These Women. These courageous, beautiful, wholehearted women have been such a blessing in my life these past 6 months. We all joined the Mindful School of Vinyasa for our 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training at the same time, and it was no mistake. Our teachers, Amber Kilpatrick and Carrie LaBarge did such a great job of facilitating and unifying this community of women.

We all have a story.  I was bullied and shamed in school pretty badly in my younger days and it set the stage for the way I viewed myself and my relationship to the world.  I have carried a lot of baggage and fears with me that were not only not serving me, they had become obstacles in achieving what I wanted out of this life.  Facing and speaking in front of a group of women is really the last place I ever wanted to be; but the opportunities and situations (both professionally and personally) where it has arisen have been too many to keep ignoring.

Over the years I had started developing some pretty terrible coping habits to cover up the insecurities I felt, and I knew it was time to face the uncomfortable feelings that always go along with growth.  When I  pictured what I wanted out of life it included being able to be comfortable in front of women(or men) that felt like I did, and help them develop healthy and beneficial ways to cope and deal with their insecurities and bring out the confidence and true spirit that is in each one of us.  Therapy always has a place for everyone, but the yoga mat is where I have had my most transformative moments of growth – and mostly in the still and quiet moments in pigeon or Savasana.

In order to bring and introduce others to the healing and growth I keep experiencing over and over again on my mat, I would have to be able to face the biggest thing that was in my way and learn how to be open and vulnerable in front of others.

My first few times I went to “practice teach” our class, I would just start crying instead. I would stand up there feeling so raw and open that there was no way to cover up the emotion that went along with it.  The pressures, the insecurities and the fear of judgement all felt very heavy and almost unbearable in the beginning.  At one point I remember feeling like I had completely “lost it” by crying a little in front of them. And instead of looking out to my group of peers and seeing faces of judgement or  confusion, I looked out and saw support.  SO. MUCH. LOVE. & SUPPORT.  From other women! I felt the support and love so strongly that I will always remember to call on that time when I’m feeling any other way.

Each of these ladies has said or done something that has dramatically shifted something within me, and for that I will always be connected to them! Even though we are approaching the end of our training and I will miss seeing them every other weekend – I am so grateful for being able to have experienced what it was like when a group of women truly built each other up and believed in each other instead of tearing one another down.  It has been a beautiful and important experience.

Love each and every one of these ladies and can’t wait to take more yoga from them.

Jessica Geerling