For those of you who don't know about Anusara, it is a heart-centered yoga taught with the highest intention to align with the divine. It takes an extraordinary amount of time and study to become a certified Anusara instructor. There are less than 400 in the world. One of the steps to becoming an certified instructor is becoming an Anusara Inspired teacher. It is very intense. I did Anusara teacher training several years ago, and it was so intense for me that I even ran away from it for awhile. I explored other things, but in the end, something kept bringing me back. My journey was that much more valuable to me because I did have doubts and questions. I felt that I didn't fit in. What I finally realized was that it wasn't a question of "fitting in", it was about me becoming the best and brightest version of ME. Not me trying to talk a certain way, or emulate someone else.
To receive Anusara Inspired status a certified teacher has to come and audit your class. I had been dragging my feet in asking someone to watch my class. I kept telling myself that I was going to get to it eventually, but I think I was avoiding it because the last time someone critiqued my class it did not go so well. In fact, I walked away from that experience doubting my ability to even be a teacher AT ALL. It felt soul-crushing.
A student of mine came to the workshop (Yo Susie Q!) and afterwards told me it was interesting to see where I came from. I realized I do sometimes use Bernadette-isms, but not because I am trying to sound like her (that would make me sound false, and even worse...like an idiot) but because she inspires me. That is the beautiful thing about this yoga, when you open to grace, there is inspiration EVERYWHERE. All of these students of Bernadette are finding their own voices as teachers. She wants us to be ourselves. She should be very proud of the gifts she has offered all of us to help us on our way to achieving this.
Two Wednesdays ago I felt the dire need to go take a class. As luck would have it, the lovely Rebekah was teaching down the road from my husband's work. (Blackbird Yoga- great studio in Georgetown) I called my long-suffering husband and informed him that I would be dropping the children off at his office in ten minutes. He responded, "What?" at which point I said, "Oh no, I'm losing you....see you in five!" and hung up. I dropped off the kids with my bewildered husband and headed to class.
When I walked in I was delighted to see Bernadette was there taking class too. Rebekah taught a wonderful class with a theme centered around being the Odd Duck. Having often felt like such a duck (or a dork...) I had a great class and walked out feeling sated.
Ok, here is where it gets interesting....the next day at the Loft, Rebekah thanked me profusely for coming. I told her that I should be thanking her for such a wonderful class. She then told me that Bernadette was there taking class so Rebekah could get her Anusara-Inspired status (she got it, btw YAY!) and didn't I know that? Wasn't that why I came? I said, no, I just really wanted to take a great yoga class.....I had no idea that you were being audited! That is so WEIRD and WONDERFUL at the same time!!
I was then inspired to teach a class revolving around the theme that the Universe puts you right where you need to be. It is up to you to figure out what to do when you are there. Apparently the night before, I needed to be in my friend's class to support her as well as being led through a kick-ass practice. After my class Rebekah told me how much she enjoyed the theme and how I wove it through the practice. I was so filled with inspiration from her saying this that I left and immediately emailed my friend and Anusara certified teacher- the great Karen Rider. Karen had generously offered to audit my class for me months ago. I felt finally ready to take her up on her offer.
One of the reasons I practice the yoga I practice, is the love and support of others. I taught class and afterwards Karen gave me such absolutely lovely feedback. It was positive, it came from the heart and it didn't make me feel diminished (or make me cry). It was inspirational and made me want to be a better teacher. I was thankful for it.
So thank you Bernadette, Karen, Rebekah, Kate and all of my teachers, students and fellow yogis. You all inspire me. You all have beautiful hearts and I am blessed to have you in my life.
Signing off, Courtney Bombeck, Anusara Inspired teacher (pending paperwork:)