Yoga Teacher Training Endings & New Beginnings. Trina Hall. Treenuh Yoga. Advanced Yoga Studies. The Mat Yoga Studio.
Watching someone grow over 200 hours of yoga teacher training is a beautiful thing to see. What’s even more beautiful is to watch the group dynamic as unspoken bonds are formed in the process of witnessing and being witnessed. My friend calls it “Sacred Witnessing” and I am a firm believer in the power it has to help us grow individually and collectively.
I hold space for my students’ growth and in my myopic focus in aiding in their journey, I can sometimes forget that I am also simultaneously growing on my journey. They are unconsciously holding space for my growth and I feel very lucky now to realize that. There was a part of me that neglected my evolution. I’m reminded through these words one of my students wrote me in a card that I, too, was being witnessed, “From every part of my being, I see you, I hear you, I appreciate you and I love you.” I feel this way about my students.
Because I don’t believe in the guru structure and I bask in my utter humanness, I rejected a lot of the love and appreciation they’ve sent my way over the years. It isn’t a form of self-loathing – I was afraid it would aid my ego and my head would get so big that I would have to change the height of the doors in my house. I’ve come to realize you can’t fully witness without being witnessed. It takes two to be in relationship and my students teach me so much just by being present in my life.
I am grateful.
My favorite thing to do is be creative… however that shows up – whether through creating an experience for my students, cooking for my friends, painting, or photography, it is something that brings me an infinite amount of satisfaction and joy to share.
There are a select few who have seen me in my creative state. It is sacred for me. One of my closest advisers has pushed me to another level where I am exploring the idea of sharing parts of my creative process. This video is part of this new idea.
I’m scared to death as I post this. It isn’t about fear of what people think or how people may judge me. It is a vulnerability – a true showing of my heart. I figure I might as well be even more real and more honest. Isn’t it true that is something scares you, it is worth doing?
I love my life and I feel so grateful to be able to do what I do. The basis of what I do is teach people how to find their center in the midst of life’s inevitable chaos. I hold space for people to heal what needs to be healed so they can live a more authentic, purpose-driven life. Everything I do revolves around the creative process – something so personal, yet completely universal. It transcends language barriers. It communicates with us and through us. It is magical to me.
Part of my daily practice involves walking through the woods. I bring my keys, my journal, my music, my dog and I run. I meditate. I allow life to unfold around me and I get excited when I notice things… and there is always something new to notice so I am in a constant state of awe.
Yesterday, I was listening to this particular piece of music that put me more into a daydream – I started to run faster than I ever have before – like I was being chased. Suddenly, I tripped over a small tree stump, flew through the air and literally tumbled down to the ground. It was surreal to have my world flipped so suddenly.
When coming back to my car, I noticed I didn’t have my keys with me. I thought perhaps I had left them in the car so I went to check. Someone found my keys on the trail and left me a note.
Today, I cried for the kindness of strangers. You guys are all around me. The world is filled with kind hearted people – there are more of us than those who make the news. Everyone I’ve told this story to is shocked. They say, “Wow,” and, “You’re lucky,” and things like that but I don’t believe that. I believe they would do the same thing when put in that situation. We are inherently good. My mom said I see the world through rose-colored glasses but I’m not naive – I know desperate people do desperate things – but I do believe in the good within each of us. I believe in you. So thanks for being a stranger and thanks for helping those who aren’t yet believers see the fact that you are kind.
He has two gods: nature and music. The notes were his companion, the former rests somewhere beyond the view, begging to be graced with his footsteps. “Don’t look at me. Be with me,” Mother Nature commanded, knowing he was afraid of the dark. Did he need more strength to be strong? Burying the barbed wire beneath the brush, a toll was paid to the cheribum, Fear and Desire, to enter the garden at Giverny. The forest was disenchanted, the wolf his companion as the path was marked with art.
For seven days, he ran. He collapsed and shouted his hands skyward, seeking the mother he never had in a tree. This was his divine other.
She was concerned about the depth of his faith so decided to practice hers. She already survived Hades resting place where creativity’s marrow was sucked from her soul and she sought counsel in the clouds.
Sounds of a ritualized morning beckoned her from the sky. He opened the aperture of her life and grew himself in her womb. The body of his home now received her touch, the echoes of laughter and love making swam through stone and wood. She held her lion’s hand as his compass for navigating the shadow. He always had courage and seeing Waxing Gibbous reminded him of her light. He knew his light was lovable and finally had proof the entirety of his makeup being dressed down was loved, too.
