It’s been exactly three weeks since I left for the first session of the yoga teacher training I signed up for. T wailed and wailed as I hugged and kissed her before walking into the airport. I left her for the first time since she became a human. It was not the sweet goodbye I’d hoped for, and as I stood on the curb watching Thomas drive away with my girl, my heart was in that car. I saw myself nestled up close to her car seat, cooing to her to get her to calm down, stroking her forehead and letting her grab my finger and squeeze hard. But my feet were rooted to the grey, sparkling concrete, drenched in the light of an unseasonably warm March day. I did not have on my person: a baby, a diaper, a pack of baby wipes, a toddler snack, a change of clothes for the baby, or anything that would indicate “mother”.
I turned unsteadily, and a tingle swelled out over the surface of my skin. My heart and mind snapped back into my body, but I felt unreal. I was an impostor without Tima. How quickly and against my intentions had my identity become so wrapped up in being her mama. As I walked into the airport, rode the escalator up to the check-in counter, though, I felt the first glimmer of adventure flare up in me. A dormant part of me, the woman who used to happily travel by herself, did a little baby-free happy dance. But, the part of me that felt like a bad mom for upsetting T checked that small thrill of independence, and just like that, the excitement was gone.
I suffered through a video chat with a crying Tima during my layover, a three hour flight in which I spent most of that time writing and crying about my girl, an accidental late night walking tour of downtown Nashville while I hunted for food, and a totally, completely happy, smiley video chat with the baby the next morning for me to feel like I’d punished myself enough. Tima was going to be fine, damn it, and I was going to be excited.
As I was getting ready that first morning, it hit me: I was going to my Curvy Yoga Teacher Training! That shit is down-right amazing. This feeling lasted pretty much through day one, but by the end of day two, I began to realize that despite being open to whatever this training would offer, what happened was not what I’d anticipated.
What I thought I’d gotten myself into: a yoga teacher training that integrated issues of access, race, class, cultural appropriation, and social justice into the fabric of the training.
What I’d really gotten myself into: a yoga teacher training with a really sincere, wonderful woman who understands issues of access, cultural appropriation, and social justice, and has thought about them in relation to yoga to some extent, but who was unprepared to handle the ruckus three fairly radical women (including myself) initiated.
By the time the last day of training rolled around, three people had left the training (due to things we radicals said and requested from the group), I’d been yelled at by a fellow teacher in training for pushing a racial agenda, and I’d made some really awesome friends who I cannot wait to hang out with again in June, August, and October.
It was totally crazy, and also wonderful. I’ll write more soon.