Changing Tune [my yoga teacher training: part four]

Have you ever danced blindfolded, in a room full of people, like no one is watching?

Neither had I.

Week two kicked the living crap out of me. That, there is no denying. I see it in the bags under my eyes, and in the way my clothes fit looser on my body. However, as week three demanded even more of me, physically and mentally, I noticed my aversion towards the situation change.

Now I wouldn’t say I merely accepted it and stopped complaining about it. I’ll never be near as optimistic as the Dalai Lama. Rather, I decided to roll with it and work out ways of making light of an otherwise heavy situation. This welcomed change of heart started mid-week around 6:30 in the morning.

This particular day was different from the get go. For starters, I woke up at 5:00am, wide awake, without the help of my alarm clock. I had a cold shower, didn’t rush through my morning coffee, and as I was the only person awake at the time, just listened to the silence. I even forgot about scanning through morning feeds on my phone. Sure, I was tired physically; this factor hadn’t changed. But I wasn’t suffering. I wasn’t dreading the things that hadn’t taken place, but, that I knew were closely on the horizon. I wasn’t thinking of the pain I felt in my limbs or the fact that already the dead heat was creeping in on us. I was still. Quiet. Contemplative.

When morning meditation started, I noticed I was in a groove so I embraced it with open arms. Then, just as I was getting settled on my mat, things took a slight turn. “Did you all bring your scarfs to class?”

Shit, I forgot.

When I returned with what (I didn’t know at the time) was meant to blind me, I followed cues. We’re going to blindfold ourselves with the scarf? I half assumed it was meant to eliminate our habit of peeking during meditation, but then our teacher asked us to stand up. He told us we were not aloud to peek, and that we were going to dance.

So, it was on that morning, at 6:30am, that I found myself blindfolded, dancing in a room full of 34 people to some of Bollywood’s greatest hits.

I experienced a very brief moment of pessimism, and then shook my head and let it go. I entrusted myself to music that wasn’t generally my go to, and moved my hips, allowing the music to drift through my body. I swayed, I stepped, I swung my arms and moved to the sound of the unfamiliar flow. I didn’t look around. I didn’t wonder what I looked like. It was the fastest hour of my life, and I didn’t have a thought in my mind. I was finally meditating.

When we regained our sight, after what felt like 10 minutes, I felt euphoric. I was satisfied that I had finally pulled it off, even if I was moving the entire time. I took on Ashtanga Primary series with a certain passion in my veins and though I pushed myself hard, I didn’t feel weakened. I couldn’t shake the unfamiliar feeling of joy. I had just gotten used to the pain, feeling discomfort with almost every exhalation. Why now did I feel like a super hero? Someone outside my body, watching my body, confused with its every movement? I smiled in Savasana, feeling light and inspired for the flow I would have to teach that afternoon. I was on fire.

I walked into my little pink hut, cranked my favourite tunes, stripped down out of my sweaty lycra and danced in the shower like no one was watching.

Week three was just like that. There were little bits of magic almost every day, and the music never ended even if it wasn’t actually playing. What once seemed as though it would never arrive, nearly slipped by too soon. We worked our asses off all weekend in anticipation of week 4, and though the pressure to do well was on heavy our shoulders, we neither cracked nor crumbled.

I have since continued to dance every morning in the shower, which is something I urge you to try before your next Monday morning meeting. It is a great way to step outside of yourself, move through the tension and start your morning in a positive tune. It is also a brilliant way to meditate.

I believe I can speak on behalf of everyone when I say we are tired, but still determined to see this thing through until the end. It’s truly been a wonderful experience being here. Watching strangers become friends, and friends become yoga teachers.

Jaime Tully