Blog post by Mary Moscarello. To read more of Mary’s work, click here.
Photo credit: Mary Moscarello. Banner image by Love the Wind.
How often do we let fear keep us from doing what we really want to do?
In the months leading up to the moment when I decided to apply for yoga teacher training, I had a lot of crippling doubts.
The doubts centered around stories I told myself about myself, about my yoga practice, about my age, about my weight, about my body, about my ability to learn and remember new things.
These doubts created a sense of fear. As I overcame the fear, I realized the farce that had contributed to their presence in my head. We all do this. Our perception becomes cloudy from time to time, we trick ourselves into believe false stories about our selves, our community, our environment.
In Vedantic philosophy, which is based on the most ancient scriptures of India called the Vedas – there lies a story about how we can be fooled by this cloudy perception.
A man walking along a path in the dark of night sees a poisonous snake alongside his way. Frightened, he immediately turns and runs to safety. The next morning, he takes that same path and in the bright sunlight, sees that what he thought was a snake was actually a bit of coiled rope.
This parable is so full of symbolism about how we can sometimes live our lives. Often in darkness of ignorance, prejudgment or cultural conditioning, we fail to take the time to let situations play out to their full clarity. Had the man walking along the path perhaps been more calm and able to study what he thought was the snake and see if it were even moving – he may have eventually realized it posed him no threat. He believed the story in his head, the false evidence of a snake kept him from continuing on his journey.
Going back to my own doubt-filled mind prior to beginning my journey to become a yoga teacher, I told myself many times, I am too old to become a yoga teacher. I’m too weak physically to really be able to subject my body to the rigors of a 200 hour training. I believed that story of not being able to handstand or practice certain asanas meant that I wasn’t good enough to stand in front of a room full of yogis and guide them through a practice.
How wrong I was.
How grateful I am that I had the support of my family, my friends and of course, my teacher training group to help me see clearly that all those stories were just that, stories.
As of now, the availability of in-person classes at yoga studios is uncertain. When the threat of spreading COVID-19 has passed, I will teach my first class at the studio where I trained. I’m officially on the schedule. Every Monday morning, I will be on the schedule at 6:15 am.
I might never have reached this milestone on my journey had I not ceased to believe the stories I told myself. And so a new story begins.