by Ed Markovich
The first days of teacher training were a shock. Vaguely, I thought it’d feel like the best, longest yoga class. Lots of personalized attention and adjustments, with long trippy shavasanas. Instead, 7 of us mainly sat on a concrete floor in an Inwood basement, our backs stiffening. There was no syllabus, no real sense of what was coming next at any point. We were all uncomfortable, and thrown off balance, physically, emotionally, and mentally.
I realized I had expected teacher training to be a packaged product, a premium experience. I wanted it to be easily consumable. A smooth transaction. After all, I had paid good money to be here.
Once I caught myself thinking that, I knew I had gone wrong…
Last year, I lectured a friend against trying to pay her way out of a complex medical issue. Cure can’t be as simple as buying the right box off a shelf. She had to own the process of exploration even if it’s not comfortable. Try different modalities, see what works, even when the shape of the outcome is obscured. It was going to be messy and confusing, but that’s the only way to progress. My friend never accepted this, and to this day is no closer to fixing her issue.
Dealing with my friend, I uncovered my deep belief that comfortable experiences can’t cause big change. Game-changing experiences don’t come wrapped up in a bow. They are messy and require work. Why did I expect teacher training to be different?
Our tuition doesn’t buy us “yoga.” It buys us an opportunity to work hard at it in an environment that is conducive to the outcome in the long run, but by no means passive or easy in the moment.
I am so grateful for the chance to sit for hours on that concrete floor. I also noticed that it has become a lot easier. The way to comfort was through the discomfort.