When I started this blog a few years ago, I thought I was on the verge of a life transformation. I chose the name Wake Up Cupcake for my website because I literally felt like I needed to wake up and change my life. It has proven to be a much longer road than I imagined, but I am finally starting to feel like I am on the right path.
Recently I started training for my yoga teaching certification. I have been practicing yoga for a few years and it has really helped me to relieve stress and discover a peaceful place in my body and mind. Yoga has brought so much to me personally that I started to wonder if I might enjoy teaching as a way to help others find whatever they are seeking.
Just as I was contemplating the idea and wondering where to begin, the studio where I practice advertised their first ever teacher training program. I applied and was fortunate to be accepted along with about 15 other women. The training will be a four-month program, mostly on the weekends.
In addition to learning the poses (called asanas) and how to teach them, the class is equally focused on the philosophy of yoga and how it translates to every day life. I think I am enjoying the philosophical component as much, if not more, than the physical practice.
There are many people who have greater strength in the yoga postures and I know that I will improve with time. A good teacher goes beyond the poses and helps to provide a more holistic mind/body experience. That is what I hope to be able to do when I have completed the training.
In the past I have focused on sharing my stories with you after they have happened. In fact, most times when I sit down to write my blog, I need to know the ending line before I can even begin.
During this time of learning and growth, my blog is going to be different. There will be many times when I don't have the answers. A lot of my energy will be dedicated to wondering and seeking. Hopefully there will be a few epiphanies along the way, and when they emerge I will graciously share them with you. For now, I begin by acknowledging that sometimes merely asking the question is enough.
This week we studied the eight limbs of yoga. A great article about them can be found here: http://www.expressionsofspirit.com/yoga/eight-limbs.htm
The first limb is the Yama, which focuses on how we relate to the outside world. It is closely related to the second limb, the Niyama, which focuses on how we relate to our inner world (the self).
The Yamas and the Niyamas are further divided into five characteristics each. So when you add up the Yamas and Niyamas together, there are ten. Some people equate these to the ten commandments in a religious context. However you choose to view them, they can serve as a set of core principles for how to live your life.
Our assignment is to take them in order and try to fully explore one topic each week. This week we are starting with the first Yama, which is called Ahimsa. This means to show compassion for all living things. It is a commitment to non-violence in our thoughts, words and actions.
As I look forward to the week, I can see that one challenge for me will be to show kindness and compassion in my words. Especially at work. There will be many opportunities to talk negatively about other people and situations. This is something I will need to be aware of as I embrace this attitude of Ahimsa.
I invite you to also take some time this week to explore Ahimsa. I will be back next week to share my experience. I hope that you enjoy taking this journey with me.