I was thinking about sharing more about my personal journey as I work very closely with teacher training students and perhaps you might find it interesting to learn more about me. In making your decision to sign up for this training course, I feel it is important that you know about me and where I am coming from.
Much of my early life was spent playing sports. My father who was brought up in boarding school in Ireland also played lots of sports and when he was 17, setting a record for the highest pole vaulter in Ireland for the next 25 years.
After my 12th birthday, my father decided tennis competition would also help me through the young adult years. He began hiring well known tennis coaches and learning everything he knew about tennis from books. When I began practicing regularly, he told me that I would achieve the top twenty in the Florida girls division. I remember the night clearly, when his dream came true. It was a long, and difficult tennis match, as I was up against a top ten Under Girls 18 opponent. I played very well that night and I won. It was a wonderful feeling to have achieved the top twenty position.
I learned a lot at a very early age with tennis. I learned about the power of persistence and determination. And that hard work really does pay off. I also learned that competition for sake of winning alone, can have many drawbacks.
Toward the end of my professional tennis career, I really felt disheartened. I began to feel like a mechanical robot on the court and no longer enjoyed the game. I had worked so hard, without taking time to process, that tennis represented now my own inner adversary. I was anxious, depressed, and felt life had truly little meaning. I felt that being attached to my reputation as a champion tennis player was not who I was.
I did not know at the time that what I was seeking was a more authentic version of myself. Someone who was okay whether the score was up or down. I was cranky, blaming others, and feeling like a victim. I longed to heal my negativity and depression. I wanted to feel alive, energized, empowered and above all, to trust in the universe.
After quitting tennis and never picking up the racquet again, at 21, I was without a calling. I tried working in many different types of settings, as a waitress, tennis coach, preschool teacher, a substitute teacher and clothing manufacturer for my father. These years were very difficult as I continued to act out in ways that were self-destructive. I would drink too much, worry too much, shop too much, and my attention span was all over the place.
I found my way into first yoga class in 1996. From the first class, I noticed that I was able to quiet my mind, and soothe my fears. Practicing yoga felt in so many ways like I was home, and yet I still had to so far to go. Learning to look at myself in a non-competitive, non-judgmental and instead compassionate loving way still takes practice even today. The difference though is that I do not want to run away.
With mindfulness, I have learned to stay open, curious and interested in the places that require additional support. The main benefit I have received since beginning to teach and practice yoga each day, is the time I give to myself to enjoy life itself. I am much more flexible with myself when I do make mistakes. And I have much more energy left to engage in creative, healthy solutions both at work and in my personal life.
This is the first part of my story. Do stay posted next week for the 2nd blogpost on how yoga transformed my fear into courage and what life has been like as a yoga studio owner for over a decade.
What is your story? In what way would you like to become more empowered and authentic? Would you like to share your story with us in yoga teacher training? If so, please set up a consultation phone call with us! We would be happy to share with you many of our graduates’ success stories. Click here for a direct link: http://bit.ly/1cOjOJo.