Auspicious Beginnings

Originally posted October 20, 2016

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“To dance is to live, to live is to dance.” – Snoopy

I’ve known that I am a dancer my whole life. It oozes out of me like molasses when a great song comes on and I can’t stop myself from moving. I’ve been caught dancing in my car by other drivers way too many times to not know this about myself. I usually invite them to dance with me. They always join in.

Despite this eagerness for movement, I never thought that I would be TEACHING a dance class, yet here I am, staring at my Let Your Yoga Dance Teacher Training Certification in wonder and absolute amazement. I am a Let Your Yoga Dance Teacher. How amazing it feels to say those words.

My story began five months ago when I agreed to a new journey based on my intuition whispering, “Yes. Do it.”, softly and quietly. I took the time to listen and quit my job, moved out of my apartment in San Francisco, traveled across the country to Massachusetts and started my one month Yoga Teacher Training at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health.

During the first day of class, I was terribly worried and feeling resistance. What am I doing here? Do I really want to be a yoga teacher? I don’t even know what they are talking about. This is stupid. Let me introduce Sylvia, my inner critic. She’s way too proper dismissing my childlike energy and curiosity, a constant worrier and really just wants to protect me but she’s also kind of annoying sometimes. I replied to her concern with surrender.

“Listen Sylvia, we’re here. There’s nothing we can do about it now. We’re in this. Let’s just see where it takes us.”

“Ugh… well don’t say that I didn’t tell you so when this all crashes and burns.”

“Alright Sylvia.”

She was SO wrong. But not in the way that I expected.

After those first few days she began to quiet down. She began to find value and surrender to the gifts that we were receiving. I found the philosophy fascinating and the community essential to my survival. I’d never felt this loving connection with so many people before. Despite these gifts, teaching asana* yoga still felt “not quite IT” for me.

Enter yoga dance.

Our teachers encouraged us to go to “Noon Dance”, which originally sounded really awesome, but combined with 12 hour days, it also sounded exhausting. But after some time settling into the schedule, I wanted to check it out.

This was it. This lit up my soul. This overjoyed me. I couldn’t get enough and went day after day after day, even if only for 15 minutes. And it’s dance AND yoga!? What!? Insane.

I immediately raved to my teachers about it and they continued to encourage my feelings towards this practice. “Bring it to the mat!” “Keep trying other teachers!” “Have you looked at the teacher trainings?”

I went to all the classes that I could afford energetically. I was on a new mission – find which teacher and class I connected with the most and plan to take their teacher training. I went to this one – Oooo this is fun but something’s off. I went to that one – Mmm okay but not my favorite. I talked more with my teachers more – “Go check out Megha’s class!” Okay, I need to find this Megha person’s class and see what she’s about.

Walking into the room, I already knew the deal. Dance around and free the soul. But we were talking about the chakras now too, which I didn’t know much about but I went with it anyway. There were live drummers, there were happy, dancing bodies and this teacher was the most smiley, genuine person that I had ever met. I talked to her after the class just to solidify my intuition and was hooked – I was going to be a Let Your Yoga Dance Teacher.

Coming back to Kripalu for the LYYD Teacher Training was like coming home. I knew that these people’s hearts were wanting to be filled with joy and love through dancing just like mine and boy, was I right. We danced our way through the first week with so much laughter, love and tears that cleansed our souls. My love for this practice felt more real than ever. I was meant to be with these people, in this place, right now. Sylvia was pretty quiet that week because she knew it too.

Heading back home from Kripalu always feels difficult for me. Eye contact, open hearts, love, vulnerability, transformation right before your eyes is all hard to come by in the “other” world. There it happens daily. But this time, I was ready to bring this gift back to the other world. I knew it’s impact and that I could make some souls really happy.

My practice teach classes confirmed everything that I already knew. This was my practice. This was where my joy and love and energy and excitement collided into my sacred and deep practice. Everything felt right.

I returned to Kripalu for my final week of training which FILLED. ME. UP. The amount of love and encouragement that I felt is indescribable. I feel my heart overflowing from me in ways that I’ve never experienced and am so grateful to be able to give. 

And so I begin my journey with The Zeal.

“Zeal” is defined as fervor for a person, cause, or object; eager desire or endeavor; enthusiastic diligence; ardor.

The Zeal is about passion, love, about enthusiastic diligence towards your desires while spreading kindness and joy to others. How do we find our passion? How do we find what lights us up? And when we do, what the hell do we do with it? Let’s explore it together.

When we fill ourselves up with our passion, we can give out love and spread our enthusiasm for life with reckless abandon.

Here’s a toast to us, the multi-dimensional beings who wish to find what lights our souls on fire so that we can blaze through the night, howling at the moon and singing our soul’s greatest song.

Thank you for joining me on this journey.

Big love,

Mackenzie

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*Asana – posture. Asana yoga is the posture practice of yoga. Ex: downward dog, mountain pose, tree pose