Engagement simply means to participate or become involved in. In a culture that is thirsty for wholehearted living, the best gift we can give ourselves is the gift of owning our own vulnerability and engaging individually with the whole world from a place of worthiness, so that it becomes a collective engagement from ALL.
Brene Brown, author of Daring Greatly and Gifts of Imperfection, says that in order for us to engage in this society, we need to hold sacred space for us to fail, cultivate resilience so we can get back up, and harness a unity that fosters loving kindness for EVERYONE. Why? Because as human beings we are hardwired for connection, curiosity, love, and engagement!
To create a culture of engagement, we need relationships that are valued, in which people feel safe to make mistakes, ask for help, and try new things, regardless of what others think. Stepping into the arena can be scary, because we are instantly exposing ourselves emotionally with uncertainty and RISK! But this is why vulnerability is equated to COURAGE, and courage to ENGAGEMENT!
Engagement is wholehearted living, and the first step is admitting our own imperfections. This is not an easy task, nor something that is attained. Like yoga, engagement is very much a practice, which we are good at on some days, and struggle with on others. The beauty of it all, is the highlighting of our Gifts of Imperfection. These gifts teach us how to be kind to ourselves, so we can be kind to others. And since we cannot be in judgement and in courage at the same time, we clearly see which one we are in. The beauty of yoga, is that it gives us the tools to shift out of judgement and into courage, out of ridicule and into love, out of anger and into compassion. This is the gift and glue that builds and binds relationships!
To those who have gone through a yoga teacher training, we at the Sarasota Yoga Collective salute you! Taking time to self-reflect, go within, and transform, is a risk worth taking. It is an emotional journey, and a beautiful one at that. At times it will be uncomfortable, but it is in these uncomfortable moments where the greatest opportunity for growth, transformation and evolution reside.
As a mirror, yoga reflects the patterns of our behavior. When we see all the things we love in the world, we see them because they are reflections of the things we love within ourselves. So when we are stuck in an imbalance, yoga will show us head-on! Yet it will also provide the tools and techniques that will aid us in shifting out of those low vibrations and into higher states. And this happens to ALL of US!
As we work together with kindness, compassion and acceptance, we see that there is a strong need for us to reset humanity’s fast and furious trajectory into separation and division. It also become obvious that we cannot create solutions for problems at the same conscious level that the issues were created. Therefore raising to higher vibrations is a peaceful solution to the call of forgiveness with the action of inclusion that respects our differences with love.
Naturally our vibrations are affected by the quality of our thoughts, emotions and attitudes that are generated and influenced by our memories, choices, and environmental stimuli. Therefore the vibrations of our moods and feelings will rise and fall throughout the day determined by our actions or reactions to others, ourselves, and life’s issues. Additionally the vibes we emanate to others and to our environment, depend greatly on the ability of our own resilient spirit to balance our mind and emotions. And all of us are practicing this in today’s dynamic emotional climate.
When poised in higher vibrations, we experience many benefits such as being able to make decisions and take action with more ease because the increased access to the heart’s intuitive sense is open. Anyone who experiences these qualities knows the power of shifting into kindness and its power to heal and create connection. Seamlessly, our discernment becomes inclusive and our choices become clear. In this space it becomes significantly easier to deflect frustration, anxiety, impatience, judgement, fear, and discomfort, which are all chronic stress producers that strain our critical thinking and reasoning. To keep our vibrations up and high, all we have to do is cultivate love, appreciation, forgiveness and gratitude and then interweave that energy into our engagements. So although yoga can be challenging, it provides a framework for us to practice our walking journey together, imperfectly, and in love.
As yoga teachers, we totally put ourselves out there. And that is not something that is easy to do. Daring greatly in the arena is challenging, because there are so many opinions on what we are doing “right” as well as what we are doing “wrong.” May we remember, this is not the point. One of the intentions of being a yoga teacher is to inspire people to go after their dreams, hold sacred space for them as they navigate life and explore their Dharma imperfectly, and remind them that they are capable of achieving their goals, regardless of the opinions of others. Now, this is wholehearted living, and what yoga teacher training is all about!
