Why I wanted to become a Yoga Teacher
At a certain point in life, I had decided to leave my home, which is Indonesia, and to travel for a while. This was when I started to continuously practice Yoga. At the beginning, I focused on its physical benefits.
I was at a very conflicting point in my life. I was hurting because I had left my most favorite place on earth, and left the people I called my family. I was running away from emotional problems, which included relationship trauma and grief of a loved one passing away I had not yet dealt with. I was crying day by day and felt a lot of pain going through my body.
I pushed myself to maintain my Yoga practice. Even though my priority, in the beginning, was the physical benefit of Yoga, I also obtained a mental one at the same time. I started to notice that after each Yoga practice I felt better and lighter. My body and my mind.
I saw the change my body was going through. I gained physical and mental strength. Not only did I feel more powerful, but also I started to be able to release emotions that were hiding on the inside. I can't remember each and every time I was lying on my mat in Savasana and tears were flooding my face. It just happened too many times and it still does. My love of Yoga got bigger and greater. Slowly my focus shifted from a physical practice to a mental one. I started to deepen my practice. Yoga had become a part of my routine and I felt out of balance every time I had not visited a class for a few days.
With time, I started to think about getting certified as a Yoga teacher. I really enjoyed the way it made me feel after each class and I started to feel the relief it brought to my life. And that is something I wanted to share with students. Yoga has helped me a lot to deal with my feelings and expressing them through the practice. I still wonder sometimes, what would have happened without Yoga at that part of my life. The only thing I imagine is that my emotions would have eaten me up from the inside until I would have reached a mental death.
One day I took the leap to sign up for a Yoga teacher training and from then on I planned to fully focus on it. I started studying and practicing more and more, but it was very hard for me to understand many things and even after registering and fully committing to it, I had doubts if I could handle it when the time comes.
As the universe is working on its own agenda, it decided to teach me a very important lesson at that point in my life. The most important one so far. My life was going up and down. Certain events concerning my family, loved ones and my lifestyle, created a lot of sadness in my mind. My mental self could not deal with life anymore at one point. My subconscious and hidden away pain I had carried with me for months and even years, started to catch up with me and merged together with the current pain I was feeling. It just became one big bubble ready to burst with one big explosion. And when it happened, I lost myself and my mind, and I just felt dead and empty. Without any emotions and life inside.
I lost the will to smile, enjoy and just live in general. I started to shut myself away from the world. I started to feel tired all day, I lost appetite, I had no motivation or ambition anymore, I started to physically feel sick, I could not sleep, I just burst to tears from one moment to the other and it just felt as if I was trapped in a vicious circle with no way out. I didn't go to work anymore or met people I loved, and I just felt exhausted and sad. I was so empty inside that I just didn't want to live anymore and end this path of pure misery. And then this thought of wanting to end my misery and being free of any pain suddenly was not passive anymore, but became active. This thought, which was so abstract, became reality step-by-step and brought me to a point where I actively started to research how to commit suicide. I reached a point where I thought about a time and a place to say goodbye to life.
All this time, it never really crossed my mind that this might be a temporary condition. I got so obsessed with ending my life that I did not really try fighting against it. While experiencing this phase, I also started to neglect my Yoga practice. But still, I pushed myself in going from time to time. When I look back now I remember that doing Yoga was the only light at that point in my life, giving me the power to continue. In the phases of purest darkness, Yoga gave me hope. After each class, I felt better and I started to journal the thoughts I had. I promised myself to give myself a bit more time and continue journaling. It helped me to acknowledge the thoughts in my mind and analyzing them one by one.
Looking back now, if I wouldn't have practiced Yoga, I am pretty sure I would not be here anymore. Very randomly one day, I read a post of a Yoga Practitioner on Social Media. On her profile, I saw this one post where she talked about her depression as a younger woman and I watched her video.
When I watched it, it suddenly opened my eyes. What I saw was exactly how I felt. She was talking about suffering from a depression, even though she did not have any worries in her life. It was true that I felt pain because of my mother's death and current love and life situations, but in general, I did not have any big issues. I had a great family, fantastic friends, the world was wide open for me to explore. In the video, she kept on going with explaining how she felt undeserving of all the good things in her life as if she would bother her loved ones and that state just kept getting darker and darker. For me, I felt as if she was talking about me. I found a lot of similar aspects of my life and how I was feeling. I felt as if I was a burden as if I wasn't worth for life and death was the easy way out. But then I realized something very important for myself. This girl seemed to me as if she is one of the happiest persons on this planet. I started following her in the first place because she was so full of sunshine, energy, and love whenever I saw a post. And then on the other side, she is also this person that went through this dark phase in her life. It is both the same person. So it hit me. Depression is not something you are, it is only something temporary.
A light bulb just switched on in my head and I knew I had to actively get me out of this misery. I went to see a psychiatrist and he diagnosed me with a severe depression according to my symptoms. He prescribed antidepressants and a psychotherapy. Something that strikes me until today is the fact that all of this happened within one day. Finding a psychiatrist and psychotherapist, that have open appointments and take you as a client straight away pretty much directly on the same day, is a miracle. And until today this shows me that the universe always offered its help to me. I just needed to do the first step to accept the help and admit what was going on with me. It took me a while to accept this situation fully and to take antidepressants. I am not a huge fan of medication. I fought against it in the beginning and kept telling myself that I can heal in another way without medication. The same night I couldn't fall asleep and had anxiety attacks. So I promised myself to do whatever it takes to get better and started taking my medication. Until today, I don't know if it really helped me or if it was just all about the right mindset. But after being on medication for a few weeks, the crying got less and my blurry mind suddenly started to become clear. I got the courage to open up to my family and closest friends about my situation. And the problems I had faced before just started to disappear and resolved on their own, and step-by-step I gained back the control of my emotions.
I gained back the strength to continue my Yoga practice. Many times on this dark path, I thought about the Yoga teacher training, which I had already paid for entirely and committed to. I wanted to cancel it, but somehow I had this inner feeling of just letting it be. And I am beyond happy I did. Right before I left for my training, I was still on medication and was seeing my psychotherapist. Then she said something I'll always remember. That the road I am choosing now, to become a Yoga teacher and further dedicate my life to it, is the best way of preventing a fallback.
The most significant moment for me was on my last day of my Yoga teacher training. After experiencing a training filled with love, joy, and happiness together with amazing teachers and students, I reached my last day of training. In the weeks of the training and as we dove into the philosophy of Yoga, I came closer and closer to my inner self. Everything that had happened in my life was laid out in front of me to face it fully. I forgave the things I couldn't, I accepted the things I couldn't and I understood the things I couldn't. And most important, I found the real me. The mind in my own body. And at this moment, I threw away all the medication I had with me. I had this huge pack with me to have in case of a fallback, and I threw it away because of one simple reason. I knew that I will never go back down this path. I knew that things can get rough, but I also knew how to deal with it. Because this time, I knew how much power was within me and more importantly, I believed in who I was.
What started as a physical workout, became my purpose in life. My priority in teaching Yoga is to help. Because I know that even if there is only one person in the room when I am teaching Yoga, that is going through the same darkness I went through, this can have such an important impact on a person's life. Until today I am so amazed by how much power our mindset has on our whole life and how Yoga can help you reach a positive and healthy mindset. Since I fully opened up my heart to Yoga, the universe took me on this wonderful journey and rewarded me with the most beautiful people and experiences. Once I started out to release myself from negative thoughts and people, I was blessed with pure happiness and peace. I was free from all kinds of negative aspects such as ignorance, dissatisfaction or hate.
And honestly, aren't love, joy, peace, and happiness the only virtues we really need and want in our life and the world?