Why did I wait 10 years before flirting with the idea of becoming a yoga instructor? There isn't one simple answer to that, but this was a huge driving force.
My Papa (grandfather) passed away on January 29, 2016. He was my last grandparent and it was completely unexpected. This was my first death in a long, long time where it wasn't inevitable due to terminal illness. As it so happened, I was in a hot hatha class when he passed. As I was getting ready for class in the dimly lit room, something hit me and I knew that I wouldn't see him again. I wept at this thought, but somehow I just knew that I was right.
After class, I checked my phone which is completely out of the norm for me. Sure enough, there were numerous calls while I was in class and frantic "call me now!" text messages. Again, I just knew that my Papa was gone. I gathered my things and sat in the studio's entrance to call my partner who gave me the sad news. Everyone was trying to get a hold of me during class as they thought there might be a bit more time to say goodbye...but there wasn't. I moved through a calm, soothing yoga class knowing deep down that my Papa was gone.
I'm not saying I'm psychic, but that's some mystical shiz right there, hey? Intuition can be spooky.
I had a hard time grieving. With the other deaths I had gone through, I had time to pre-grieve before the person had left this plane of existence. In this case, he was just...gone. Taken before I could say goodbye. That was a lot to process and, thankfully, I came to that acceptance through my yoga practice. Some poses would strike a chord and tears would slowly trickle down my cheeks. As I'd lie in savasana at the end of class, I would be stifling full out sobs. But it helped. For whatever reason, I wasn't able to grieve like that outside my yoga practice. I felt raw lying there on the floor and able to fully settle into that grief. Outside of class, I felt like the rest of the world was hectic, loud and all I wanted to do was scream, but yet in my heart I had an eery calm, silent feeling like when the earth is still and snow gently, quietly falls.
The last time I saw my Papa, he encouraged me to do whatever it is I enjoy doing. Granted, we were talking about binge eating chocolate cake, but he had given me that advice before: do what I enjoy; what makes me happy. That's when I began looking at yoga teacher training and signed up. I wanted to help other people experience that joy or to help them work through their own inner turmoil by moving through yoga practice.