chai, Change, Depression, flow, hooray, huzzah, kirtan, mental health, physio, PTSD, Shadow Yoga, shoulder injury, Twitter, Yoga, yoga for depression, Yoga teacher
Here’s what’s going on right now: more whirring, more change and more opportunities continuing to unfold even as I don’t notice them until they are knocking on my door!
You see, I’ve worked out what was holding me back in the area of yoga teaching. Right now, I don’t want to do it for money! Well, not just yet anyway.
Let me explain – starting with today, even though of course today isn’t the first thing I’d tell you about if I was to write this story in chronological order.
Finally (and it only took me four months), I faxed (and emailed) all the documentation I needed to send in for my membership application to the Yoga Teachers Association of Australia. Hooray! Including payment of my membership fee, and by the time I got home I had an email confirming my membership number!
Double Hooray!! Which means I can now get my public liability/indemnity insurance. Which means I’m all systems go for teaching where ever and whenever.
Also, I went to see my new physio for the first time today. One I found out about via Twitter. After several sessions with my former physio I was getting frustrated when he kept insisting that my shoulder problems were actually just referred neck pain from my messed up neck. And while it’s true that I do have a messed up neck, my shoulder problems are quite specific from a bike accident I had last year (see this post: Crash). As a yogini, I’m probably more familiar with my body than many people and I wasn’t buying his diagnosis.
So I was complaining about that on Twitter, and I got a reply from some guy I’ve never met recommending another physio – someone who looks after all the circus people in Melbourne. Which sounded promising – since circus people and yogis both do relatively weird things with their body.
And yay! He was very competent and definitely thinks there’s something up with my shoulder as opposed to my neck (which has its own issues, but nothing unmanageable). After much prodding and poking, he has a working theory which will require an MRI scan to confirm or deny. And while it may require surgery – we don’t know yet and I’m not about to freak out. Whatever the deal is, I feel like I’m on my way to the correct treatment path and it will be SO GOOD to eventually have full use of my left shoulder back. Which is all good!
After the physio I met up with a new friend – a fellow yoga teacher that I met at Mark Whitwell’s workshop in February. We’ve been discussing the idea of approaching a national organisation here in Melbourne about running some free yoga and meditation classes for those with depression. We both have a history with depression ourselves, and want to give something back to the community. Also, he wanted to borrow a book and ended up borrowing two, and I scored some home-made and very nommy bliss balls!!
My physio appointment finished slightly earlier than I expected, so while I waited for my friend to pick me up, I briefly plonked myself down in a small cafe/wine bar, which didn’t seem to have a name. Bonus – during the week they have a very VERY cheap happy hour, so I downed a lovely glass of red, which set me back all of $2 (I’ll be back!). 😉
ALSO, I’ve just lined up a face to face meeting with another charitable organisation I’ve been in discussions with (via email thus far) about running some free yoga classes. I got the name of the organisation from someone in my kirtan group! This one works with “those who experience mental illness, disability, homelessness, substance abuse issues, addictions, and social and economic hardship”. I will be so happy if I can get some classes going!
There are plenty of yoga classes out there for those who can afford to go. There are even free classes at studios that offer them. But there’s a segment of the community that would probably never make it to a studio yoga class, whether it’s because of socio-economic and/or mental health issues.
And I’ve been in that place where the world seems exceptionally small and painful and feeling nourished and loved seems impossible. Except I was lucky. By the time I developed PTSD and depression, I’d had yoga in my life for many years, and it was instrumental in my recovery. However, there’s a lot of people out there who don’t have yoga, and might never try it. People who’d really, really benefit from it and not just because they want to learn to touch their toes or do a headstand.
I want to bring yoga to those people. And that’s my first order of business as a yoga teacher! Once I worked that out (it came to me in a meditation session on Monday), then suddenly everything started happening.
I’m sure I will eventually start doing some classes that I charge for. But not just yet!
Finally – tomorrow I start a new phase in my Shadow Yoga practice and it’s both exciting and the teensiest bit terrifying. After an awesome conversation on the weekend with the woman whose classes I’ve been attending, I think I might finally be ready to write more about my experiences with this intense and amazing practice.
And that’s my update for now. More to come soon, I just need to find some time (currently in short supply) to sit down and write my heart out for a bit…
Christine (Blisschick) Reed said:
We certainly are on similar paths…
Valerie from City|life|Eats said:
This post made me smile – I am so happy you are doing this 🙂
And thank you for stopping by my blog 🙂
This is such a great update Svasti! I love the way you are stepping into teaching via giving back and sharing this healing practice with people who really need to feel cared for, and about!! I can imagine how wonderful you will be for them and admire your generosity and enthusiasm for what lies ahead. I’m sure it will build your confidence in teaching over all, and will give you great practice, too. seems like everything is truly flowing!!
Shadow Yoga – just the words sound powerful and transformative. I really look forward to reading more about your experiences with it. sending love, Karin
flow with it…! enjoy the happiness you seem to have found 🙂
Rachel @ Suburban Yogini said:
This is exciting stuff.
If and when you do start teaching for the money try to do one voluntary class a week. I’ve always found this keeps me hugely grounded 😀
I think teaching free or donation-based classes is a wonderful approach. Most of my group classes are by donation or I basically just charge the gas money. I don’t need the cash, goodness knows.
I like donation classes because it encourages people to give the class some value, and be respectful of my time, but lets them choose something that is reasonable to them. I have never felt unhappy with what I get, and I have noticed that people are generous when you let them be.
Anyway, I think it’s wonderful that you have found some inspiration and your path is becoming clearer. Fantastic!
@Christine – I believe you! Haven’t had a chance to read that article you sent me yet, but I will!
@Linda-Sama – Why thank you! 🙂
@Valerie – You’re welcome and I’m glad my post could make you smile!
@Karin – It just occurred to me that this is what I want to do, and it’s the path I want to take. It’s not so much about building up my experience as it is feeling like I’m passing something on that I really need to pass on. But I can’t wait! I’m meeting up with a woman from one of the groups tomorrow.
@Emma – Thank you, I will!
@Rachel @ Suburban Yogini – I will eventually teach for money when it feels right, I guess. But for now, while I’m working full time in another job I can afford to give yoga to those who can’t afford to pay for a class. And that makes me happy, so I’ll definitely keep a voluntary class going when I do start charging those who can afford it. 🙂
@LaGitane – Like you, I can definitely afford to teach on a voluntary/donation basis, because teaching yoga isn’t my sole form of income. I like the idea of a general donation based class too. Hmmm, excellent idea to add to the list!
This is A Green Spell, logged in on my other blog, 5 Seed.
Well, I’ve just read several of your posts and wow! What a journey you have been through. From the darkness to the light! Thanks so sharing this. I’ll be back to visit more! And thanks for visiting ME! 😉
@five seed/Green Spell – Hey thanks for checking in! Yes, it has been quite the journey and I’m very fortunate that I’m now in such a good place. 🙂