Before I started yoga teacher training, I was in a dark place. I was still in the healing mode of trauma, I was perfectionistic, self-conscious, and transitioning back to living in Duluth. My mind ran away with thoughts that would made anxiety strike. Situations would arise that would test my coping competence and I’d crash… to the bed, to the TV, to the fridge, to anything that allowed me to run away. Things felt like they were piling up around me. I needed freedom, and I knew yoga made me feel that way.

I started training like a lot of people do: with a deep desire to share yoga with others. I was blissfully unaware of the depth of self-work I would do and the tools I would develop to handle things falling apart.

I’m no longer convinced of the permanence of anything.

I’m no longer captive in my own mind and body.

I’m no longer left without tools to stand my ground firmly and gently.

As the many months of teacher training went on, I was captivated by the philosophy and self-development but was overwhelmed by how long the program felt. But like everything else, it came and went so swiftly, in its just right timing, and now the program is complete. But really it doesn’t feel like I have completed anything… not really, anyway. It feels like a beginning, a new world, a new lens to view life through.

So now, when things fall apart, when I am overwhelmed by all of the suffering in my life and those around me, I can trust that “this too shall pass”. Every moment is fleeting, everything is temporary. This means I get to hold things with less of a grip. This means that things have less of a grip on me.

Sweet moments are sweeter. Hard moments are fleeting. When I could view everything as an observer, from a greater sense of time and space, I could see this. I could see that most of the things that have me in their grip, I too am holding onto.

I can let go.

I can leave.

I can make changes for the life I want to lead.

When the dominos in my life start falling, one after another, when things fall apart, I can watch and feel and move along with each of them. I let the waters ebb and flow, knowing the greater perspective, the deeper breath, the slower movement is always available to me.

And that, my friends, is a priceless gift and a reflection of the program Yoga North facilitates.

*** Ana Mattson is a graduate of Yoga North’s 200+ Hour Therapeutic Focus Yoga Teacher Training