Next March, it will be two years since I graduated from my Yoga Teacher Training Programme with Yogacara Global. Since my experience, I've learned so much, both on and off the mat and moreover, my practice has accelerated significantly.
I don't know if you've noticed too - but in the run up to Christmas this year, it seems that folk are taking a little more time to self-reflect. Well, during this last week, I've noticed some big changes that have occurred since my Yogacara Teacher Training experience.
I remember that whilst on the programme, we regularly embraced the concept of silence. Silent meal times, silent reading time, silence on our mats. We spent a lot of time in silence - listening, learning and processing information. It was a gorgeous thing to feel: Silent yet alert, calm yet energetic, focused yet tranquil. I enjoyed the feeling so much that I took it home with me!
After the programme ended, I noticed a huge shift in my "voice". I went from a "talker" to a "listener". I loved silence, wherever I could get it: In the car, in the bath, at night time. Two years down the line, I'm more of talker again but I'm definitely a better listener now too.
The most wonderful thing about embracing the idea of silence off my yoga mat - is how much it's helped my anxiety levels. They're almost zero now! Sure, I'll still have wobbly days but that's usually because I haven't enjoyed much silence. So really, it's my own fault. What's more, my days feel longer, I'm able to practice gratitude (because I'm so much more aware of all the amazing things in life) and my relationships feel more authentic and honest.
Since learning about the importance of silence and how we can benefit from it, it's now something I always teach in my yoga classes. Not just inviting students to sit in silence but to "feel" what its like to sit in silence. For some people, as it was for me - at first, this can feel quite overwhelming and sometimes, uncomfortable.
If we're racing through life at 100 miles an hour, it's almost impossible to feel comfortable sitting in silence. "I don't have time" is what I hear a lot.
The beauty of silence is that if we practice just a little bit regularly, it starts to grow on us. Eventually, we start to crave it. Why? Because at this point, we've realised just how UNCOMFORTABLE it is to rush around and stress all the time. For me, it's one of the best life skills I could have ever learnt and for that, I'm eternally grateful to Yogacara Global Teacher Training!
You can find out more about Yogacara here