Week 2 – Embracing Trust
Trust what is new. Trust that it will all get done. Trust others for support. Trust my environment. Trust that I will grasp what I am supposed to, when I am supposed to. Trust myself.
We ended this week by learning the 8 limbs of Yoga (from Ashtanga), the first two limbs being the Yamas and Niyamas, or ethical guidelines. The fifth Yama, Aparigraha, is that of trust.
Trust requires us to let go, something that is very (did I say very?!) difficult for me.
My yoga journey has already been quite a whirlwind. I felt very strong going into this process, felt like I had a solid foundation. I still do, but it’s like that song lyric, “the more I see the less I know,” or what our teacher said this week, “practice makes more practice.” It’s one of my favorite things about yoga – there is no end goal, no end pose, nor pinnacle result – you're a forever student, always learning and advancing.
I think we have a tendency to aim for “mastery” of a skill or discipline, and once we’ve reached whatever we deem to be that “mastery level,” we forget to keep learning. Taking on the role of student in something you’re already competent in can be an incredible teacher.
Yoga has already challenged me to take new approaches to things that are ingrained in me and that I have taught. It can be hard after more than a decade of study to allow new ways of thinking or moving into your routine, but I think we have more to give to our students in the end (and to ourselves) if we do. It’s important to not disregard new information without the thought and exploration to come to an intelligently investigated conclusion. This is where surrounding yourself with peers and teachers you trust is important.
Taking teacher training has been like opening a new door. Door 1 is the front door. It gets you on your mat and introduces you to practicing – door 1 is almost manageable. Then you walk into door 2, which gives way to multiple rooms, walls covered in Sanskrit, amazing people doing incredible things, and unfamiliar sounds. It can be overwhelming. You’re eager to dive in, but also intimidated by the depth it has to offer.
This is where I need to trust myself. I’m hungry to further my practice, but I also have to trust my own timing and be patient. Particularly when you have strong and experienced instructors (which I am very lucky to have) it can feel like you just want to “get it all” right away. But, just like in life, if you’re super hungry that doesn’t mean eat as much as you can as fast as you can. I can’t “gobble up” everything from a 500-hour teacher in a 200-hour course (as a simple example).
I suppose this is what my Acro students are getting at when I demonstrate something simple (for me) and they stand in awe and say “how?” – I always simply answer “practice.” Now it is my turn to remember the hours of practice that went into that “simple” skill and allow myself the same time and space to practice this new venture.
Sometimes a lack of trust in ourselves can hold us back. If it feels like too much – even if we are burning with the passion, we might not go for something because we lack the trust in ourselves that we will learn along the way. Sometimes we blame this lack of trust on time or current skill level, but if we are not fully equipped to succeed in this moment … we will be. That is what learning is all about – and learning is what life is all about.
“Some of us think holding on makes us strong, but sometimes it is letting go.” – Herman Hesse
Let’s not hold on to fear, but instead embrace a little trust.
Until next time, Namaste!