachers through the ages. It's delicious...
A second weekend of teacher training drew closer. Pinch me! This is like ANY incredible luxury that we bamboozled the Universe into bringing our way, we get comfortable with the luxury so quickly. Suddenly we belong. I rejoin the circle of fellow yoga seekers with my hands resting around a hot mug of tea, and each of us — our bums on cushions of careful choosing in locations throughout the room that have become our unspoken-assigned-seating — reflect on our previous month. We begin to suspect its NOT merely a personal journey, but a collective journey and community IS everything.
We begin again. The dive is deeper, the depths are infinite.
You see, Teacher Training allows us to be so fully in our practice, in our bodies, in our learning. Supported and safe enough to engage. Safe enough to expand. We are at our most raw, and often at our best in these deliberate pursuits of spiritual deepening. A truly profound opportunity. How much can we soak in? How much can we let go?
My most frequent sentiment during training: Let’s share this. Through radiant grace and peace. Let’s share this. Let’s have more of this.
See you in the circle sometime soon, alongside a stack of incredible books.