April Teacher Feature: Celebrating 10+ Years of Teaching

lil' CarolCarol Collins

The year I enrolled in Teacher Training at Tranquil Space, 2002, my heart was opening to new possibilities in my life. I had left my job of 7 years as an elementary school teacher. I was working many part-time jobs. My husband Andy’s information retrieval company, tutoring kids, nannying, teaching math at a ballet school and teaching yoga. I had begun looking at my past through psychotherapy and I was determined to be more understanding of my past, to limit planning for my future and appreciate the present. I really began to slow down. I began to see how my past was still with me and unless I slowed down, I’d miss the significance of the present moment. I’d miss the wisdom it might teach me.

We spent a lot of time on self-reflection and reading about asana and yoga philosophy. I knew I had major fears of “being seen” and in speaking in front of others. I looked back at my journal from TT and I filled 2 pages with “fears to look at.” I also wrote: “You are what you love, not what loves you.” I didn’t cite it. I was discovering new ways to think about myself and my life and I think it was the beginning of me having a new relationship with whatever God is.

I got pregnant that year. I loved being surrounded by fellow yogis who were interested in self-growth. We saw each other every week for 6 months as my belly grew and I remember feeling so loved and nurtured by the group: Anne, Danielle, Peg, Kate, Siobhan, Kimberly, Lisa, Alison, Gina, Pari, Kevin, Nancy, Debra, Mark, Peggi, Leigh Ann, Sytera, Debra– I know I’m forgetting a whole bunch of people! I also remember feeling for the first time that I could be a “big sister” or a mentor to someone. Someone else could look up to me! Being the youngest of 7 this was a new and awesome feeling!

I remember meeting Cyndi Lee and Darren Main for the first time. I remember learning about meditation from a man named Chris from the Shambala Center in Baltimore who wore a suit and sat on a cushion. He talked about death and it’s impact on the conscious mind to “awaken.” This was the subject at the core of my being at the time. I was still beginning to feel and deal with the death of my parents.

I am so lucky that I was able to be patient during this time – I didn’t have the pressures of getting another full-time job thanks to Andy. I slowly moved into my new profession as a yoga teacher and into my new life as a mom. It fit together well in part I think because of the time and effort I put into practicing slowing down, increasing my self-awareness, and discovering what made me happy. I’m grateful to Kimberly, Tranquil Space and all my peers and students I’ve met over the years who help me make a living sharing yoga. Omm.

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