She was his shelter. She was his light. They were love.
Investing their dividends, they wrote a business plan for their perspectives: luxurious utilitarianism and altruistic indulgence.
Sometimes we make important life decisions based on what we think we should do. The “should” can become a barometer for being loved or accepted by others. Much of my life was spent as a purposeful outsider… Never wanting to be adopted into one group, I joined them all. It is like how I can’t choose my favorite color – wouldn’t green get its feelings hurt if I chose pink?
While working in an art gallery and at a museum, I found yoga. Finally, something pure enough for me to want to dig my teeth into. I said my vows, got my membership card and thought of how to best serve yoga itself. I wanted to give people something to look up to… I wanted to be a leader. I wanted to be heard.
So I traded in my vintage hat collection for an ascetic life, trying to free myself from desires and craving. I cleansed. I purified. I tried to honor what the yogic teachings offered me. Glamour and elegance no longer mattered to me. I wanted to embody the perfect yogi. As a girly girl who started wearing high heels before she could ride a bike, it was a stretch to stop wearing make up, but I did.
I became obsessed with what others thought of me – or moreso, my ideal of what I thought I should be. My self-esteem was garnered from an external perception and I somehow always fell short.
All this did is isolate me further from my own truth. It’s taken a while to understand the truth comes from within and anything other than following your heart is a form of self-deception. I was too truthful outwardly to others but little by little, I lied to my heart.
I’ve embraced more of myself – who I am beyond archetypes and titles – and my art is now reflecting my heart instead of my issues. It’s ok to be in love with who I really am and at the end of the day, I’m the only one who is keeping score.
I don’t want to be an ascetic. That isn’t the key to happiness. Happiness lives in the space. Happiness lives in gratitude… Fall down on your knees kind of gratitude. Find the things that make your heart smile and do more of that. I don’t want to be a part of anything less than helping people remember this. We all know it, we just need to be reminded – everything is cool.
Score one for me – I can finally put on my cocktail dress, open a bottle of champagne and do yoga in my favorite pair of heels. Ok so it wasn’t the most comfortable of endeavors, but you get the point, right?
I’d rather stand on my head than talk about the weather.
Remember, Atlas shrugged, too.
Seeking an answer is like trying to understand the tree by only looking into its shadow.
In the silence, the beat, butterfly wings pulsing at your heart.
Witness sacred in mundane.
Take care of yourself and wear your apron.
Sweep your own floors.
Make dinner as you linger in another’s depth.
See the resonance – the relics and the seeds.
Look to the tree, inspiration between limbs. It holds up the sky where you shine.
Every Thursday in July, I will debut my new Creative Process Yoga class at The Crow. I hope you can join me. Here are the details:
Whether you are a painter, musician, writer or someone who has not yet discovered their inner artist, this yoga class will help you find and refine your skills in the creative process. The process will help you gain clarity in your goals and help you remove obstacles on your path.
What is the creative process? It is a way of deep listening that provides connection to ourselves, others, and something greater.
Designed around the wisdom of yoga, this class presents an opportunity for practitioners experience their creative process through the practice of yoga. The format changes every week but all classes include education in yoga philosophy, mindfulness techniques, guided relaxation and meditation while some weeks we will break down alignment in postures, some weeks we will flow, and some weeks we will settle into deep stretching.
Every class is appropriate for beginners and advanced practitioners alike. Come with any questions about yoga, and a desire to learn and be inspired.
Creative Process Yoga with Treenuh Yoga
Crow Collection of Asian Art
Thursdays in July
We are all on a hero’s journey. Some of us know what we seek and others are completely unaware they are living a life of purpose. Joseph Campbell wrote a book called A Hero with a Thousand faces that outlines the myth of the hero. You can think of it as if your life is a book and you are the hero of the book. The hero changes the world. The hero helps others. The hero lives an extraordinary life.
In order to live this type of larger-than-life myth, the hero is put through a series of tests that give him the wisdom he needs to continue on his path. He learns the truths of the universe.
There is usually a refusal to go once he has been called on the adventure of life. Typically, he is in a place of comfort and security and he knows by moving outside of his comfort zone, there will be the void of the unknown. At least there is a nice little graphic that can help navigate the process.
The more we deny our purpose and ignore the call… the more we convince ourselves we want to live our lives according to our own plans, the more we suffer. Suffering can come in the form of bad relationships, illness, a desire to numb out, or distractions of any kind.