In achieving your goals, there are two alternatives. You are either moving toward your goal, or you are drifting away from it. When you have chosen your purpose in life and go after it with your whole heart, you have stepped into COURAGE! Yoga and its community provides this beautiful blanket of support to help you cultivate the perseverance needed to keep going, always!
As you ease into this role, you realize that this is what it takes to be a leader in your community, home, family, business, church, temple, studio, school, shala… life. This is the role that parents and teachers are asked to step into. And as leaders, we know how imperfect we truly are. This is how we are capable of cultivating loving kindness for ALL who put themselves out there, show up authentically, embrace vulnerability, take initiative, think creatively outside the box, and focus on unity, teamwork, and collaborative efforts. Simply by saying “I AM” you make yourself one of these leaders!!! It is not what an article said, or didn’t say. YOU ARE because you say you are!
Regardless of what Yoga Teacher Training program you select, all that matters is that you personally resonant with your school and your teacher. Because yoga is about love and reflection, and has everything to do with wholehearted living! As Brene Brown would say, show up and let yourself be seen!
A warm thank you goes out to those that contributed to this article by chiming in online, and by sharing your personal high vibrating experiences during yoga teacher training at your schools. Please be kind with our imperfections. All you have to do is engage with us to be included in our work. Please allow us to make mistakes (as long as we learn from them), and help us bring the Sarasota Yoga Community together in harmony, peace and in love. We do hope you see the larger picture of our work. Many paths, one truth!
The Sarasota Yoga Collective
Congratulations Heartwood Retreat Center for receiving this year’s “High Vibrating Yoga School Award!” We are honored to announce this award to you for your commitment to the Sarasota Yoga Community. Heartwood Retreat Center is home to a variety of wellness programs, including yoga teacher trainings, Ayurvedic workshops, and Reiki retreats. Heartwood also features a yearly yoga festival, which is a must attend!
Healsci® Yoga School is unique with its Myofascial Anatomy and BodyRolling certification. The teachers present a wide range of specialities ranging from Urban Philosophy, Guided Meditation, Somatic Movement, and Divine Feminine Energy. At Healsci Yoga School students are inspired to find the one thing that makes them SHINE!
Circusoul specializes in offering the only comprehensive aerial yoga teacher training in Sarasota, FL. They also have their own brand of aerial yoga hammock! At Circusoul you will be inspired to connect to the joy, play and fun that resides in YOU!
Prana Yoga and Healing Center Kundalini Yoga Teacher Trainings. Teachers at Prana are cross-trained in many modalities which make this experience amazing! The intention of the training at Prana is to empower each student by giving them anatomical instruction of the body and poses. This knowledge transforms the yoga practice to be restorative.
Pineapple Yoga Studio & Event Space is a space that supports wellness and spirituality. The focus is on bringing awareness to good causes in the community using yoga and fitness as a platform. At Pineapple Yoga Studio, the teacher training empowers students to delve into the areas where physical movement and emotions intersect, permitting a sacred space to evolve from within.
Garden of the Heart‘s yoga teachers are highly trained in alignment-based Hatha Yoga. At Garden of the Heart, teachers use alignment based principles to guide the opening of the body, heart and mind!
Yoga From the Heart‘s unique approach to learning is to empower their trainees to reach their own insights through the training program. They encourage their students to discover their own teaching voice.
Rosemary Court Yoga is known for their quality of instruction and sense of welcoming calm. Their school is located in a beautiful garden of serenity.
Wild Ginger Apothecary’s Studio + Lounge is a collective of health + wellness professionals offering Yoga Teacher Training in conjunction with Wild Ginger Apothecary‘s retail store. Their motto is to grow together!
Yoga Libre offers specialized yoga teacher trainings that incorporate face rolling workshops in a serene and peaceful space with small and intimate classes.
Thrive Yoga & Fitness is a boutique space dedicated to guiding people toward overall wellness. Their teacher training is vinyasa, power and stance driven.
The Yoga Shack is very excited to announce their brand new teacher training program! Starting in September 2017 you can take their 200-hr Vinyasa YTT. You’ll be fully equipped to teach yoga in a mindful way after their well-rounded program!
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