I came to be a Shambhava Yoga Teacher accidentally…or so I thought. I picked the first affordable, reputable-looking teacher training I saw, went to a class with Satya, and signed up. Now I believe, after 5 years of teaching and practicing Shambhava Yoga, that there really aren’t any accidents. Call it karma, call it instinct, call it coincidence. I know that I came to this school, Whole Yoga, because I was meant to.
During/after my training I was searching for a new career, looking for stability in my personal life, feeling lost, afraid, confused, and sad. Teacher training wasn’t a magic pill that gave me all the answers! The training encouraged me to find cues in my own body, to teach from my own experience, to learn by doing. It was hard. Sometimes I just wanted someone to tell me what to think, what to feel, and what to say! I felt like I was still seeking something that was eluding me.
It was right after teacher training that I started to see, that I started to change, that it started to open me up in ways that I didn’t anticipate. The tools I had been given during teacher training were being put to work. Satya gave me a class to teach once a week, which delighted and terrified me. I recognized that if I HAD been given all the answers, they wouldn’t have meant anything to me. I had to find them out for myself. I had to make all of those choices, all of those decisions. I needed this specific tradition’s opportunity to grow and change in a meaningful way.
Teaching others gave ME additional, amplified lessons that I didn’t realize would happen. Being with yoga started to work on me. I was still struggling with all of my old issues and problems. But I didn’t give up, which surprised me. In the past I’d been good at giving up, at walking away. I didn’t this time.
Taking Shambhava Yoga trainings changed my life and continues to change my life. A few of my favorite lessons to date:
1. It’s up to me.
Life is work. I have the beautiful responsibility to work on myself and make choices. I’m not in control, but I’m not out of control either. I have options.
2. I have a family.
I felt lonely and disconnected for a long time. Yogis who are drawn to Shambhava Yoga, although we are all completely different, have things in common. We believe in being ourselves, in kindness and compassion, in Om Namah Shivaya. We are a community, and I consider all Shambhava yogis my family.
3. Yoga is a tool.
I breathe, move, think, and live with yogic tools in my toolbox. I’m always getting a new tool or improving the ones I already have. I can repurpose tools, I can choose which ones to use, I can take or leave any part or piece of Shambhava yoga for myself. I can make my own blueprint and use my yogic tools to accomplish any plan.
4. It’s best to take time.
Breathe, live, enjoy the moments. Take the transitions in stride. Eat slowly and with relish, hug the cats, see the beauty in small things. This is the beauty in my life now.
I’m passionate about my school’s decades-long tradition of teaching teachers. Taking our teacher training is not a “way out,” but a magical, lovely, fascinating, unique “way in.” That if you have even the slightest inclination to do this, you should do it, and you will never regret it.
I believe that taking these trainings for yourself is a way to change the world. We change it one person at a time, taking our time, letting ourselves open slowly, at our own paces and in our own ways. That is the beauty and brilliance of Shambhava Yoga, and I am so, so grateful for my lineage, my teachers, my students, my friends, and the tradition that allows me this time of my life.
Susan Bhat ERYT-200, RYT-500