Learning through Love

Posted by on Sep 22, 2012

It’s back-to-school time, and for many that means a new schedule, stocking up on school supplies, and trading in sunshine for studying. Although I am no longer a student, I want to share a discovery I had about my own learning process that occurred when I was training to become a yoga teacher.


First, a fun fact about me: I am (and always have been) a nerd. People find this hard to believe, but it is true.


As a child I distinctly remember loving snow days not because it meant school was cancelled and I could play in the snow, but because snow days meant I could get more homework done. It’s true. My brother says that I didn’t even come to the dinner table without my books. Yes, I had friends and played sports and was vice president of my class, but I spent most of my time studying. I believed the more I worked, the more I’d learn, and the more successful I would be.


My hard work earned me awards and degrees and recognition. I graduated from college with honors, and later returned to graduate school and became a registered dietitian. The problem was however, that behind the scenes to my success, I was running myself ragged, didn’t get sufficient sleep, and lacked any semblance of balance between work and play, rarely ever exercised, and assumed stress and a lack of self-care was normal. This is what happned when you were learning, right?


When I went through my yoga teacher training I decided to do an experiment. I decided that I was going to learn through love.


Learning through love meant relaxing into the learning, not stressing about it. It meant enjoying the process and the day-to-day experience, not just the end result. It also meant trusting…trusting something greater than myself (love!) and not just my own expectations. It meant releasing my own agenda and simply being present to what was. In this space of surrender, I created a space for God and for grace. And I saw what could happen when I love lead the learning learning.


My, was it different.


Yoga teacher training is an intense experience, mentally, physically and emotionally. Anyone who has done it will tell you that. But when I stepped out of the way and let love take the lead everything changed. Yes, the days were challenging, but I felt guided. Yes, my body was tired from 15-hour days, but I was able to listen to it. Yes, I didn’t always get what I wanted, but I got exactly what I needed. I ate well (thanks to the amazing kitchen staff at Kripalu!), slept as much as I could, and didn’t beat myself up. Nor did I stay up late cramming prior to our practice–teaching tests. I quit before my brain hit overload. And I didn’t bring my books to the table.


It was fun and scary. Overall it was truly profound. Not only did I learn how to lead a powerful, safe, and invigorating yoga class, but I also learned so much more—about myself and my essence, about life, and of course about love. Learning through love was a gift I gave myself, and I continue to draw on it today. (It is also the premiss for the nutrition course I am teaching this fall!)


Whether it is school or work or family or health, what would shift if you invited love into your learning?


  1. And you live through love also Pam. Another great blog. i learn something every time. Best wishes this weekend on your presentation.

    • Thank you Caryl. I’m sorry to see that my original reply was not posted! Yes, we can also live through love- that is a great point. I think above all it is a choice that we make each day.

    • I have just come back from your class and can’t thank you enough. It just had a lovely profound affect on me. Thank you.

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