103: The 5 things I didn’t think Yoga Teacher Training would teach me.


 10 weeks have passed since I started Yoga Teacher Training with Essence of Living here on the Gold Coast, that means I’m done! Certified yogi: tick 😉 

I seriously can’t believe how fast 10 weekends went. That’s 20 days. 200 hours. Boom.

FUN NOTE: if you’d prefer to listen to this blog post, press play below! Or find us on iTunes or Stitcher, search Get Merry. Oh! Here’s Carla’s PLAYLISTS!

Going into the training I knew I would learn a heap of stuff. I mean I was about to spend 10 weeks in yoga land… how could I not learn some cool stuff? BUT I wasn’t prepared for the epicness of the learnings and the changes that I went through.

From the get go, I had this knowing that I was supposed to do my yoga training… it wasn’t a matter of if, it was just a matter of when. So to be able to finally go on this adventure was a freaking blessing in itself, and thank you to Michelle, founder of Essence of Living for having the belief in me and for making this happen.

But let’s get into the good stuff… you’re here because you wanna know the surprising things I learnt BUT let’s quickly cover the unsurprising stuff I learnt… (all kind of duh moments)…

  • epic yoga technique (during the 10 weeks I did a total of 91 hours of yoga practice… that’s a lot I reckon), so my down dawwwgs are pretty much #onpoint most days #10xselfbelief 😉
  • really cool breathing techniques aka pranayama that literally change your thoughts in minutes and the physicality of your body (if you do them enough)… that’s freaking cool. I’ll be sharing some of these inside our next Challenge!
  • some Sanskrit. This is the ancient Indian language that the yoga teachings are written in. One of my goals for 2017 was to learn a new language, I feel like this could almost tick that off :P. Because, Utthita Hasta Padangustasana. Seriously, that is so fun to say. Extended-hand-to-big-toe pose if you’re wondering (you totally were… also featured below ;)). 
  • how to meditate. I also got a hell-o-va lot more inspired to meditate too… because we talked about the benefits A LOT (that’s like a whole other 50 blog posts).
  • bones, muscles and all the systems of the magical human body.
  • That I have an ‘Ether’ body type. Ok so this wasn’t really a duh moment because I didn’t really know there were different body types like: air, fire, water, earth and ether… but because this was part of the Ayurvedic day we did it wasn’t a surprise that I learned this. Basically, it means that I should learn lots and focus on the big picture/creativity ;).

Ok yay, for better yoga and yay for all that cool stuff… but let’s get to the juicy stuff. The stuff that came out of the woodworks and hit me like a big freaking AHA! moment more than a few times during the 10 weeks. 

Enthusiasm is a super power we all have… you just have to use it

I love being enthusiastic about pretty much everything, it makes life way more fun and magical. I was described as ‘Carla is very enthusiastic’ multiple times on school reports. I remember looking it up in the dictionary in year 5.

Ready for the surprise? Being enthusiastic about your goals, your life and realising your higher purpose makes it all come to reality faster. It’s not woo-woo crap. Think about it. If you’re enthusiastic about what you’re doing, if you’re truly excited and passionate OF COURSE it’s going to come faster… because you’re actually doing. If you were complaining, procrastinating and taking zero action, then you’ll get zero results or change. 

Flashback to high school when I wanted the lead role in the school musical. I enthusiastically asked my Mum for singing lessons so I had the best chance at scoring the lead. I practised every day. I prepared. I was excited and shared my enthusiasm with the Director of the show (pretty much every day until the audition :P, over kill? Maybe!). 

Either way, I got the lead. Even though I wasn’t the best singer, the best dancer… I showed up with enthusiasm.

Be impeccable with your words

Choose your words carefully and speak only when you truly have something meaningful to say. I LOVE to talk.

Em and I recently realised how many random conversations we have when we’re working. It may be because we spend so (too) much time together that we run out of ‘normal’ stuff to talk about so we get into the weird and wonderful. 

Either way, I talk a lot. So when I learnt the term ‘be impeccable with your word’ it really forced me to self-reflect and catch myself in moments when I was talking just because I wanted to fill the space. Usually, it was because the silence made me uncomfortable or I didn’t agree with something so felt I had to voice it (why are you uncomfortable, Carla? Do you really need to be ‘right’ all the time?). Not judging here… just noticing, questioning.

Not only is this about choosing your words carefully and using them when necessary… it’s also about keeping to your word. Doing the things you say you’re going to do. Integrity. That’s always been a value of mine anyway, so I liked that it popped up in the yoga teachings. 


