I'll preach it 'til the cows come home: Yoga Teacher Training was — hands down — the best thing I could've done. For real. I can't say it enough. It was beautiful, wonderful, spiritual, and I firmly believe I'm a better person now than I was before I went.
However, the thoughts you have when it's done aren't all sunshine and roses. No matter how chilled out you've gotten during your training, Real Life (yes, with caps) will come kick your Zen booty, and much faster than you expected.
Here are some of the thoughts I had after graduating my 200-Hour Yoga Teacher Training:
1. How Long Can I Keep This Zen Thing Up?
This one actually crossed my mind before I graduated, but only a few hours beforehand, so it counts. At the end of one of our last classes, someone came up to me and told me my credit card was having issues going through to pay for my training, and that I needed to call my credit card company. Oh god.
After managing to get someone on the phone, we ended up going round and round about, "Yes, I really am in Mexico. I've been here for a month. Yes, it's a big charge, but I'm paying for a training. Yes, I'm currently in Mexico. I'm going home tomorrow." And so on.
Sitting on the steps near the kitchen, with some of my friends laughing at my visibly difficult attempt to keep my Zen on while dealing with someone who just wasn't getting it, I wondered how long I could keep my newfound peace of mind and love for all beings great and small going. I think I made it a month?
But on my way home, my flight got cancelled, I ended up spending the night in the Houston airport, and I didn't get upset at anyone once. So there's that.
2. I'm Gonna Send Good Vibes to ALL THE THINGS
My training made me feel so in touch with everything, that for a while I felt like I was just floating in this big bubble of love for everyone and everything.
For example, under normal circumstances, I'm terrified of spiders. If I find one in my house, I'll put my cat in front of it and walk away, cackling as the cat hunts that creepy, eight-legged alien bug. But when I came back from training, a spider got dangerously close to walking on me, and I just calmly let it do it's thing. Weird.
At the same time as my training, I also did a Reiki certification, and so I was constantly beaming Reiki energy to people, things, and food. So that's something that might happen.
3. Now What?
Let me give you an idea of how this one goes:
"I really should find somewhere to teach. Maybe the gym? Would I be more legit if I taught at a studio? Will anyone take me seriously? Maybe I'll just work as a bartender instead. What am I doing with my life?"
And it goes on like that for a while until someone hires you, or you decide to give a yoga class in your backyard, and you realize it's not so bad after all.
But then you start thinking about signing up for a 500-Hour training...
4. I Should Set Up a Facebook Page
This one I actually did. Kind of.
I was all kinds of motivated when I came home, that I wanted to do everything I possibly could with my new-found skills. I had grand plans for my teaching, including everything from buying business cards to administering Reiki to hospice patients (which I definitely still plan on doing someday).
But I just ended up setting up a Facebook page. Oh well.
5. God, I Just REALLY Love Yoga, You Guys
For the first month or so after your training, you're still all-yoga-all-the-time. I ate better, I talked about the energy between people, and I did asanas at mildly inappropriate times.
But who are we kidding? We all kind of do that all the time.
This thought crossed my mind about every five seconds for the first two months I was back, and about once a day since then. I wear malas, I have around six yoga mats, I like Ayurveda, herbal teas, doing Dancer Pose in the middle of a club, and I talk about my chakras a little too much.
A friend of mine affectionally calls it "hippie crap" (it sounds better in German), but I call it a way of life. And it's a way of life I wouldn't trade for anything.
Because I just really, really love yoga, you guys.