When we practice surrendering, we can observe how much we are clinging to our own ideals. We want to get closer to universal truth and further away from ego and mind-constructs. A practice that helps with this is Yin and Restorative yoga. The best pose I’ve found to notice how to surrender is Balasana, or Child’s Pose: Come to all fours, lower hips to heels, forehead comes to floor, hands move beside body, palms face up. As you breathe, notice the gripping within the muscles of the legs… the face… the shoulders. Practice letting go.
It’s been quite some time since I posted a playlist. Tuesday’s Open Flow class was special for me because I was thinking about how I’ve been inspired by beautiful art and performances recently.
I wanted to bring forward an exciting energy to help us get closer to our human desires and ultimate longing. I posed the question, “What is your purpose?” I’m interested in those dreams you fear are too big to be uttered… those things you pictured doing when you were a kid… the ideal life you know you are meant to lead.
I think it was 1999 and I was watching a rehearsal on the SNL set. Lorne Michaels’ office is at the top of the seats and there were two kids hanging out there. I introduced myself and learned that one was Lorne’s son and the other was Paul Simon’s. They were on a baseball team together and Paul Simon’s kid said when he grows up, he wants to colonize the moon. Really. That was his dream.
Some of us know exactly what we are supposed to be doing with our lives and some of us aren’t even sure where to begin in writing life’s mission statement.
I’ve always known I wanted to be a teacher. I’ve always known I wanted to be an artist. I’ve always known my main goal is happiness. I was not, however, always true to that vision. I adhered to a standard of what was expected of me. I lived my life through the lens of another’s expectation. Then everything changed and I kept my focus on what I truly want, re-defining the means to get there along the way. The path isn’t always clear but I do keep stepping, even when it seems like the next step my lead me off a cliff. It’s ok, if I fall, I know how to use my wings to land safely again.
What makes you happy? Joseph Campbell calls it “Follow Your Bliss” and how beautiful is that notion? You possess the bliss already… you just have to follow the path.
The thing that unites us is love. It is our highest calling. Love is the best we can possibly be. It is a presence, an openness, a vulnerability, a doing… it is a way of being. We can think about this pretty easily as we’ve all loved and been loved before. But are we fully living up to love’s standard of equality and infinite capacity? If I were to gather an accurate picture of how much I am fully, 100% loving, I am sad to say that far too often, fear and judgement make guest appearances in the sitcom of my mind. We can make it a practice – practice love. Practice acceptance.
We’ve all built up ways of protecting our hearts and hiding from our co-created destiny. But it is time. It is time for us to live! It is time to live our lives inspired. It is time to watch our dreams come true.
All. of. Us.
Sending you love.
I feel blessed. This week, I take my Advanced Yoga Studies students on their graduation retreat to Playa del Carmen.
I’ve been meditating on what to teach and I’m thrilled to say we will be exploring several ideas:
Don’t Hold Back – Show Us Who You Are
Are You Fiercely Loving?
Inspire & Be Inspired – The Light Within
The Soundtrack to Your Mind
I can’t wait to share the space with you guys… This is going to be fun!!
TEDxSMU. Einstein’s Theory of Relativity. Conscious Breathing. Yoga. Dallas. Nervous as Hell. Trina Hall. Treenuh Yoga,
I, too, had a series of small strokes that left me with double vision and debilitating headaches. My left eye could no longer move and I had resigned myself to always rely on other people to take care of me – a huge feat for a person who craves solitude and independence. I was sad. I was depressed. I needed help taking myself to the bathroom. My life looked so much different than what I had dreamed of as a little girl.
To cheer me up, I was given art supplies because I had said in passing, “I always wanted to be an artist.” I never took lessons but I discovered how to play and tap into the rhythm of oil painting. It was the biggest gift I had been given – relief from the pain, joy from expression, and a love of color that still charms me today.
The creative process is what healed me back to my version of normal (notice I didn’t say “normal” but “my version of normal” because I am definitely a little off-center)… but this time, I had a mission – to live a creative life and teach others how to heal themselves through creative process.
My mind seeks connection in its isolation so I seek to find ways of joining things together. Yoga was the best medium I found for joining people to a deeper connection within and outside of themselves. My teachers always talked about energy in class. Though I understood its meaning in an abstract way, I couldn’t stop thinking about the E in Einstein’s Theory of Relativity. I’ve re-imagined his theory to show how our lives and connection to source/spirit/universe can be enhanced through simple conscious breathing and movement as a meditation. I found conscious breathing is the single most beneficial thing we can do to enhance brain function, spiritual connection and overall wellness. So I need a platform to share this with more people.
