Buttering toast and learning to fly: Yoga Teacher Training in the time of Covid

Yoga teacher training in the time of Covid. Two hundred hours — stretched over eighteen tortuous months — of sometimes not quite knowing what I was still doing there, why I was hanging on in when family, friends, my own yoga teachers, trusted therapists and usually-reliable guts were telling me to walk away. Two hundred hours of what a very good friend of mine (one of those trusted therapists) calls ‘buttering toast’.

‘Butter their toast,’ he said, as the going became tough. ‘Do what they ask of you, do the work, get to the end and then you can fly.’

‘Treat it like you’re an undercover reporter,’ advised another, not realising how close to the truth that might be. ‘Laugh at the absurdities. Make notes. Even if you never publish.’ 

He recounted the tale of his own yoga training journey, ten or more years before, with a different establishment. Having estimated he needed a particular percentage to pass, that’s what he aimed for, the minimum effort required. Certificate in hand, he was free to do what he liked.

There was a nonchalance about this attitude which didn’t sit entirely comfortably with me so I didn’t take him precisely at his word, striving instead to do the best I could, and I believe I more than fulfilled the criteria for that coveted certificate — whether my teachers agree, of course, is another matter — but I could see his point.

‘Just keep buttering that toast,’ said my friend. Just about every time we spoke, which was often. Image © AndrejaD.

That buttering of toast involved frequently fighting the urge to throw a tear-soaked, metaphorical yoga towel onto the sticky mat and walk right out of what was mostly a virtual yoga studio, thanks to the enforced limitations of Covid. Not that Covid was the only issue. In many ways, the havoc it wrought — and the new order it ushered in — worked to my advantage.

And there certainly were tears on the mat. Plenty of them. As a group, we had a remarkable knack of dissolving into emotional puddles, socially distant in every sense, trapped inside our digital cages.

Oh to be able to just put your arms round someone — someone you barely know — tell them they’re doing great, that they’re amongst friends who care, feel the same, reassuring yourself with the warmth of that human embrace as much as you are them. Instead we could only watch impotently as one or other of us silently fell apart.

Teachers and admin staff too would occasionally exit ‘screen left’ with a hankie (oddly, it was always left). Like naughty children, suddenly aware we’d unwittingly pushed an envelope just a little too far we’d sit there wishing there was a ‘rewind’ button alongside the ‘mute’. That was some toxic toast we were all buttering.

I had always intended to write a blog about the whole experience but it hasn’t been easy. In truth, I’ve been so preoccupied with the ups and downs of training, I haven’t felt inclined to write a blog about anything, a worry in itself. So many false starts. At different points, a different tale to tell. A lot of good bits, for sure, but that constant pushing down of anger and frustration is good for neither mind, body nor spirit — the very thing yoga seeks to heal — and it certainly took its toll on me. There were times when the anger and frustration welling in me was visceral. It scared me.

Maybe it was an age thing. Maybe a longer life lived offers more buttons to press through the self-examination necessary to become a yoga teacher. More demons to stir up. I was far and away the more mature (in terms of years, at least!) but I saw my younger friends suffering too, their ages ranging from mid-twenties upwards through each decade.

Unleashing the beautiful butterfly yoga teacher within. Image via Pixabay.

Losing the love: the Lydia Grant school of motivation

By mid-course, for several months, I had lost the very thing that took me there: my love of yoga. But I wasn’t alone. Other classmates too reported not wanting to practise any more, let alone teach. Our paths to teacher training might have varied but each of us, through the ups and downs of life, had discovered something in the practice of yoga that didn’t just help heal physical and emotional wounds, but inspired us to delve deep enough into that practice to be able to inspire others too.

Everyone, without exception I think, considered walking away. Again, maybe that’s normal? I don’t know. I have a number of friends who chose a faster route to qualification, committing to three week intensives in the sunshine or slightly longer courses spread over a few months. I’d earlier discounted one such course in Whistler, Canada. Initially, it appealed hugely. I mean, Whistler in the Canadian spring: how could it not? But, on reflection, I couldn’t commit to the prospect of a long-haul flight followed by three solid weeks of ten-hour days, with a ‘no alcohol’ pledge and an unfamiliar vegan diet thrown in. (I know. Bad yogi1).

The longer course, I thought, would give me time to fully absorb the learnings, read the books, practise the moves. And it did. But at what cost?

