Yesterday was the completion of my yoga studio’s second 200-hour Teacher Training Program. These programs are amazing and I am inspired every time I lead one of them. Yoga, in part, is about becoming more authentic, more connected to our Higher Beings, the divine part of ourselves. It is a transformative journey that leads us closer and closer to God, other people, and ourselves. You often hear a common quote in the yoga world, “Transformation In Progress.” Yoga peels away the layers that keep you from being your most authentic self and this is an ongoing process. Teacher Training allows us to go deeper into this journey of self-discovery and transformation.
The teacher training process always reminds me of a snake shedding its skin. In the Native American culture, the snake is a symbol of transformation and healing. The shedding of the skin is seen as a death and rebirth. It sheds its skin as it outgrows the old. It is also said that, as the skin begins to shed, the snake’s eyes begin to clear as if they will see the world anew. This is my experience with teacher training. When students start the process of teacher training, they come in with their life’s perspective based on their upbringing and past experiences. They have deep-seeded beliefs about who they are and what they are and are not capable of. Teacher training allows them to stop and look at their belief systems and evaluate how they serve or do not serve them. It gives them the opportunity to step out of their comfort zones by dropping what they know and completely emptying out. This is where transformation begins, with self-inquiry. People start to question their thoughts, feelings and beliefs instead of believing that it is all the Truth. As they start of outgrow their old way of being, they start to see the world in a different way.
When a snake sheds its skin, the animal is vulnerable for a period of time. Vulnerability is inevitable in transformation. In teacher training, students start to get real with themselves and others and that can be incredibly vulnerable. Through vulnerability we can experience true connection. As the teacher trainees start to shift their perspective of themselves, others and the world and become more open and vulnerable, they start to shed their old way of being and start living from a place of authenticity and possibility. Old scripts, like “I am not good enough” and “I am alone,” are no longer automatic beliefs. They shed the self-doubts and live from their Higher Being. Teacher training is the beginning of an incredible journey of self-discovery and a lifetime of shedding the skins that no longer serve.
I am blessed to be on this amazing journey. Every time I witness someone shed their skin, it inspires me to keep shedding what no longer serves me.