Santosha For An Abundant Yogi
When I signed up for yoga teacher training my first feeling was excitement, but it was immediately followed by sheer panic. All of the usual self-doubt I’ve carefully cultivated as an abundant yogi started to spring up, prompting internal questions about my fitness for the goal I’d set for myself. Would I be the fattest yogi there? Can I handle the pace? Will I DIE?
The anxiety built like a forest fire over the months until the training began. I’d have trouble getting to sleep, thinking about all the possible ways I was going to fail. Finally, I emailed one of my teacher heroes Dianne Bondy. I first heard the term “abundant yogi” from her and her online presence on Instagram and Facebook inspired me to begin embracing my abundant body. I told her I was scared and asked her how to prepare for yoga teacher training as an abundant yogi.
What she said in response I could never have expected and will never forget. “You are so ready and so brave…”
Reading those words I realized, I was ready. From that point on, I tried to calm my internal chatter with, “you got this.” It became my mantra. No, I wasn’t totally sure that I wasn’t going to die, but I felt better.
When the first day of the training arrived, I met 12 people who would become my yoga family for life. All of them had their own personal, physical and mental battles, and none of them were what I’d come to think of as a conventional yogi. In fact, I don’t know what a conventional yogi is anymore.
But, what I didn’t expect was the deep feeling of contentment — santosha — that filled my soul during yoga teacher training. When you’re abundant, it feels like the world wants you to change … be smaller … take up less space. Not only was no one at yoga teacher training asking me to do that, but I stopped asking myself to change. I accepted myself for all the awesome that I already am.
If you’re an abundant yogi considering becoming a yoga teacher, I have one piece of advice: do it. You got this!
What could possibly stop you from making your dream a reality?
I began my yoga journey as a way to reduce stress and I continue to practice yoga and meditation to uncover more of my true self every day. Yoga has helped me find self acceptance and gratitude for this unique body I inhabit. My practice and journey as a teacher has compelled me to become a passionate advocate for health at every size and loving the body you’re in right now.