A yoga practice is very personal. Even when we are in classes or workshops, we are focused on what's happening on our own mats. (I've even had a yoga teacher refer to one's mat as his/her own private island.) No one's practice is the same, and no one's experience is the same.
So I had the same expectation when I started teacher training almost a year ago, that it would be a very personal experience. Initially encouraged by one of my teachers, it was my husband who told me "you're doing this" and insisted I sign up for the training. Despite his support, I was hesitant. He was coming off a back injury (I actually filled out the training application in the waiting room of one of his doctor appointments) and for one weekend a month for the next 9 months I would be unavailable to help with the care of our 8-year-old son. And yet, a part of me knew that if I didn't take the opportunity, I might always find a reason, an excuse, that it wasn't the right time. So I went for it.
And from day one it was clear I was not on this journey alone. Sure, I had my teachers and fellow trainees, but my husband and my son were on this journey, too. My husband was our son's only caregiver during training weekends. He took on extra household duties while I was in training, at classes, and completing homework assignments. And my son, who had always come to me first with his wants and needs had to turn to Dad more often than he was used to. They were my guinea pigs for postural assessments. They listened to my playlists and endless discussions and explanations of what I heard. What had previously been a personal practice had morphed into a yoga household.
They were in for the ride, like it for not.
It was an adjustment, and some days were easier than others. Many days I felt guilty about not spending enough time with my son. As teacher training moved into spring, I missed baseball practices, and I even missed the season's opening day parade and game. That was tough. But it became clear that I wasn't the only one learning lessons during this training. My husband told me on the way to the parade my son said, "It's sad Mommy's not here, but it's okay. She always supports me and now it's my turn to support her." That certainly turned on my waterworks.
I wish I could say that was the only time I cried during training, but it wasn't. The November weekend fell on my birthday and in class during savasana I went into the full-on ugly cry. And there were many nights at home, sorting through my insecurities and everything I was learning about myself, that brought on tears. Many nights, when it all just became too much, my husband held me and let me cry. During those 9 months of training he was my safe space. I couldn't have done it without him. He never wavered. He never faltered. He never once said he regretted encouraging me to take the training. He would just give me a hug and a kiss and say, "Go do what you've gotta do." How did I get so lucky?
And now, every time an opportunity to teach comes my way, every time I add another class to the family calendar, he simply smiles and points to his cheek. We are way past "I told you so," so I give him a kiss in thanks and prepare for the next class.
Because even though training has ended, the journey has not. And we are a yoga household, traveling this road together.