I’ve talked to people on other 200-hour teacher training courses, both recent and long-past — from shorter intensives to two years or more — who’ve enjoyed every single moment, chomping at the bit by that final day to get out there and teach. They’ve felt supported, encouraged and, said one, ‘it all felt very welcoming, very included, like being part of a family’.

Her experience involved levels of students learning, practising and teaching together, feeding off each other — which chimed with some of the other training I’ve done outside that 200 hours, which was technically ‘continuing professional development’ so I was learning alongside other teachers with a huge range of experience, and yet in the capsule of those moments we met each other as equals. That felt hugely empowering.

I’ve also talked to people who experienced or witnessed emotional breakdowns at their midway point. And I understand how that might happen on an intensive, when you’re up at the crack of sparrow fart to engage in physical, mental and spiritual contortions right the way through to exhausted bedtime, day after unremitting day.

If not for the glowing feedback I heard from some quarters, I’d think it was all planned, this breaking down of bouncy new students into a thousand painful shards before the beautiful butterfly yoga teacher within can emerge. The Lydia Grant theory of motivation.

Lydia, as my younger readers may not be aware, was the cruel-to-be-kind dance teacher in ‘Fame’, played by Debbie Allen2, who memorably exhorted her newest intake of flexible, fresh-faced dancer darlings back in 1982: ‘You’ve got big dreams? You want fame? Well, fame costs. And right here… <taps walking cane on floor> …is where you start paying. In sweat! I wanna see sweat. And the better you are, the more sweat I’m going to demand.’

And a huge part of me thinks it has made me a better teacher than I might otherwise have been. More resilient. Adaptive. I mean, who knew how to teach on Zoom before spring 2020? Very few. Hell, who’d even heard of Zoom?

No mud. No lotus. Image via Pixabay.

In search of that trembling inner voice

Where many of my yoga pals were handed pre-designed sequences to teach by, and continued to follow them to the letter for months after qualifying before finding their own ‘voice’, we were encouraged from the start to build our own. More than a bit scary. ‘I wish they’d just tell us what to teach!’ a regular refrain on WhatsApp.

But that NOT just telling us what to teach bore interesting fruit, unleashed a creativity we didn’t know we possessed, allowing that inner voice to rise trembling from somewhere deep within. As one of my new yoga buddies regularly observed: no mud, no lotus.

For me, that has involved weaving through my classes influences from outside traditional yoga, combining movement and coherent breathing, yin and restorative yoga with elements plucked from a lifetime’s exploration of other disciplines such as Qi Gong, and from my training in reflexology and reiki.

Online learning opened doors I might not otherwise have been able to access or afford — certainly not in the same eighteen-month period. Thanks to the now ubiquitous Zoom, I’ve attended workshops all over the world including New Zealand with Donna Farhi, San Fransisco and Austria with Judith Hanson Lassater and her daughter Lizzie, Oregon with Paul and Suzee Grilley, and New York with Drs Richard Brown and Patricia Gerbarg. Closer to home I’ve ridden my virtual charabanc around the country to train with Norman Blair, Adelene Cheong, Graham Burns and Ben Wolff in London, plus a long list of inspirational teachers lesser-known on the international stage. These names might not be familiar outside yoga-land but, trust me, it was a privilege to be able to study further with them — and so many air, rail and hotel costs saved!

Every single one of those ‘extras’ I enjoyed hugely. I had the impression it wouldn’t normally be encouraged to study beyond the bounds of the 200-hour course, simultaneously with it, but those outside voices and ideas kept me going through the darkest moments. There was an element of thrill from going ‘off-piste’ with the studies, into territory which truly inspired me, but there were times I felt very torn, negotiating this double life between often conflicting views and ideologies.

Still so much to learn ‘Probie’…

So. Where to start? Maybe I should have listened to my gut, that first evening — although, on reflection, I’m glad I didn’t.

Freshly checked into my hotel, hours before we were due to start (my up-front-in-full several thousand pound payment long since banked, thank you very much), full of excitement for my future yoga self, I admit I was a little surprised when an email landed detailing the extra four contact teacher dates we were required to add to our dairies. Attendance non-negotiable. And two of them I couldn’t make.

I’d already carefully assessed the diary for the coming months, only committing to doing the course knowing I could just about fit the required weekend modules (also non-negotiable and some of them long weekends) — and the necessary homework — into an already busy schedule of work, family life and existing travel plans. This was pre-Covid, when we all still had travel plans.

