Teacher Training Student Diary
Week 4 : Tribe
At Vikasa they call all the people who have been here and done the YTT together a tribe. The first time I saw this on the Vikasa website (and the many times I saw it leading up to my training) I thought ‘tribe’ simply meant ‘friends’. People you would meet during the course and maybe become friendly with. I wasn’t wrong in the sense that I did make friends. What my initial interpretation of the word didn’t understand was that ‘tribe’ really means so much more.
A tribe takes care of each other. They support each other and lift each other up. This is exactly what we’ve all done collectively in the past month, particularly in our last week together when we were teaching our final class practicums. I was the first to teach in my group (which I chose to do on purpose) and although I was extremely excited to teach I was also incredibly nervous. When those nerves kicked in my tribe was there to support me. They were all patient with me when I accidentally started the same part of my sequence over again and gave me big smiles of encouragement through out the whole class. One of our teachers beamed at me from the back of the room as I concluded the practice. Even in the constructive criticism part of the post class feedback I felt nothing but compassion and love in the words being said. Having a group of people who can share their thoughts so openly and honestly is a very rare and magical thing.
A tribe is there for you when things get messy. Not only are they there for you but they encourage you to let the process happen so you can let go of your traumas. They hold the space for you without judgements or trying to fix you but instead let you know its okay to let it out. They give you kindness when the darkest parts of yourself come into the light. I can’t even begin to list all the times this was true for me. In these four weeks I’ve released things that I’ve dragged around with me my entire life and this was only possible because I felt that I had the space to do so. I felt the understanding and compassion that surrounded me through out the entire process and that allowed me to let go and move on.
Within this process I was also taught how to be better at holding space for others. We often learn to give advice when all the other person really needs is to be heard; for someone to listen to them and to feel they have a safe space to speak and process in. Providing such a space for others is something that I feel is very important and I will continue to do this whenever someone comes to me and needs it.
A tribe shows you the best parts of yourself and loves the parts of you that aren’t as great. They teach you that you are perfect as you are. That the things you see as flaws are actually things that make you special. They remind you day after day of how amazing you really are. That you are strong, beautiful, kind, compassionate and giving. That you have a heart full of love and how much its appreciated when you give that love to others. That you are white light and to let yourself glow. All of these things have been shown to me during the entirety of this YTT. I’ve never loved myself so much before and it’s because I’ve seen myself through the eyes of everyone around me.
And finally, a tribe loves each other unconditionally. I could spend hours and pages of writing telling you about all the times I felt love radiating within this group of vibrant souls but instead I’ll focus on the moment I felt it the most. It was our final group dynamics class when we participated in one of the most beautiful practices I’ve ever been a part of. Our entire class created two rows of people facing each other with a space in between. Then, we walked one by one down the middle with our eyes closed. As we did, each person would whisper something they loved about that individual in their ear. I’ve never participated in something like this before. This kind of openness isn’t common where I’m from. We aren’t taught to give out compliments and love freely like we were here. I always thought this was the way people were everywhere and that love was only expressed under special circumstances. Now, I can’t understand why this is the norm. Why are we taught to withhold our kindness, compassion and love? To give and receive something so wonderful was a beautiful experience and opened my eyes and heart to how we really should treat each other. By the end of the class nearly every single one of us was crying.
When I left New York to come here over a month ago, I expected to meet some nice people, maybe make a few friends and earn my Yoga Teacher certification. What I didn’t expect was to connect so deeply with so many beautiful souls. I didn’t expect to fall in love over and over again with the people around me, the place I was in and myself. I didn’t expect to experience so much healing and growth. And I certainly didn’t expect to become a part of the tribe I had read about. I’m so grateful to have had my expectations exceeded in such a magnificent and beautiful way. I got so much more from this YTT than I ever could have dreamed of and it’s incredibly hard for me to put into words how magical this feels. The best attempt I can make is to say I love my tribe and can’t imagine what my life would have been like had I not had this experience with you all. And even though I’m sad to say goodbye I know it’s only temporary because tribes stick together and now you’re all stuck with me! Until then, I’ll keep spreading the love and light you’ve all given me.
About the Author:
Brooke Kathleen - Also known as the Unicorn Yogi, Brooke began practicing yoga in 2009. She moved to New York City for work in 2013 and her practice faded out due to the inconsistent hours. In 2017 she re-discovered her practice during a very intense and difficult series of events. After devoting herself to practice for another year she realized that she wanted to learn how to share the tools that yoga had given her to heal and grow with others. She found Vikasa online while researching and fell in love with the curriculum and location. The rest is history!
New York, USA