the balance between holding on and letting go


day 11

“Life is a delicate balance of holding on and letting go.”

I wonder if the person who first uttered those words was a yogi because it speaks to every part of the teacher training process. We are constantly being forced to hold onto integrity and let go of ego. Or hold onto stillness and let go of chatter. Inhale the positive and exhale the negative. Hold onto our true nature and let go of our projected reality. Every day we seek to create the balance in our lives. And with everything we let go of, unexpected emotions arise. Today was no different.

Fatigue set in for a lot of us; sheer mental and emotional exhaustion. We are all being thrust out of our comfort zones and challenged to go deep into who we are. A few of the girls were reduced to tears. Their beautiful displays of raw emotion attest to the fact that every part of this experience is an awakening of some kind; emotional, physical, spiritual, intellectual, you name it.

It is comforting to know that we are not in this alone. Every tear that is shed is dried by the hand of another who comprehends the incomprehensible. We all understand that it makes no sense; that the tears are just a small speck in the waves of change. The enigma that is this journey connects us all. We celebrate each other’s success and support one another when the journey gets to be too much.

I feel so blessed to have met these incredible people. These women (and man) have shown me so much love and support in what feels like a lifetime. Every day I wake up thankful for this experience and look forward to where I will go next. I am just so excited for life, for endless possibilities and for today. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

day 12

It’s coming to the end of our second week and I cannot believe how fast time has gone by. I looked through our group pictures today and some of them feel like they were taken a lifetime ago. Time is funny like that.

As it is happening, it can feel never-ending, and yet here we are, half way through our training. I am in awe. I feel like so much has changed in such a short time. My life has been moving at rapid fire pace since I began this journey. I was still on a plane this time 12 days ago. Now I am two weeks shy of beginning a new journey as a yoga instructor. The infinite possibility that is before me is overwhelmingly beautiful.

My whole world is overwhelmed. I have been so busy that I haven’t even had time to cry (except that random outburst on day two). I know it’s coming though. For the last few days I have been on the brink of an ugly cry. I would almost be better off to schedule it in on my timetable. At least that way I could do it right. I don’t even know what I want to cry about. I still haven’t had the time to properly digest my resignation let alone finalize it.

I found out yesterday that I have to be out of my apartment by tomorrow. So I had to peel out of yoga, grocery shop, prep my food for the week, cook, do laundry, pack up and move out of my room, vacuum and clean everything up and then pack my stuff for tomorrow. Then somewhere in that time I was meant to learn two postures. Fat effin’ chance. Honestly my head is wrecked. My body is beat. I have nothing else in me right now. Not even a damn tear; I’m too busy for it anyway.

Today we did two classes back to back. The first class was a hot flow taught by the lovely and talented Maria. She did an incredible job of engaging and energizing us while moving through the series. That’s the thing about Maria; her infectious energy can transform any space. Just being in that class was a pleasure, although it didn’t make Warrior II any easier.

Sadly class number two didn’t go quite the same way. Not only was there a really weird energy in the room, I was freaking beat. I’ve done doubles before but today it was all I could do to keep my sorry self in the room. I didn’t take any extra Savasanas but I sure as hell wanted to.

After lunch I was good to go; nothing like a protein shake and some carbs to kick you back into gear. We spent the rest of the afternoon listening to Mark explain more about yoga theology and the ways in which we can better serve our students.

Mark is such an interesting and complex person. I’m intrigued by his perceptions because he seems to have a sort of knowing that most people cannot comprehend. He makes you more aware of yourself and the boundless possibilities of the SELF. Even trying to articulate this seems like an injustice to what we discussed. I enjoyed his insights but true to my own nature, I had a zillion questions and challenges for his train of thought. He did well to answer what he could, but I don’t think I’ll stop asking.

I suppose there are things that can never be explained. I’m okay with that. But I think that to every fully grasp what Mark was saying I will have to experience it for myself; even just one percent of me.

Chivonne Monaghan


Chivonne's yoga story began five years ago when she discovered the hot yoga Primary Series. She knew instantly she wanted to become a teacher so she could share her passion with others; giving back what had been given to her: inspiration, strength, discipline, compassion and love. After a few years of living in various countries, Chivonne found myself travelling the world as an occupation with a middle-eastern airline. And when the opportunity to become a teacher become available to her in the UAE she quit her job on the spot and enrolled in the course. She feels so truly blessed to be starting her journey into teaching and I is so excited by the endless possibilities that await her.