The necessary homework involved an additional 90 hours of personal practice; ten external class observations with written summaries; the keeping of pranayama and meditation diaries; a minimum twenty hours teaching practice; an exacting schedule of written assignments and tasks; the assessment of me teaching a 90-minute class; a written, highly-detailed six-week beginners’ class plan; a written 15-page mid-course class plan focusing on shoulders and a subsequent 15-page final class plan focusing on hip stability and mobilisation; a final teaching assessment (a nerve-wracking mere 20 minutes); and a separate but mandatory First Aid at Work training.

Rumour had it that previous intakes had a 5000-word dissertation thrown in for good measure, too. We should consider ourselves lucky it seemed.

The existing travel plans had already meant re-negotiating one non-negotiable module, requiring me to fork out an extra £350-odd to the teachers involved for private catch-up.

I’m exhausted now just thinking about it although, me being me, I also committed to two intensive yin teacher trainings and a series of breath trainings alongside the many others noted above but the point is, I knew when I committed to those extra trainings exactly where they would fall in the diary.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the more academic, written side of things — it was one of the reasons I chose the course — but receiving this four-extra-date bombshell just hours before we started had me wanting to repack the leggings and toothbrush, dive straight back in the car and head home.

It didn’t feel comfortable, this assumption that throwing four extra dates in the diary at such a late stage was okay. Like we had nothing else to do with our time. And it was a sign perhaps, even in those pre-Covid days, of the administrative chaos that would dominate the entire experience.

Having now gathered quite a friendship group of fellow yoga teachers, and considered the hoops they were asked to jump through compared to my own (or not), I firmly believe there’s something amiss somewhere. How 200-hour teaching courses can differ so wildly is beyond me. Despite the often emotional rollercoaster wrought by Covid and other factors, there’s no doubt I was tested to quite a high bar in terms of academic standard, just to achieve that basic 200-hour certificate, the stepping stone to everything else. The school itself likened the course and their running of it to a university degree.

And ‘basic’ stepping stone it is. I’ve even heard it demeaned in some circles — akin to replacing your red ‘L’ with a green ‘P’ on passing your driving test, the inference that ‘you still have a lot to learn Probie’ — and indeed we do but why is every course not held to the same academic standards? I don’t doubt there are teachers out there who’ve gone through far less academic courses that are far better teachers than I could hope to be, but why such variance in content?

Where’s the regulation, the oversight to ensure that embryonic yoga teachers come out not so much identical — because that would be very boring and uninspiring, leaving no room for personal interpretation and personality, and yoga is such a rich tapestry that deserves to be heartfelt, not just learned by rote — but with some degree of surety that their final qualification met the agreed standards set. Or have I missed the point entirely and there is already an agreed standard, with a bar set either very low or so vague as to be irrelevant ?

And why are so many students’ confidence levels so fragile when others have seemed to segue effortlessly from student to teacher without so much as a yogic gaze over their shoulder?

Although, as Norman Blair noted to me, an element of rose-tinted eyewear perhaps begins to suffuse the memory of teacher training as time lends distance. I now recall how, during one of his yin intensives, he asked the group (many with several years of training and teaching experience under their yoga belts): ‘Who here suffers with Imposter Syndrome?’ Every hand shot up. Including his. To some degree, we’re all quaking inside.

Coping with Covid choas thanks to WhatsApp, Wotsits and wine. Image via Pixabay.

Coping with Covid chaos with WhatsApp, Wotsits and wine

Anyway. I didn’t listen to my gut.

And by mid-March 2020 the world had changed. Two modules in and we were in lockdown. Some amongst our number walked away from a course that no longer resembled the one they signed up for, surrendering any right to getting what they paid for. Had it been a sofa, unfit for purpose, not fulfilling the ‘trade description’ issued at the point of sale, perhaps they might have got their money back on return of goods. Or some of it.

But Covid, as we now know, threw everything pre-Covid up in the air, without regard for where it fell. No such money-back guarantee here, the only available options to defer for a year (by which time it would all be over, ha ha) — with the inevitable ‘admin charge’ such deferment attracted — or lose a substantial sum of money. Or soldier on. So the rest of us soldiered on, with a frequently turbid timetable of reorganised modules, delivered online and, intermittently (when government guidelines permitted), in person.

It was hard on everyone. I felt for the teachers and admin staff who took the brunt of our frustrations, but as far as we were concerned they were the face of the company, the only people we could vent with. And I should just make clear that we had a remarkable set of teachers who were deeply committed to their yoga lives and their teaching. They were extremely knowledgable and passionate about their subject, and did their best to hold space for us — a diverse and frequently belligerent group to say the least — often at the expense of their own equanimity. We were all suffering.

