by: Abby Lyons, Social Impact Training Graduate
At the end of my Yoga Teacher Training at Give Yoga (formerly Balanced Yoga) in 2017, I wrote:
“I see that I have the power to incite action and that I am capable of encouraging students [in schools] to take notice of what’s around them and empower them with tools to go forth in the world grounded in their truth. I see that my vision [for this work] can grow even deeper and further…”
In 2016, I had only a glimpse of what those words would come to mean in the world. Baptiste Yoga gave me the tools to uncover my wholeness; tools that I had not discovered anywhere else. The miracle of Baptiste Yoga is it continues to allow me to dig deeper and further into how I show up in the world through the same methodology I learned in 2017.
Two months after my YTT graduation, I entered the first three years of my career in education; initially as a 1st grade teacher, then as a Social Emotional Learning Coach in K-12 public schools. For those three years, I fully intended to use my experience of the Baptiste Methodology to inform my work. But, something was unclear to me; I could not articulate why the Methodology resonated with me, which made it difficult to share with others. And when I signed up for the Social Impact Training in 2020, I still couldn’t see what was missing. Yet, the promise of the Social Impact Training to “give you all the tools you need to create positive change inside any population,” resonated deeply within me.
I didn’t know why I needed SIT or why the Baptiste Methodology echoed within me until last week, almost two months after completing the SIT and four years after my introduction to Baptiste Yoga. I was talking with a friend and she reflected something back to me that I didn’t know that I already knew about myself. She told me that I am always looking for ways to change and shift what we’re up to in education to serve our kids and families more fully. When she said this, I felt her words in my bones. Baptiste Yoga is my vehicle for the shift. The practice is how I see my body, my breath, my mind shift in an instant and over time. And in January, my bones knew that I needed the Social Impact Training to continue allowing my vision to grow deeper and further to support this shift for our kids and communities.
In the Social Impact Training I learned two key principles:
My work is not about the “haves” and the “have nots.” I am not responsible for giving the “have nots” what I think they need.
Service is connection and connection requires action.
In Baptiste Yoga, we are often asked, “What’s possible?” As a result of SIT, it’s now possible for me to be in service through connection for everybody and every body, as opposed to getting it “right.” I’m no longer stuck in planning the “right” trainings, for the “right people” and saying exactly the “right” things. It’s now possible for me to be in connection and action without getting in the way of the Methodology. SIT gave me the tools to be in service for this moment. And this moment. And this moment.
The next action in the moment was clear to me when our schools closed in March as a result of COVID-19. My day job is to support teachers and students in Social Emotional Learning by modeling in classrooms. And when schools closed, at first glance I couldn’t do my job; however, as a result of the tools I gained through SIT, I could be in action with a clear framework for sharing the 3 Themes of Baptiste Yoga with educators in my community so they could show up fully to their lives as parent/teacher/caregiver/housecleaner/jungle gym/cook/etc. I offered 15 virtual opportunities for educators to come together to be in connection (in service to themselves and one another) around the Methodology in their lives and work.
Through SIT, I stepped into my power as a leader in my community to be of service in all moments of my life. I am a yes for connection and I am committed to being in service of my higher vision of an education system that serves whole humans, wholly.