by Guest Author, Kellie Jean Snyder (September 2014 200 hour Yoga Teacher Trainee)
Signing up for the Zuna Yoga Teacher Training was a surprisingly easy decision. I remember the exact moment: I was in my senior year and had just decided I wanted to take a year off once I graduated college. I was searching best places in the world to practice yoga, and instantly found myself on the Zuna Yoga website. The minute I read about the teacher training program, I felt butterflies in my stomach and my mind thought: "this could be something." I had made the decision to face my fears and follow my butterflies wherever they may take me for one year. A year of being bold and unapologetically me. My travel plans took me to Italy and several locations around the United States. Yet, I had never been a traveler or a risk taker, and my new found interest in Bali surprised many people.
The support for my decision was not what I had hoped, and ended up being the biggest challenge I faced while planning my trip. My boyfriend was on board immediately and thought it would be the experience of a lifetime. My parents, who are not as interested in world travel, thought it seemed strange and unnecessary. My parents' friends were constantly asking "why cant she just go find herself in California??" And I would be lying if I said I never second guessed myself. I remember thinking, "this is crazy, I can't handle such a huge trip, it's too far, not to mention the fact that there will be spiders?!" It was at this point that I remember my boyfriend sitting me down with his iPad, going through pictures of Bali with me. Showing me how beautiful it is and how much I'd love it. He helped me find my butterflies again and get enough courage to tell my parents that I felt in my heart this was what I needed to do. And so I signed up.
Signing up for yoga teacher training is exciting because you know you're going to get to know yourself on a deeper level once you get there. However, my yoga teacher training journey started a littler earlier than that. Once I signed up, fears started settling into my head: I'm not good enough at yoga, I'm not skinny enough, I can't do a handstand, what if I can't remember the Sanskrit spelling?! My yoga practice turned into more of a preparation for Bali instead of its once blissful practice. It took me months to work though my fears, but once I did, I realized something very important. I remembered what yoga meant to me. Yoga is about the breath, about observing myself without judgment. It's about trusting ourselves and loving others. The pure essence of yoga was exactly what I needed to remind me why I was going to yoga teacher training in the first place. Yoga is a practice, not a perfection. I was working toward a finish line that didn't exist. No one wakes up in the morning and says "that's it! I'm ready to go to Bali! I know everything about yoga!!" In the end, it's OK to be afraid, but we have to trust ourselves. And most importantly, we have to follow our butterflies.