You know when you are desperately looking for something precious that you lost… Something you love and adore, but you seem to have misplaced it… When you have opened every closet door, every drawer, looked under every bed, and the house is a complete disaster… yet you are still sitting on your bed racking your brain about where it could be? You hardly remember the last time you saw it. Then it turns out that the very thing you were looking for was right where you left it last, and you just kept overlooking it, and piling other things on top of it. Well, that was me looking for myself, my true self, in the few years prior to beginning the 200-hour Teacher Training Program at Yoga on High.
I was at a point in my life where I needed a change, a challenge, a path to learn to trust my heart rather than continuing on a trajectory that, in many ways, was built from my perception of others’ expectations of me. I was seeking the answer to the question “Who am I?” I wanted to peel the onion layer by layer to see what was in the middle. I knew that there was more for me to know.
Another teacher in the community recommended Yoga on High as the perfect place to begin the path of becoming a yoga teacher. I dutifully reviewed the curriculum and credentials of teacher training programs in Columbus and decided to dip my toes in the water at the various studios. I attended Yoga on High first and took a few classes from the teachers who I knew were Teacher Training Institute (TTI) teachers. What I found at Yoga on High consistently were teachers with such compassion and warmth. I was welcomed into this community with open arms. I took skillfully led classes that left me in awe and feeling fulfilled in many ways. I listened to captivating dharma talks, was guided into alignment by intelligent cueing, and I heard the words, “you are already complete, healthy and whole” for the first time in my life. I knew from the first class I attended that I was in the right place. I also knew that I wanted to give this gift of yoga to others. I signed up for the 200-hour program soon after attending those first few classes. I went from dipping my toes timidly in the water to diving in headfirst. I never looked back.
The program was transformational for me for many reasons.
The Teacher Training program at Yoga on High allowed the space for me to step into vulnerability, to feel sensation, to be with myself, and to accept all of it. Everything was welcome – sadness, joy, strengths, weaknesses, success and failures. I found the education and information invaluable. All the learning modalities offered by The Teacher Training Institute supported the path to becoming a mindful teacher and were also pointing me back to lessons I needed to learn about myself. From yoga history and philosophy, asana, and pranayama to meditation, anatomy, teaching methodology, subtle energy and class planning -- every area led me to realizing who I am and helped me to develop into the kind of teacher I wanted to be. For me, everything learned on the mat and at the Institute was parallel to life off the mat in those 9 months.
Looking back, the whole experience was similar to flowing into a pose and breathing. Inhale- lengthen, expand, notice; exhale- relax, let it all sink in. Inhale- find tension, un-comfortableness, find space, sensation; exhale- feel that. Inhale- grow; exhale- accept that, be with that.
Sometimes when I am teaching a class, I hear the thoughts as they waft through the mind,
Who is this? Who is this person, who is that voice?
Yes, it is me. It is me. I’m home. I was here all along.
A deep satisfying inhale arrives, the exhale follows- relax, sink in, go deeper.
So who am I now? I am exactly who I always was all along, the difference is that I am not fearful to be that person. I continue to learn to accept and welcome it all. And so gratefully the exploration continues …
Alissa Jackson currently teaches at Grow Yoga. With a background in medical social work, Alissa enjoys working with diverse groups of people and in unique settings. She has experience teaching private individuals, hospital employees, in local parks and at schools. She is committed to sharing the benefits of yoga in the community.
To learn more about our upcoming 200 Hour Teacher Training beginning March 18th, join us at one of our free information sessions or email email@example.com.
FREE INFORMATION SESSION:
Sunday, March 13 from 1:15 to 2:15p at Yoga on High