NEW SERIES IN THE WORDS OF A TEACHER TRAINEE JULIA COHN TELLS ALL
By Julia Jonson Cohn
I hugged them, said goodbye and actually got misty-eyed at the thought of not seeing them again for ten days. Thing is, I only met them last week! My new tribe, as our leader calls us. My fellow yoga teacher trainees, who I will be learning and growing with for the next several months, made an imprint on my heart.
We are a diverse bunch. Our ages span 50 years. Our occupations range from dog groomer to doctor and the tribe has an array of talents and interests -- we have musicians and runners, one who has a green thumb and another who has studied to be a monk. Some of us are parents and there are group members who were born in other countries and we all share a love of yoga. Over the course of 4 days we shared what makes us awesome, finessed each other’s poses and literally sat on each other’s lap (while tweaking Utkatasana or chair pose). We laughed a ton and some of us even cried a little, but mostly we grew.
Each training session began with taking a yoga class. Then we’d come back to our classroom, sit in a circle and talk about our practice. The bulk of early learning for our tribe, as teacher Silvia calls it, came in the form of self-work. Silvia told us she wanted to build us up and she did.
She taught us that yoga and meditation will help us clear away the chitti vritta, or chatter in the mind. We were encouraged to feel deeply, live fully and love completely. Our foundation is one of self-love and how you are the lover of yourself as well as the beloved. Silvia used tons of humor and amazing analogies to drive home the point that the more open and seeking you are the more potential you have to recognize your greatness (because we are already great she told us!).
I witnessed myself and my tribe transforming -- we went from being a group of acquaintances to trusted comrades sharing a common mission in life… the desire to help humanity through yoga. Author Jane Howard says “Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family: Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.”
Ultimately, the most profound lesson I learned in my first four days of training is that I am already perfect and whole and that my path as both a teacher and student will be more joyful and fulfilling if I am kind to myself and others. I think my tribe would agree.