I still remember the first time I was finally dragged along to do yoga with my mother. I was in my second year of university and experiencing crippling levels of anxiety. After struggling for far too long, my mother exclaimed, “that’s it, you are coming to yoga with me, you need to relax.”
I was adamant I wasn’t going to enjoy it. It would be too slow, far too boring, and I wouldn’t get anything from it. And then I tried it. I practiced yoga in a small dark room with 8 other women at times with a yoga teacher I loved. And then week after week I looked forward to that experience. I would drive home and have the best sleep of the week.
Slowly, I totally got my ass handed to me when we did a flow vinyasa that left me sweating before the heaters were even turned on. That was it, I was hooked and I have been practicing yoga ever since.
I loved the flows, how mindful I was in this practice, I would go home and write down my own favourite flows.
I knew that one day I would complete my yoga teacher training. And just like that, what will now be called the breadcrumbs started forming – but really I can see they started before that moment too.
What started out as an intention, a seedling within my own mind has become my new reality. Even down to the studio I wished I could complete it with 3 years ago. A reminder to always set intentions, allow them to be. I was never fixated on “when” it would happen, simply knowing that it would. Now I sit here ready to embark on my Yoga Teacher Training in two days and to say I am excited is a giddy understatement.
I am about to start a one month immersion for my YTT with a studio based in Melbourne, three weeks learning here and one week in beautiful Bali.
Today I want to share with you how I am prepping myself for my YTT, perhaps you too are about to embark on this adventure, maybe you are going to complete your own immersion of learning and what to prep and plan or maybe just like me you love behind-the-scenes.
So let’s dive in how am I prepping myself for my yoga teacher training.
I love food prepping, it helps me make one less decision each day and ensures I have healthy meals to eat for myself. Meaning there is going to be a lot of food prepping in the process.
I am that person that has a meal plan for the week ahead, it changes as need be, but provides my brain with so much mental space not having to worry and think about what food I will eat each day. Seriously leaving me til 5pm to ‘figure it out’ would be toast for dinner.
On top of my normal food meal plan, I will also be bringing my own lunches and snacks. I prefer to make my food at home, I know what’s been put in it, I can make it exactly how I want to and find it to be more economical for myself.
Lastly, making some big batches of food to have in the freezer, ready to make meals to make it so super easy.
It’s going to be a big month for myself and my partner he’s in the middle of a big exam for his role and between the two of us not much cooking is going to be high on our priority list. So freezing big meals for dinner to whip them out and simply make it easy for ourselves is going to be key.
Also you know I love any excuse to head to the markets and food prep 😉
** I love the way that I started with the food in this write up, clearly I know where my priorities lie and that nobody wants to see a hangry Maddi – the struggle is real and the partner can definitely attest to this.
Body, yoga teacher training and perfectionism it’s highly convoluted aint it? Here are some thoughts that have been popping into my head as of late, maybe you can relate?
- I need to be stronger to do my teacher training.
- I want to make sure I don’t hurt or injure myself. (Very real based fear I have)
- I want to be able to do a headstand so I can take a really cute picture of myself head-standing on the beach in Bali when I’m a yoga teacher. (Hey at least I’m truthful about my totally self-indulgent reasons)
Truth be told I’m so super flexible and bendy but I know a lot of other people that feel they can’t do yoga because they aren’t flexible enough, and perhaps you will simply never be able to touch your toes and maybe that’s okay.
I could have told myself to wait. Wait until you are stronger, better, fitter to do my training. But all I would have been doing is waiting on the perfect, putting my dreams on hold because I was comparing myself next to the image of what I think a yoga teacher should be able to do. Which are quite frankly all BS stories the ego tells me to keep me small and safe.
The next option I could have totally ensured that I was doing the most amount of yoga in the lead up to my training, I could have been getting stronger. But really who cares? I’ve continued doing the same amount of yoga that I always have done. Sometimes up to 5 classes in a week and other times none. Because that is my life, it ebbs and it flows and I am okay with that.
Do I wish I could do it all perfectly? Sometimes. Do I think I make too many excuses? Sometimes. But I also know that sometimes my body simply does not feel like yoga and that’s okay.
“i would rather honour myself than an ideal of who I think I should be”
Even when I don’t do yoga and know I should of, I would rather be kind to myself and treat myself with compassion that berate and beat up on myself.
So in regards to my body, is it perfect, no, it never will be. Is it as ready as I hoped it would be? No, but at the same time, it is. I’ve been practicing yoga for 6 years now, I have been building up my practice to be one of strength, listening and honouring my body so I believe I am in the best headspace to do this.
And most of all, here is to leaning in, learning and growing so much in the process.
You don’t start out by doing something when you are ready, it is the act of learning that helps you become ‘ready’. Whatever that even means anyway 😉
THE INWARD JOURNEY
So I have this habit of ruminating, spiralling and thinking a LOT. And worrying a LOT.
The piece of advice I have been given by those closest to me again and again, is to not try to find a problem or pick something that has been healed for the purpose of a deeper experience.
I am walking into this allowing it to be messy, to be uncomfortable and to simply sit with that experience. A beautiful friend of mine reminded me that nothing can come up without first going through you and most importantly to let the dust settle.
I can’t speak much more about this at the moment, because I don’t know what is going to happen, but I do know it is meant to be an inward journey and I am ready to simply allow it to be what it needs to be.
I do know that my guiding mantra and north start throughout this whole experience is one of kindness and self-compassion. Asking myself what do I really need in this moment and allowing myself to have that.
There you go, that is how I am preparing for my yoga teacher training immersion, I am so excited for this, if you have any tips or suggestions that you would like to add I would love to hear it.
In the meantime if you wish to follow my journey the best place to do that will be on Instagram I think I am super looking forward to sharing the behind the scenes of this experience.
Image source: Sjana Elise Earp