Our yoga teacher training is coming to a close next week and we are wrapping up 3 months of yoga teachings, philosophy and self-discovery. As a way of bringing outside insight into our individual journeys, we were invited to share in a group exercise called “The Archetype.”
I would recommend trying this with any family, peer/working group or friend circle. Everyone sits in a circle with a piece of paper on which are written 4 categories: Color, Archetype, Soul Qualities, How Qualities Manifest. Then, moving around the circle one-by-one, each member receives feedback from their peers on each one of the categories.
Two things are crucial to the success of this exercise: 1) Honesty 2) Understanding. For some people, receiving feedback of any sort can be a humiliating thing, especially for younger people who have been raised with the “everyone’s a winner” mentality. We may all want to be seen as Princess Leia, but in actuality are far from it. It’s important to be real with your comments and also sensitive to the individual you are talking to in order to give them valuable opinions in a safe space.
The Archetype presents a chance to reflect on how others see us and the impact we make on them. After bearing our souls, reading each other’s intimate journal entries and listening to the struggles and breakthroughs everyone has had over the time of the training, we surely had a lot to say to each other.
Undoubtedly, everyone was surprised by the information that came back at them. I mean, how many times have you ever asked yourself what color you best represent? Most of the answers to these themes are subconscious patterns or essences that we carry with us intrinsically; therefore, of course we are somewhat blind to them. Similar to walking forward in life and almost never knowing what we look like from behind as we walk along. How often do you see people taking selfies of their backside? What we know of ourselves is what we put out there for others, not necessarily what they are taking away from the same transmission.
Personally, the breaking news was that hands-down everyone in the class thought my archetype was the warrior: Zena the Warrior Princess, Lara Croft, Joan of Arc, Trinity from the Matrix. The only thing I’m missing is body armor and a weapon of choice. Even though this was surprising, I liked it. I easily associate with those characters, although had no idea I seemed so bad-ass from the outside. It left me feeling stronger than ever leaving class that night and wondering what cause I would willingly battle to the death for in this lifetime.
After reflection, it seems that the 2017 altar needs one more addition: a badass warrior photo.