In April 2015, the Pain Care Aware teacher training invisibly led me to enter the world of Yoga Therapy. After the training, I was still in a state of indecision. Even though I fully understood the theories and concepts, I had no idea how much it would alter my approach to teaching. However, the seeds of determination planted in the depths of my heart steeled me to action; I deeply believed that one day I would master the subject via a comprehensive study of therapy and its related areas.
In September of the same year, I headed to Japan for my initial yoga therapist training. I have never forgotten the very first day after the morning practice. One of my mentors asked me, ”What’s your intention today?” I realized then that I had no idea how to respond since I was extremely confused about the practice I just did. I sheepishly answered with my embarrassed smile, “Well, I don’t know.” After that, for the next days that led into years, the little seed of determination to continue learning germinated under the nourishing care of my mentors’ guidance. After uncountable frustrations and inspirations, in 2017 I was accredited as a Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapist.
Back then, I knew I had to continue the second part of training to get the ultimate accreditation from the International Association of Yoga Therapists, yet I chose to pause for a while after serious consideration. On one hand, I realized I am the kind of person who needs to spend additional time receiving, practicing and integrating. On the other hand, I could not immediately afford the expense the next part of training would cost me.
In the autumn of 2018, my colleague and I finally invited the founder of Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy, Michael Lee, to begin initial yoga therapist trainings in Taiwan. In the winter of 2019, when we completed the level 2 training and prepared for the crucial portion of level 3, I heard a voice rising in my heart that said, “It’s time to complete the rest of your training.” I started the courses in December of that year.
In March 2020, COVID-19 swallowed most of the world. All plans and schedules that I had made for my training trips collapsed immediately. Not only did I have to manage the constantly shifting schedule, but also amend my flights and accommodations. In the end, all courses were moved to virtual sessions. Though I was happy to save half my budget on travel expenses, I felt isolated when unable to join my peers in person, not to mention missing out on exploring new places, meeting new people and eating new foods. The time difference compounded my difficulties. More than once I found myself unable to get up for my early bird sessions (sometimes starting at 4 am local time). And of course, there were a few times that I could not stay up for my night owl sessions (sometimes starting at midnight), so that I had to ask for offline help ahead of time. In addition to these hardships, I was working full time while trying to balance the readings, assignments, group practices and presentations, all in a foreign language. For a while, I doubted my little determination seedling would make it through the winter of toil. I wondered if I might have to postpone my learning and repeat the course. Despite my worries, and aided with a warming concentration, I accomplished all learning and audits one at a time, and my determination blossomed into success. In the meantime, I published my book “From Breath to Yoga Therapy” which was not included in my original expectations, and helped to found the Taiwan Yoga Therapy Association as well.
Finally, in the end of November 2021, I fulfilled the last of my requirements and tasted the sweet fruit for which I had worked so hard. Through all the impermanence, the yearlong pandemic-caused postponement, the hardship and the struggle, it was all made worthwhile at the moment my learning and practice merged into one.
In January 2022, before the Chinese New Year, I was officially certified by the International Association of Yoga Therapists. My intention now is clear, and I plan to grow my determination into a mighty tree. I am delivering extensive knowledge and comprehensive views established through practical scientific research with my simple language. I am assisting in fields related to human beings and health care through yoga, the ancient wisdom. Even though in Taiwan we are much slower than America and Europe, I take comfort from one mentor’s statement, “I have been here alone in Japan sharing yoga therapy for ten years, so I believe with two people right now in Taiwan will be faster than me.” I feel relieved.
My trunk adds rings. My roots deepen. My canopy spreads.