I decided I wanted to give my own TED talk so I applied and was accepted to audition a 5 minute talk at TEDxSMU. I learned so much about myself, my expectations, my hopes, my dreams and my desire to communicate effectively. The stillness was palpable when the crowd was observing their senses.
This was an experience I will always treasure despite it being a horrible record of my public speaking skills. I couldn’t remember any of my jokes or any of the points I wanted to make. All in all, I sucked but at least I can say I did it.
her dreams lay
only comes once.
goes on, and on, and on,
I fly to you.
Every ending is a chance to look back at the beginning and embrace change as your constant companion while you regard time as a specter who wants to be seen.
Yesterday, my yogis from Advanced Yoga Studies Level 2 graduated. I still haven’t processed how my time will change now that I won’t be teaching a training program until August but I have processed the beauty and wisdom these women shared with me during our 100-hours together. Today, I feel like a momma bird who is watching her babies fly from the nest. I am so grateful.
There is a man who pushes a cart around the neighborhood, collecting cans from recycle bins. I’m assuming he is homeless. He’s become as familiar as my next door neighbor with his routine stop in front of my house and we always wave, give the obligatory smile, and the neighborly exchange of conversational pleasantries.
At first, I felt pity for this man… how it must feel to not have a home… how he must be living in fear. My ability to project my own fears of survival on this man led me to see there is no indication from him that he is afraid. He actually seems quite happy as he delivers a nugget of wisdom in conversation, “You deserve the truth.”
Then I felt envious of his reality – time is simply measured by sunlight. He need not wear a watch as he is free to do anything with his time. The watch is my albatross. Freedom exists in the mind and reality is what we make of it.
On my days off, I aim to live more like this man – wandering with the sun as my guide, wondering with my shadow behind.
Perfume of coffee and taste of unshaven legs… the anticipation of art as a container for infinite expression. How does a shadow dance? Where do glances fall? As she approached the tarmac, she wasn’t yet cleared for landing. Baited in breath, the path became clear. There is something rich in mistaken identity as the winter’s trees pretend to have no protection. Just as in every theory, it has yet to be proven.
Her shade was taken away so the sun was in connection – more directly this time. Who was it? Where is that voice?
Belief – faith, even – is what resonates. Recalling bleeding retinas, her grandfather hadn’t warned her about looking into the sun. She assumed it was necessary to go into the light – to bathe in the rays of glorified nothingness.
To become who you truly are and imbibe power beyond form is what creates discernment. Just as the clouds scraped the rays from her skin, she exhaled. Guilt became an extension in the call directory of her thoughts; the number rarely dialed. This unwavering disregard for punishment along the gallows resulted in a sensation between her shoulder blades. What would she do with this new sense of freedom?
She put in place a policy of truth-seeking and truth-speaking that became the touchstone in her future conversations that always pierced into the essence of now. Ultimately, she was her own beneficiary and time an imagined jaded lover. She became provocative… pro-active. Gentle in her approach, the blending of creative energies was her offering.
Inspire me beyond
In the space where
we are both seen
Taming the wild
Love into your
tie you up
in my apron strings
One Love Dallas. Yoga Charity Event. Off the Mat Into the World. 108 Sun Salutations. India. AT&T Performing Arts Center. Yoga Event Dallas. Trina Hall Treenuh Yoga.
One Love Dallas – the brainchild of Melody Moore and Jennifer Chitwood – is like a yoga marathon. They choose 12 teachers each year to lead hundreds of people through 108 sun salutations to raise money and awareness for a charity, Off the Mat into the World. I’m in for my 2nd year and I am honored to be in the company of these other amazing teachers. Let’s all get on board and do this!
This year, One Love Dallas is raising money to liberate and educate women and children who are victims of sex trafficking in India. I know, this is heavy sh*t. The CIA estimates that 1,000,000 girls and women are put into sex enslavement every year. Every year, 50,000 girls are kidnapped and brought in to the US alone.
Open your heart, open your wallet and give some hard earned cash to help empower these women and children who need our help! If we can find it in our hearts to help, we must.
I’ve started a team to encourage my students, friends, and family to donate: http://www.crowdrise.com/onelovetreenuh
If you don’t want to donate, get your yoga on and participate in the 108 sun salutations with me!!
