By Amber Shumake
This training is designed for people aged 25 - 75. For the people who when asked - What do you do for fun - you stare at your shoes or the ceiling and question whether it’s safe to say “yoga?”
This training is for you folks who have hobbies, even if you aren’t quite sure what they are. You sing or dance or paint.
You do, indeed, find yoga to be fun and empowering...an absolute necessity in your life.
You plan your schedule around your favorite classes with your favorite teachers. You drive over bridges and through tunnels to get to the studio when necessary.
You’d rather eat on a budget and spend the saved income on yoga.
You like cheeseburgers and aren’t sure if this is ok in the yoga community. And you’ve not jumped on the nondairy bandwagon. You like cream in your coffee and, well, cheese on your burgers.
You drink a little too much coffee. And you like a glass of wine; or, conversely, you used to like wine a little too much and now you’re embracing a sober life.
You’re a serious dog or cat lover...or both. You love all beings. Except for a handful who’ve hurt you. And you’re trying to love them, too. Bless their hearts, you say if you’re from the South. And if not, you’ve got a few other choice words.
You prefer the Iphone > Android but you’d still like not to spend so much time staring at your phone. You’d like to meditate more but you think you don’t know how.
You are likely to unroll your mat in the back or in the corner because you’re humble or insecure depending on the day.
Sure, you’re partial to a teacher or two, but you practice at a few studios and also at home. You appreciate the variety and ask yourself - even in a “bad” class - “What can I learn from this soul who’s teaching? What’s here for me?”
You aren’t really sure what it is that you love about your favorite teachers’ classes, which is what has intrigued you to learn more.
You’re a true student of the practice: your own practice.
And, people around you recognize the many gifts that a regular yoga practice affords you. These “toe-dipping” yoga humans want to know what they can do to heal their ailing back or aching heart or angry rage. And you’re a helper. You want to help.
You have a day job, which takes precedence over your hobbies. You long to do something solely for your own soul. And you keep convincing yourself the timing isn’t right or you don’t have the money or shouldn’t spend it or shouldn’t want this. And you are tempted to stop shoulding on yourself and put the bill on a credit card with airline miles because you love to travel but you’re also either raising young souls or having already raised them, you’re putting them through college.
You’re not sure you’ll ever love backbends. Your midback is so stiff and your low back so hypermobile and your shoulders round because the stiffness juxtaposed with the hypermobility is confusing to your chest.
Your inversion practice is touch and go. Love and hate. It’s just the way it is.
And still you unroll your mat. Often.
Because yoga is the practice which paves the clear path for you to live peacefully.
And you’re inspired to share it with others.
Of course, you are.