A year ago, I planted the seed of intention to lead a 200-hour teacher training. Until then, it'd never been something I felt called to do. But as the years clarified my purpose as a yoga teacher, something profound shifted in me. This something tangibilised itself during last year's Sri Lanka retreat, when I witnessed how much connection and transformation can happen amongst strangers in the mere span of five days. And so I began to manifest my dream of creating a training platform that wasn't about producing instructors, but instead one that holds space for like-minded individuals seeking revelation and transformation. You see, I truly believed that before we can step into the seat of a teacher and hold space for others, we must first be able to accept and hold space for ourselves, warts and all. For that to happen, we have to be willing to let the practice cleanse us of dogma and ego; we have to be willing to look our flaws in the eye and say: "It's okay. I see you, and I love you."
But was the community ready, and was I?
Try as I may, I never quite banked the flicker of doubt in me, not even till day one of the training, when we gathered for the first time on a quiet Saturday morning. But if there's one thing I've learned well in the past eight years, it is that the universe would never call on you to act if it didn't deem you ready. And sure enough, destiny had woven its web to bring us 18 individuals – so, so different at first glance — together as a kula. I couldn't figure out the common thread amongst us for a long time, but I realised a lot later in retrospect that we are all seekers on the path.
I will always remember the fateful day mid-training, when a seemingly harmless discussion on yoga philosophy turned into a full-blown cry fest. Defences crumbled, facades were dropped, and bruised hearts were tenderly tended to with tissues and hugs. We all saw then how true strength has its roots in vulnerability. And it is through this vulnerability that our kula grew even stronger. How could fondness not become love, and friendship not become kinship, when we'd found a community that holds space for us to bare our broken souls, knowing that we will be loved and embraced despite that, for exactly that? And how that has, in its own magical way, empowered us to be more and offer more?
It is with pride, tears and a lot of love that I present to you this first batch of Living Yoga teachers. I am privileged to call each and every one of them my friend, and family. They will be taking turns to lead community classes every third Sunday of the month at Hom Yoga, with all proceeds going to the studio's supported charity, UN Women. We hope to see you on the mats!
With love and gratitude,