One of the difficulties for me, as far and away the oldest old bird in the group, was regularly being thrown back in time to the recalcitrant teenager I once was but like to think I’ve long since grown out of. Ah Miss Russell… I did so wince at that post-mocks report regarding it being ‘nothing short of a miracle’ were I to pass my history A level, back in the mists of the twentieth century, but, hey, it did the trick that reverse psychology. I passed with flying colours.

Those same verbal tactics, delivered fifty-odd years later? No.

Intermittent admonishments to the whole intake — right up to the moment of our final teaching assessment — to ‘up our game’, ‘prioritise our studies’ and ‘conserve our energy’ because, despite eighteen months of blood, sweat, red hot tears and Covid restrictions, we still might only scrape ‘a conditional pass’ (and be required to submit to further training and testing, at our own expense), really didn’t help.

Look, I understand they were trying to squeeze the best out of us — and there was certainly positive and encouraging feedback along the way too — but it’s the negative stuff that niggles and sticks.

Our training trickled on through late spring and summer, navigating government restrictions and guidelines, adjusting to yoga technology (who knew those two words would ever be linked?) and the unfamiliar pressures of inhabiting the same space as loved ones 24/7. There was the strain of not seeing family and friends, not being able to let off steam or have a hug, and for some of our number there was Covid and Long Covid, and dealing with the loss of physically distant family members to this dreadful virus too. And the homework. Don’t forget the homework.

On top of this, communications with the school weren’t great. Emails went unanswered, information given often conflicted previous information. Last-minute announcements, dates suddenly added to calendars, things mysteriously appearing and disappearing from the online platform we were required to navigate — another bête noir — were all hard to bear. In our kinder moments we could recognise that they were under pressure too.

By October 2020, with Covid appearing to be making a retreat (again, ha ha), it became clear we were expected to return to the studio, initially without any option to livestream. For five of us, for a variety of health-related reasons, the fear was palpable. Of catching Covid or being asked to isolate, having come into contact with the virus. Of finding ourselves at the wrong end of the law for travelling to a different area. Of just being in the same room as other human beings. Whatever. Laced with that drummed-in fear of failing, or having to shell out yet more cash, if we should so much as blink and miss anything.

It became increasingly clear that the coronavirus risk in Manchester, the North East and Yorkshire was continuing to rise daily, the highest in the country. There was a probability of even tighter measures. It was also increasingly clear that organising catch-ups for the bits we five would miss while the others were in the studio was thwart with the inevitable difficulties of coordinating separate diaries. Nervous about attending in-person, we felt trapped between a rock and a very hard place.

I queried whether such a level of resilience testing was normal for us to grow into the teachers we wished to become because this felt like a test to breaking point, but there was no answer forthcoming.

Autumn morphed into winter and, somehow, we all found the will to dig deep and carry on, sustained by WhatsApp, Wotsits and wine. And each other.

Practice and all is coming

With the benefit of time, hindsight and emotional distance, it’s easy to forget how stressful this whole eighteen-month period was, such is the human desire to bottle it up, swallow our concerns, close emotional doors and move on. And I get that. There’s a sense of ‘that’s just the way it is, get over it. Life’s too short’.

But, alongside all this, I had become unwittingly embroiled in another situation, with a different teacher, which would unfold over the same timeline, erupting into denouement shortly after my final teaching assessment. And, looking back, I think that experience amplified my dis-ease in ways I didn’t recognise at first.

You only have to read Matthew Remski’s book ‘Practice and all is coming’3 to see how the wider yoga community historically has been very good at ignoring concerns about teachers and failing to speak out for fear of being ostracised. Thank goodness, nothing like the abuse Remski details has happened to me but it doesn’t have to be overtly physical, or even intentional, for something to affect deeply. The body keeps the score, as they say, physically and mentally, and mine already had quite a tally.

It’s never comfortable to learn that those we have taken as role models, looked up to, whose teachings we have followed, been inspired by, have fallen from grace within the communities they established. The lesson for me has been that it’s all too easy to internalise that discomfort. There’s a freedom and relief in admitting vulnerability and discovering that you are not the only one and maybe, by sharing my experience here, I can help others too.