It’s not what you do… it’s how you do it

It definitely is what you do but it’s definitely more how you do it. Because you can DO all the yoga classes… but are you really, truly showing up with enthusiasm, commitment, passion and giving it your all? If you’re not then maybe it’s not your thing. When you show up… SHOW. UP. Not with half your ass… with your full ass. Not with a cranky ass, with a kind ass. I’m not sure why I’m saying ass all the time but we have that quote hanging up in our office/lounge and I think it’s kinda perfect.

Let’s use clearing your inbox as a fun (ha!) example. How do you usually act when you read and respond to your hundreds of emails per day? Are you like: why the frig is this person emailing me… again? I wish I had zero emails. Email is the worst. idea. ever in the history of ideas!

Without a doubt, I bet if you went back and read some of your sent emails when in that cranky-ass mind space you’d surprise yourself. I know I’ve re-read sent emails and thought… oops, that was a bit rude slash a lot rude. And then I’d make some excuse as to why I was rude, when in actual fact I was just being rude… because. And that just ain’t Merry. 

Now, if I ever get in that space, I’ve taught myself to get out of the inbox. Abort all drafts and just leave. Even if it means I don’t respond in 2-3 days, I still leave. 

Imagine if you responded when you were calm and kind. Your emails would have so many exclamations and emojis (well, mine do :P) and the receiver will feel all the cozy love. 

A simple example, huh?! But I know it’s something I struggle with and I’m pretty sure the rest of email land does too. 

Where else are you showing up but not really showing up? A question I now keep in my pocket at all times. 

Detach detach detach

OMG this one seriously had me talking (impeccably, of course) for weeks. It was probably the theme of the day in Merrymaker land for the majority of the Yoga Teacher Training. Not to mention it kept popping up in books, podcasts and other conversations too… synchronicity? I think YES! 

I feel like the reason I wanted to talk about it more was because of how much it made me stop and question wellbeing, business, happiness and relationships (life in general). The idea of detachment is that you detach yourself from EV-ER-RY-THING.

The idea of detachment is that you detach yourself from EV-ER-RY-THING.

It’s a weird idea that I hadn’t ever thought of before. And man oh man… I was attached to A LOT OF STUFF. 

Yep. Detachment from reaching goals. Detachment from people you love. Detachment from food. Detachment from weather. Detachment from everything.

It means whatever the weather, it doesn’t change who you are (hello, I used to complain about the cold ALL. THE. TIME… ok I still do sometimes, oops). If the cafe doesn’t make your coffee ‘right’, it doesn’t scar your day (even though today my chai wasn’t as good as yesterday… eek, see gotta practise more!).

Whether you reach the goal or not, it doesn’t bother you. This doesn’t mean you get a free pass to be lazy. You still give it all you got (note: the how you show up lesson). It means that if the plan doesn’t turn out the way you thought it would, that all is well… and just know that the way it turned out is the way it was supposed to. 

Practising detachment is game changer. Nothing can stop you. Nothing can bring you down. You’re like water, you flow, sometimes fast, sometimes slow and you elegantly bend around the rocks (obstacles).

HOW to love myself (not just the idea that I should love myself)

Self love and compassion has been part of my journey from the very beginning of starting Merrymakers. I remember watching Louise Hay’s documentary You Can Heal Your Life 4 years ago. 

That’s when I first started mirror work. This is where I’d say words of affirmations to myself while looking in a mirror. There’s a bunch of other self love things I’ve tried but nothing had re-wired the brain pathway to default to self love. 

Before I started Yoga Teacher Training I was still very much in a self loathe mindset… I’d say 70:30 self loathe to self love ratio. Boo. 

The first day of Yoga Teacher Training with Essence of Living we went around the circle and said why we were here. I wasn’t really sure as I waited for my turn but then as I started introducing myself, I told everyone that I wanted to learn to love myself and to ACTUALLY love myself. Not just every now but like ALL. THE. FREAKING. TIME. 

I can’t tell you the exact turning point of when the ratio flipped (now it’s like 5:95!) but I know that practising yoga, the postures, the breathing (pranayama), the meditation and the focus on learning new stuff that I’m actually interested in all played a huge part in showing me HOW to love myself. And let me tell you…IT FEELS GOOD. Like really good. 

My training for this particular course is done but just like a friend told me… now you have a lifetime of yoga training ahead. 

Always merrymaking,



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