The rain has been continuing for about six days in a row now. Being basically stuck, with my toes freezing and everything I own being damp, I started dreaming about an escape from the rainy season. Even though I love the lushness that the rain brings, and the new fresh green popping out to contrast the old, I am craving to be somewhere dry and warm. And then it hit me – I am going to leave in nine days, but only to move towards another kind of monsoon season. Towards northern India. And i need to prepare for it.
So the time has come. For me to start preparing for my 200-hour yoga teacher training that will start exactly ten days from now in India. I got an e-mail with the list of students in my training, and some of the girls made a Facebook group in which I joined. Only after reading a post about what people are going to bring with them, I started wondering if I should prepare myself somehow.
I feel like i should prepare to prepare
I started googling and reading blog posts on how to do the preparing. I would need to bring at least 5 or 6 sports bras, same amount of pants and shirts for yoga. I would need casual wear for chilling out and also appropriate clothing for getting out of the actual school. And not to forget all the snacks. Protein bars, peanut butter, good coffee and my favorite comfort tea. Protein powder, magnesium and iron supplements. Plus of course all the medicines in case of getting the famous Delhi belly. And still, half of the guides said; “pack everything you need and remove half of it”.
I got so confused on what to take with me. I have less than half of the recommended clothing, not to talk about the ability to buy nice vegan protein bars and snacks to take. My backpack of 30 liters would probably fill up on only on the recommended supplements. I know I am able to buy so much amazing fruits and I will probably find a lot to snack on in India, but oh the worry of getting hungry and tired! All I can think is “if all these blog posts say this, how can they be wrong? I will probably get hungry and tired and I will be weak and malnourished and get sick and I will not have enough to eat and all my gear will be dirty in two days and I am not prepared enough!”
The line between preparing and overthinking
And then I went on to read how to prepare mentally. Until the point of extreme anxiety and worry. How am I ever going to be able to keep sample classes for experienced people? How am I ever going to remember left from right and guide a class of people? I haven’t even talked in front of people in years – probably last time was over ten years ago at school. They will probably all laugh at me. I will mess up my words, I will not be able to give people what they expect from me, I will not be able to handle the feedback, I will probably freak out and cry alone in my room at night.
All the preparation guides helped me to do nothing but worry. After closing another guide and opening the next, I thought “maybe after reading this one I will be ready”. But no. I will never be ready. I am scared.
Actually no, I am not scared – I am terrified. I am terrified of going alone to a country i never been before, and for the country to be India. I am terrified of facing my fears. Terrified of how will i succeed. I’m terrified of criticism. I’m terrified of making mistakes. And to put myself out there, to do a month of intense training where I will have to literally face so many things that are so hard for many people, including me. Speaking in front of people, showing people my weaknesses. I need to let go of my pride and my expectations and my ego. I will need to be prepared to go unprepared. Because even after reading so many “what to expect” guides, I have no idea what to expect.
So I will try to expect nothing. For the next nine days, I am going to breathe and open my heart. I want to go with no expectations, with no pride, ready to make mistakes and be vulnerable. All the guides in the world will not prepare me to face the mental challenges I am going to be facing in ten days. And for the physical challenges, I will trust the instinct that tells me I can handle it. And the instinct that tells me to eat a lot of local bananas.
I am not ready and i probably wont be ready in nine days. But i can’t wait for the day I would be ready, I probably never will be. Wish me luck, please. And courage, and strength, and anything i will need for the month of July.