Build a tool kit for building confidence within relationships

When I initially began my Yoga Teacher Training (YTT) 9 months ago, I successfully put the daunting practicum out of my mind… until now. I am co-teaching the 8 sessions with my yoga teacher trainer, and it is happening in my small island community, which happens to be brimming with yogis. They say your home audience is the scariest one… Lifelong stage fright is presenting more of a problem than I anticipated.

Perhaps I could have been better prepared and not found it a humbling lesson in ego breakdown. No regrets, revealing experiences are hard to come by and I feel blessed for the opportunity to let go of ignorance. Not to mention having one on one training with the one and only Sandy-gi.


She has been instrumental in helping me build a tool kit, one that may not be visible to others but packs as much punch as a hammer, one to create living solutions with, to open when I encounter a personal challenge, or am feeling overwhelmed. Speaking, or performing in a group makes me anxious and negatively affects my breathing, posture, focus and metabolism, given to flux on any given day.

Living solutions are made on the spot, adapters for evolving.

As I learned how to use ancient yogic tools during my teacher training and gathered the relevant ones, I built my psychic tool kit. I am getting good use of it now. During class I regularly employ the kit to hone my listening skills, tone my diaphragm, open my energy field to the students and universal consciousness, and free my channels from static. The tool kit is always changing.

My current yogic tool kit for stress relief:
Non attached alertness mindfulness
Three Part Yoga Breath
One line mantras or one word mantras
Open the eyes wider and pay attention to the task at hand
Visualize the spine as a rainbow, red in the root colour
Hear music ~ the sound blowing through my cakras
Recognize the other as you

Patience on the yogic path brings what is needed, when it’s right

As I sit here studying the art of sequencing, curriculum architecture, and the Kapalabhati Breath, I remember that I left this place one year ago today (8-8-8) and headed straight for the nearest ashram.

The Yasodhara Ashram, on Kootenay Lake, also happens to be the spiritual centre founded by the most influential writer in my life thus far, Swami Sivananda Radha (1911-1995). I first discovered her teachings in 1998 when I moved to Courtenay, on Vancouver Island in BC. It was there I attended yoga classes at the Comox Radha Centre, with teachers Arlene Trustham and Sharon Haave, and first heard Swami Radha’s phrase “make daily living your spiritual practice.” Bingo! I have been using her mantra ever since.

In reflecting upon what a year can bring, it’s true that time heals all. The stuff I fretted about when trying to decide whether to pursue yoga training at the ashram, or stay on this little island and be happy with attending intermittent classes… not yet aware that my Hatha teacher on Denman (Sandy Melnyk) would soon be able to train yoga teachers.

Time teaches patience, and patience teaches perseverance. Through the whole process of finding my yoga guru, I filled my time with hope, and never gave up on my instincts… even when I felt aversion about being at Yasodhara. What a shock that was after having built up the ashram in my mind for a decade. It was so hard for me to admit that it was the wrong time to be there. I felt clearly that my place was at home on Denman Island, with my partner, and in my community.

The decision to return home after two weeks with no certificate or even a clear plan for the future of my practice, I surely doubted myself then. Yet, I never abandoned the wish to train in yoga. I yearned to gain the open secrets in a guru-kulu relationship. I simply could not compromise my existence on this island to do it.
I am glad I waited. The timing has been just right. Sandy and I are nearing the end of the course and I wouldn’t change a thing.