This particular teacher was a breath of fresh air, offering me emotional support through the yoga teacher training mire at a point when I most needed it. Incredibly generous with their time, free of charge, their anti-establishment, yoga myth-busting schtick struck a chord with the hassles and frustrations I was feeling. Charismatic and entertaining, if a tad dogmatic at times — but we’re all capable of that, I reasoned, if we believe in something with sufficient passion. For all of this I remain grateful.

I attended workshops and classes, felt part of a community, enthused about the teachings to friends and encouraged them to join in too but, as time went on, something changed and I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. One such friend joked that we’d ‘joined a cult’. Oh how we laughed.

I sensed in myself a rising jealousy of the ‘chosen ones’ in the group, a sure sign something wasn’t as it should be. Something no longer resonated. People did drop out along the way but the waters quietly closed over the space they had filled — as though they hadn’t ever been there — and the feedback from every other quarter was resolutely adoring so I concluded it must just be me.

Feeling out of step, I wanted to withdraw but couldn’t quite. Still signing up, shelling out and turning up, I distanced myself by turning the camera off or picking up my knitting. Absurd, I know. Who takes knitting to a yoga workshop?!

Eventually, I did stop going. For a while, I felt the loss, not really understanding what had happened. And then, it seemed, a dam burst somewhere. Over a couple of weeks, there were public apologies from people who had supported and promoted this teacher. As I read through others’ stories of their experience, cold shivers ran through me. How could I have been so gullible?

But, as Norman Blair4 expressed so well in a podcast with Cora Geroux5, the isolation of the online world takes away a vital ingredient: that ability to chat to our yoga buddies off our mats after class, in a changing room or over a coffee, the space to say ‘Hey, I didn’t feel comfortable with that’ and have that discomfort affirmed.

This isn’t the place to go into details but, suffice to say, a number of people had come forward expressing concerns. To some it no longer felt healthy and healing although I understand that many also remain happy with the teachings. A key thing for me, oddly enough, was nothing to do with yoga.

Drawing on those inner demons © Judy Whiteside.

Drawings, demons, buttons and sticks

I had joined in with one particular project that promised to be a life-changing year of fun and ‘wonder’, for which we were required to submit a daily drawing of our hopes and dreams, that we might manifest them. I have always believed that we are all capable of bringing on ourselves exactly what we wish for — or worry about the most — so this appealed. The issue was that, having spent forty-odd years of my career drawing for a living, developing a professional reputation to be proud of, constantly questioning whether my drawings were good enough (because if they weren’t, I didn’t get paid), here I was being told my artistic efforts, representing the very essence of who I am and who I wanted to become, weren’t BAD enough! I should draw more like a child, I was told. The stickier those stick men, the better.

And, honestly, that one thing messed with my head far more, pressing so many old buttons, than the group’s reduction of every therapeutic process into a series of baffling acronyms (in effect creating a language incomprehensible to anyone but those in the know), or being told certain things were non-negotiable. (I hope never to have the words ‘non-negotiable’ appear in either my personal or professional yoga life, ever again).

No wonder, all things considered, that after so many months of emotional challenge I emerged a tad wobbly. Just to prolong the agony, our final assessment day was delayed by five weeks due to Covid, with our reluctant agreement (back to that rock and hard place). I drove home later that day, through crystal clear mountains bathed in Cumbrian sunshine, to a bottle of chilled pink champagne, courtesy of the Gremlin. The relief! I’d made it. The text from my friend said it all: ‘No more buttering toast!’

And so it seemed, that evening. But there was yet one more stick to poke us with.

How lovely it would have been to receive our certificates there and then, as other friends have done, at our celebratory ‘passing out’ ceremony. But it would be a further three weeks before we received confirmation in writing whether we’d even passed or failed, another week still until notice arrived via email that the PDF certificate (PDF!!) was now downloadable from the online platform — not so much as a gold stamp or ribbon in sight.

I’ve since learned that such a delay is the norm in Iyengar, a part of the culture, but they are an international organisation based in India dealing with thousands of certificates around the world at the same time. There were twelve of us! Without so much as an estimated date offered for when it might arrive, despite queries to that effect — generally met with an email shrug of the shoulders, a digital waft of the hand — we were just left hanging.

‘I’m back to buttering their bloody toast’, I texted. Exploding head emoji.

I didn’t feel I could press on — despite a couple of opportunities offered — until I had all my ducks in a row. Without that certificate I was still technically a student so unable to upgrade my insurance, join Yoga Alliance Professionals, make solid plans.

Piecing the jigsaw of my life back together. Image via Pixabay.

