Embrace the Teacher Within for Guidance
Yoga teacher Lorraine McKean
It was Christmas Eve 2014, and my family and I found ourselves in a much-needed family healing time. The past year and a half was a difficult and trying time for us. We lost both my father-in-law and mother-in-law and while still in the depths of grief, my husband’s left foot was severed in a near-fatal hydroplane accident.
Five hospitals, three states and a multitude of surgeries later, the foot was sewn back together, infection fought and my husband endured a painful recovery.
During this time the company I worked for 12 years relocated and I was laid off.
We decided to convalesce in a little cabin burrowed in the snowy mountains of Red River, New Mexico.
The silence of the falling snow was meditating on that Christmas Eve and in the midst of its natural quietude, I pulled out my constant companion, my yoga mat. I flowed through my poses, pausing, sometimes with my face high toward heaven, sometimes in a deep bow of humble gratitude. Yoga always had a way of opening my heart and mind to receive guidance within me, perhaps it is a combination of moving the body in connection to the Earth— a complete and beautiful union. It was here, on my yoga mat, I made a promise to myself that I would find my way back to the path I needed to be on.
I started the new year off by enrolling in classes at Yama Yoga in Canton. Each class I took strengthened my body physically and a healing began to take place in my mind.
By March, I was signed up for a 200-hour teacher training, an in-depth study of yoga examined through anatomy and physiology. The course breaks down poses, recognizes the benefits of the pose, body alignment and application of the pose safely. Various breathing techniques are explored to control anxiety, anger, fear and stress.
When the 200-hours are completed and all criteria met, one can then even teach yoga classes to others if you chose to do so. But the yoga course offered me so much more than I thought.
The course was challenging, each pose more difficult than the last. Yet as I progressed through, yoga was teaching me to prevail through the challenges by looking to my inner self, and by looking inward I found a teacher inside me — a teacher that was always there, waiting to burst out. This teacher that I came to know, was here as my inner guide to teach me life’s lessons as they are presented to me with grace and gratitude.
I’ve come a long way since that last Christmas Eve. I no longer fear what future paths lay before me. I am just grateful for the opportunity to tackle and triumph over each obstacle in life, step by step, just like with my most difficult poses.
There is a wise and wonderful teacher inside us all, and yoga helped me find mine.