Cathy; an Evolution student, yoga instructor, community member, and Baptiste Certified Instructor shares how the practice, the community, and the methodology have shaped her, supported her, and transformed her. Here is her story:
This year has been one of many changes.
Hip replacement to start with as the first. Moving to a new home, a transition of letting go of what is comfortable, what is known. Finally, this pandemic- COVID.
Changes to what was comfortable, known and grounding, to be on ungrounded footing, totally new perspective and coming into some bearing of equanimity and a living in a constant space of not knowing.
Most of my life I have used physical movement as a way of moving through stress, anxiety and change.
It is interesting to see what children gravitate to on their own as a parent. As I look back to my own childhood moving my body in whatever game or dance, we got into, I always felt freedom and joy.
First it was playing outside with my brother as we lived in a rural area. Then I discovered running ( pre Jim Fixx ‘s book, pre Title IV, )which was viewed as pretty “different” for a teenage girl in the early 70’s, swimming on my own and various workouts I learned from gym or books. With living in a rural area and not having neighbors, a lot of discovery of moving my body was on my own. Discovering how it moved, how I could create an ease as I moved, creating strength I never had before and letting go of thoughts that were challenging me at the time created a inner space of joy.
Movement, as a child and teenager was a place of peace in a big way and the start of creating awareness in who I was, what I enjoyed and it truly helped me think in a clearer way as with creating a sense of stability in moments where I didn’t feel it.
Yoga has been a part of this discovery for me from a young age, with Lilas yoga on PBS in the late 60’s, right after the Mr. Rodger’s Neighborhood show, to coming back to it in my early 30’s when trying to have a third child “wasn’t happening .” A young person ( child or teenager) may not have the words to express the “why” of the enjoyment and peace that the practice of yoga creates but they have a sense of the calmness , an awareness of peace, and of sensation of an inner strength that yoga gives back. As a young parent with little ones, it was the yoga practice on my mat that gave me sanity and peace and lessened the “got to be at this point mentality.”
Fast forward 52 years later, wow, it is strange to write this…
The practice of Journey into Power Yoga practice has given me such priceless tools to live each day, in a powerful, peace-filled, present way of being and in showing up 100%.
I am used to being uncomfortable in my job as an NICU RN, now over 38 years. Sometimes it feels like being a running back in a football game. You are on are toes and ready to go, in whatever the day presents, which can vary from getting a baby ready for discharge to supporting a parent who has received very hard, difficult, information on their baby, to creating connection between Mother and her extreme preterm infant for the first time in skin to skin care/holding.
The tools of Baptiste Methodology constantly transforms me through my practice, through each training I have taken on, and taking out to my life each day.
In other words, “I never arrive” it is a constant journey, and part of my mantra.
Which is why I signed up and attended Access Intensive this summer.
It had been ten + years since taking my first 250-hour training at Evolution. I listened to Baron’s talk back in May on COVID and COVID correct behavior and learning.
His talk so spoke to me and landed as these times are really opportunities to grow, to be all that you can be, to continue to stay in the grappling of uncomfortableness to be striving for your highest self.
After I heard his talk, I knew this was the time to take on what was possible with my time and not default back to playing piano , being in head about other moments, playing the victim role and just not being present.
I did it. I signed up for Evolution Learning Institute’s 250-Hour program; Access. questions came up “why- are you doing this again?” I have my Tier one Baptiste certification, completed 250 and Empower courses and the Baptiste boot camps 1-3.
Why Access again?
I signed up because I knew that in my heart that it was going to be in the uncomfortableness, the humbling of beginning again that I would grow in the space of discovery, of being in transformation of all that I can be .
I was ready for all of it. I knew in my heart that this would not just fine tune my knowledge of Baptiste Yoga but it would be in the place of connecting with others, with showing up as I am, and on purpose to be open to take in what I needed to take in, however it showed up. It was also in my heart to be in the space of allowing others to grow and being supportive in ways that I could as a student/teacher.
I think of Lisa Taylor speaking to the concept of “Effort and Ease” in class and being a “student/teacher as your way of being “. This landed in my bones many years ago and I have not forgotten it.
The words of B. Baptiste from his book Being of Power, “Yesterday’s enlightenment is today’s ego trip” is and has been a constant reminder that I will never arrive and that is totally OK, as that is truly growing.
I think of my Father pruning trees when I was young. As he pruned the fruit tree branches back, I thought to myself, “it will take forever for them to grow back.” But they were full and bushy and filled with even more fruit the following spring/summer.
Being in the space of effort and ease and using the tools of the *Five Pillars of Baptiste Yoga to stay is how I took on Access Training.
The effort of showing up and “not” being in the place of comfort, but being vulnerable, open and honest, is scary. It is the edge and that is where I wanted to be.
Yes, it brought up a lot of trigger moments: a feeling of overwhelm, old stories and dark spaces that I did not like to look at, that made me feel small. Yes, there were some tears but as I stayed in those moments, space was created around them, their significance diminished and the awareness that I created the story & I can choose to drop the stories and be in creation of being present to what is now, is up to me.
Just as pruning a fruit tree, through cutting down those things that just didn’t serve me, I created space to grow, to be reaching toward my highest self, and in that space, I was able to and continue to share, to be of service and love to others.
Access covered so many life-giving tools : not just to teach yoga but to live your life in an open minded, deep listening and compassionate sharing way that allows not just your growth but the standing in the space of transformation for each student.
It was a gift to be in Access a second time. To be a stand for myself and for each student. It was a gift to watch each person grow in their own way. From learning to teach a powerful yoga class to being up to something much bigger than the pose. To be your best self and share it with the world is the goal and it is truly such a gift for yourself and others!
It is a drop by drop way of creating a healthier world.
Words don’t suffice the feelings of watching growth in oneself and in others.
There is a strength in community. A standing for one another. A transformation takes place in connection, in being vulnerable to show up as you are, to stay in the deep listening and “not” have an answer but be in the space of allowing others to grow in an organic way and to share what is present for you and know that each student has your back to allow you to grow as well.
Access is for everybody
Tier 1 Baptiste Certified Instructor, 750+ hours RYT