Good morning world,
It’s been a very long time since I’ve felt the desire to share anything on my blog. But today, I feel compelled and excited to give some insight into the two beautiful weeks I spent at Bodhi Tree in Nosara, Costa Rica, attending Teacher Training at Marianne Wells Yoga School.
There is so much I could say, but I think it’s best to begin with the three over-arching aspects of training that I’ll carry with me forever…
- Teach people not postures. No matter what ‘level’ of yoga you are at, in Marianne’s classes you will always be doing something. Simply skipping a posture and going into childs pose is not an option. Marianne watches and observes her students and provides the necessary variations to ensure her classes are accessible to all who are participating. She taught us in training that it’s really not about reaching the ‘full expression’ of an asana, it’s about doing the right amount for your own body, and knowing the difference between pain and discomfort. Marianne’s teaching style is inclusive and accessible- it’s perfect for someone who’s never done yoga before, but also challenging enough for the seasoned yogi. And again, this is because she teaches people not postures and knows how to guide her classes no matter how diverse they may be. If you decide to attend Marianne’s yoga school, she will teach you and help you to understand the importance of teaching people, not postures.
- Live in the present moment. This moment is all there is, so instead of anticipating the future, or worrying about the past, just be right here, right now. This is how Marianne and her husband Ron live their lives and I couldn’t think of a more important message to pass on. The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali talk about past, present, and future simply as one moment flowing into the next… there is no separation, there is no division. There is just here and now. Some of my most memorable moments from Yoga School were sitting in a circle with Ron, discussing Yoga philosophy.
- Yoga is so much more than just asanas. Yoga is a way of life. One night in TT we watched a video and in it a famous yogi stated that the only reason asanas were first created was so that the yogis could sit comfortably in meditation. Marianne wants people to understand that Yoga at it’s core is a pathway to self-realization. It’s the study and care of the mind, body and spirit that truly defines yoga. I chose to attend this particular Yoga School knowing that it would be more than just a heavy focus on asanas. And although we did learn tons of different styles of yoga practices, and ways to approach and teach asanas, it truly was a school that honoured the ancient art of Yoga. I now understand more fully the love and light that yoga can bring into your life (through asanas, meditation, nutrition, anatomy, love, connection etc).
Marianne said multilple times throughout training that her program is a thinking one. She’s not there to spoon feed you, but rather to open your mind to what’s possible and help you get to a place where you can safely teach and guide others, while being a student of Yoga yourself, always.
Although the two week intensive program was challenging beyond anything I had expected, it was also beautiful, eye-opening, and transformative. I had the honour of meeting some of the most special, loving, and inspiring souls I have ever come across. I made friends that will last a lifetime, including Marianne and her husband Ron, who I am forever grateful for. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing your wisdom and continuing to live a life of service to others.
Your son is proud beyond measure. Love and light.
“The yogi uses all his resources – physical, economic, mental or moral – to alleviate the pain and suffering of others. He shares his strength with the weak until they become strong. He shares his courage with those who are timid until they become brave by his example. He denies the maxim ‘survival of the fittest’, but makes the weak strong enough to survive. He comes a shelter to one and all.”
– B.K.S Iyengar
Photos provided by www.hollyshankland.com