Putting back together the cathartic jigsaw

It’s taken a while to assimilate the emotions of the last year but I’m back on track with a spring in my step — this blog (I hope) a final piece in the cathartic jigsaw — driven by what got me into this mire in the first place: the inspiration of my own yoga journey and the way it helped me heal an ageing body mentally, spiritually and physically, not exactly turning the clock back but giving me the tools to cope with the inevitable passing of time.

Yoga — and learning to breathe properly — has made me stronger in body than I might otherwise have been, younger in heart and mind, and it has restored an ability to stand around on one barefoot-leg gazing at some distant point which, somewhere along the road to maturity, had abandoned me. Now I want to share those secrets with other souls equally dispirited by the twinges and niggles of life.

There has been support throughout, and catharsis since, in chatting to friends, counsellors and therapists, the amazing bunch of women I trained with and my ever-widening circle of yogi pals. I was glad to have discovered and trained with Norman and to have had the privilege of practising with him regularly, outside of that, thanks to Zoom. He has hugely inspired the way I teach.

My own teacher, Martyn Blacklock6, who supported my application and saw me through the turmoil, has been amazing. There’s been huge comfort in knowing that those who have come to my classes thus far have left feeling better than when they arrived, have loved my teaching and value what I have to say. I couldn’t have got through any of it without them — and, of course, the Gremlin, my long-suffering, in-house yoga student, always there with words of encouragement, to listen and hug!

Would I go through it all again? Not sure to be honest. There were many times I reminded the Gremlin of our conversation over Greek wine and garlic prawns, watching the evening sun disappear beyond the skyline from our favourite, harbourside restaurant in Vassiliki.

‘I’ve decided,’ I said firmly, back in September 2019, ‘not to go for the teacher training. I’m happy just going on workshops, deepening my own practice…’

I reckon there was something in that wine — or the prawns — because by the end of that holiday I’d performed a loop-the-loop, practised teaching my first class with one of the yoga teachers there, made enquiries about teacher training and booked onto a taster day. The rest is history.

I’d still hesitate to recommend it though, unless you’re up for a challenge and love yoga with a passion. To the point you will love it still when it turns into the sulky teenager it was always destined to be, awaiting patiently the moment when it comes slinking back to you, head bowed, for a conciliatory hug.

You will need capacious pockets, not just for the training (of which there will always be more to do, depending where your inspiration takes you), but also for the never-ending list of books you will feel compelled to purchase in the hope you will one day make your way down the pile.

And God help you if a world-wide pandemic or other catastrophe throws itself into the mix and you’re faced with the choice of ploughing on through into the unknown or throwing several grand down the pan.

I’m grateful to have come out the other side — more knowledgable and experienced, whilst acknowledging that this is just the tip of a very deep iceberg. There is so much more to learn and I hope that deep hunger for learning never ceases. It helps hold back the years, you know. It’s shown me how much more resilient I am than I ever thought possible and exorcised some of the demons of my long distant past in the process. 

I’ve also learned that some teachers can be extremely prescriptive, offering little scope for personal interpretation and that some can be oddly resistant to feedback. Positively hostile.

The nature of the training I have received from all quarters — with teachers whose teachings often appeared to be at odds with each other — has taught me that it’s okay to question, to form your own opinion, to beg to differ. It’s given me a much broader canvas and a far wider palette to work with. I’ve learned that I can paint the picture I want, not necessarily the one I’m told to paint.

Bringing it all into balance. Image via Pixabay.

Coming home to yoga and chucking out the toxic toast

Life is challenging. The joy is in recognising the lessons we can learn (easier said than done, I admit) and growing from them. That hiatus between the end of the course and now, that not rushing straight into teaching, of being forced to exercise patience, has given me time to really think about what I want to teach, where and how. It took me sixty years of life to answer yoga’s call, longer still to become a teacher — what difference will a few more weeks make? All along, I see clearly now, yoga was the one waiting patiently for me.

And, finally, I no longer have to butter that particular piece of toxic toast (though doubtless life will throw others at me yet). Now I can indeed fly.


1 Confessions of a bad yogi by Yours Truly

2 The ‘Lydia Grant theory of Motivation’ Clip from the 1982 TV series ‘Fame’

3 Practice and all is coming by Matthew Remski

4 Head here for more about Norman Blair

5 Listen to the Cora Geroux podcast with Norman Blair here

6 Head here for more about Martyn Blacklock

One Comment Add yours

  1. joshuaenkin says:

    successful butteting of toast…well done!!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s