Thanks to stevankoye.com for our group photos!
Yoga for Musicians, Artists, Creatives. Privates. Muse. Private Lessons. Relax on the Road. Dallas. Texas. Houston. Austin. Trina Hall.
I’ve been asked by hundreds of people about yoga privates for creatives. OK, that is a lie… no one has asked me about that but I have found that as an artist, my yoga practice is the single most valuable thing that helps me remain creative.
I am now offering custom privates for any creative professional who would like to light their creative fire again, find peace of mind, or just relax while on the road or traveling.
Creative Process Privates – Designed for the musician, artist, or creative professional who is looking to find their muse again. The privates are custom-designed for the artist’s needs and goals to include yoga poses, mindfulness techniques, meditations, and guided relaxation. The sessions are recorded so they can be taken while traveling.
Email trina at treenuh dot com for more information.
What is faith?
My journey into answering this question started with the observation that for most of my life, I was living in fear. Fear of not being loved, fear of not being good enough, fear of not being pretty, fear of speaking my mind, fear of heights… the list goes on. So if I am living in fear, I need to understand how to turn the other way. What is the opposite of fear?
I sought counsel from one of my teachers who said, “There is a net beneath you. Let go. You will be caught.” I don’t know how much I believed her but I wanted to go straight into feeling my fear to see what is on the other side. I needed a goal to bring me face to face with fear, so I decided to conquer my fear of heights by flying on a circus trapeze.
I stood there at the bottom of the rig, analyzing every detail of how this whole thing could go wrong. The ladder could break. The net could be poorly attached to the bars and I could fall to my death. The person catching me could drop me, sending me head-first into a tree (I have flown from a trampoline head-first into a tree so this one wasn’t so irrational). Just thinking about the experience is making my palms sweat. I climbed 32 feet up this wobbly ladder onto a platform, and as I held the bar, ready to jump off the ledge, I realized I have to have faith in order to jump. Faith that everyone who put the rig together did it properly…. faith that my trapeze partner will catch me. Then I looked down and saw the net. Funny how life works.
I flew through the air and when I landed safely in the net, I exhaled and thought of all the agony I put myself through by listening to my fear.
What fears am I listening to in my life? I wanted to share my passion for yoga but I was afraid I wasn’t good enough to be a teacher. When I got home from the trapeze experience, I signed up for a yoga teacher training program. If I had not acknowledged my fear, I never would have had the faith in myself to sign up for the training.
Faith is mysterious and sometimes ellusive. Faith is knowing there is a net. Faith is knowing we are exactly where we need to be.
Are you ready to jump?
Last night, one of my students offered a toast as we celebrated the end of our 100 hour educational journey, “Even when you think you aren’t making a difference in someone’s life, you are.” Of course, I start crying because it hit me first like a pin into a pin cushion, then like a freight train with the realization this is what I am trying to do.
I want to make a difference. Yoga is the best tool I have found for bringing people together… and I want more people to feel connected. I want to connect to as many people as possible.
Making something ancient and esoteric into something approachable and applicable to modern life has been a beautiful process. Looking over all my lesson plans, my notes, recorded classes, manuals, research, etc., it is evident that I have loved the process of unearthing my ideas.
Yes, I am the kind of person who stops to smell roses… I enjoy the drinking of nectar from life’s fruits. There are times, though, when I seem to be the nail and life seems to be the hammer continuously teaching me a painful lesson. Perhaps the bleeding from my skull should be and indication that it is time to make a change… Time to stop wanting more and time to inhale the fragrance of this moment. If we can all accept that everything is temporary, why do we want to extend the good times and get away from the darkness in life?
My job affords me the opportunity to meet amazing men and women who share such a sacred space with little ol me. I had a moment in class this morning when I realized I am over flowing with gratitude to be able to teach yoga the way I do to the people I do. Each of my students touches me in such a profound and special way and I am forever grateful. It is moments like this I want to sustain… I want to contain… I want to name… As if documenting it makes it more real… As if sharing it in this forum and with friends and family helps me inhale its perfume just a weeeeeee bit longer…
I am content with that illusion.
As the mourning ceased, palms hiding face
Love as impaler -
Love as liberator,
Love as the base line
Love as the thread
Love as the wave
Love as the particle.
There is no light, no darkness.
Love is all there is.
Love is all I am.
Snake became his staff
furrowed brow in hand.
Casting thought on River’s spine
we took the path without footsteps.