When I returned to yoga in January 2015 due to a back injury, I never expected that in only a few months I'd be enrolling in a yoga teacher training. I had already been very interested in health in wellness tin recent years after transforming my own health through healthy eating and working out. Friends and family would tell me how I'd inspire them to make changes of their own, but I didn't have any true qualifications, nor was I really sure how to help others in their own pursuit of health and wellness. Further, I didn't feel like that great of an example. While I had been in the best shape of my life by the fall of 2014, my regiment started to take a toll on my body, resulting injury.
For most of 2014, I maintained a rigid routine of daily 30 minute workouts and meticulously kept track of all the calories I was eating and burning. I was determined to embrace a healthy and active lifestyle and it worked. I had lost 30 lbs in about a year's time.
My daily routine helped me tone, strengthen and loose excess weight, but I wasn't giving my body enough time to restore. And while I was learning a lot about food and calories, the documentation process was so tedious, and frankly took a lot of joy out of eating (even if it was delicious food).
The process had the intended effects and brought on many positive changes in my health and well being; but it was not sustainable for the long-term. Focused solely on the body, I needed to make healthy habits that nourished my mind and spirit as well; I needed balance.
Then sometime last September, I started feeling intense pain in my lower back. My chiropractor found my hips to be completely out of alignment and ordered me to halt all high intensity workouts.
My hips being out of alignment was just another way my body was saying my life was out of alignment.
Returning to Yoga
Following the diagnosis, I decided to seek out yoga in order to maintain some type of physical regiment so I could retain some of the muscle and tone I had already gained; I wanted to keep moving. What I didn't anticipate as I began practicing, was how much it was reducing stress. I can't exactly explain it, but something just clicked. This was the balance I was looking for.
Continuing to practice regular, I started to learn about being present in the moment. The root of most of my stress had to do with me ruminating on things that happened weeks ago or planning out in much detail all the things I had or wanted to do in the future. Once I could accept that I was exactly where I needed to be, I could find relief.
By April, I could tell my yoga practice was working. I can't say anything around me had particularly changed for the better, but I found rolling with life's punches much easier. I wish I could find someone to credit, but it is said:
Following My Heart
After class one night early in the spring, my instructor commented to me, "Lauren, your practice has really improved, have you ever thought about teaching"? Proceeding to tell me about a program he'd be co-leading that fall. I hadn't ever thought about it, but was definitely flattered.
The next week all I could think about was yoga teacher training. What would it be like? Would it be worth it? How quickly could I make back the investment? Do I even want to teach??? I didn't know any of the answers, but I knew I wanted to sign up. To be honest, at first I thought my interest was only drive by my ego, after getting a compliment. Yoga teacher training is a big investment - both in time, commitment and money. It wasn't something I was going to do, if I only wanted to assuage my ego
But my curiosity persisted. The more I thought about doing the training, the more I wanted to do it. It wasn't my ego. It was a small whisper, deep down inside, telling me this was a journey I was meant to go on. And so I jumped in...
Finding My True North
As the fog of stress was evaporating through my regular practice, I started to gain clarity about who I was and what I wanted in life. A few months after I enrolled in the training, I continued to immerse myself in yoga, traveling to Stratton, VT with a friend to partake in Wanderlust.
Wanderlust is one of the largest yoga festivals, with events all around the world. The festivals mission is to "create community around mindful living" and offer everything from yoga classes taught by some of the best teachers in the world, music, arts, seminars, amazing healthy food, outdoor activities and more.
For 4 nights and 5 days I camped, hiked, did yoga, ate awesome food, and met a ton of amazing people. Besides having a ton of fun, attending the festival really helped affirm the choice I made earlier in the year to become a teacher. After being apart of such a fantastic community that revolved around health and wellness, I was even more eager to begin my teacher training.
The festivals tag line is #findyourtruenorth, in other words, figuring out the direction you should be taking inlife. The thought of becoming a yoga teacher resonated so loudly with my soul because I had longed for a way to help others along their own path to health and wellness.
Finally, 4 months after being accepted into the program, I will be attending the first class of my teacher training tomorrow! It's a bit surreal. I've been so excited for the program to begin, and now that the day has come I'm getting to refocus so I can find my intention and bring my attention to class.
From what I hear, this will be an incredible experience. In my hopes of growing Mindful Glutton, I'll be sharing my experience along the way. Please be sure to check back weekly for new posts, not just about yoga, but featuring healthy food and travel.