So I guess this whole thing is real, huh? I finished my first weekend of yoga teacher training - 20 hours spread across Friday evening, all-day Saturday and all-day Sunday. It was pretty overwhelming and amazing at the same time.
I walked into my yoga studio on Friday evening a bit apprehensive. On our application, they asked us what our expectations were of the training. I answered that I had no expectations outside of the fact that it will be challenging – physically, mentally and emotionally – and that it will be a journey.
On Friday, we spent some time introducing ourselves and meeting our instructors. There are eight of us total in the training program which I’m really glad about. I know many other programs that have upwards of 20 people in them and I personally can’t imagine being in a group that big. I know that I work better in smaller group settings and will appreciate the individual attention. We had a sweet opening ceremony where we each contributed an offering of flowers, fruit or chocolate and began building a beautiful altar together – the beginning of our community together.
We spent the rest of Friday evening discussing yoga philosophy. There was so much to absorb and a lot of big ideas to wrap my head around. The piece that really resonated with me is the idea that throughout our lives, we tell ourselves stories, we have experiences and we have feelings. As we experience those things, they somehow become part of our identity. They become veils covering the true essence of the Self. Yoga, meditation and the yogic path are about burning away those veils and uncovering what’s already inside of you.
On Saturday, we spent the entire day breaking down a series of standing poses – every last detail of what should be happening in a pose and how it feels. I swear, I never knew standing in Tadasana (Mountain Pose) or sitting in Sukhasana (Easy Pose) could be so difficult! But there is so much going on in each of those seemingly simple poses.
We were back in the studio again on Sunday morning, learning the basics of Sanskrit. I have to admit – Sanskrit scares me because it sounds so foreign in my mouth. Whenever we have to chant in class or during the training, I get a little anxious because I don’t know what I’m saying or how to pronounce things correctly so I’m really glad that we had this introduction. And you know what? Sanskrit is a pretty amazing language. It’s all about how sounds move in your mouth and which part of the palate the sound originates from.
After lunch, we came back together for two hours to talk about Applied Anatomy which I loved. We talked a lot about feet and how our feet can really tell a large part of the story of what’s going on with you because they’re connected to so many different parts of the body through fascial and myofascial linkages.
While you don’t necessarily need to know anatomy to be a yoga teacher, knowing it can have a profound impact. Yoga can either reinforce existing postural deviations or it can help to correct them. Our instructors directly related anatomy to yoga postures – what to look for, common misalignments and how to help correct those.
We then spent our last two hours together practicing teaching Surya Namiskar A – Sun Salutations. Surya A is a standard sequence and fairly straightforward. Teaching it on the other hand?
I learned so much over the weekend and know that there’s so much more to learn. We have 6 weekends and a week-long retreat left in our training and I feel like it’s going to go by so quickly.
I’m nervous. I have to teach two classes (to a fellow trainee) and teach an hour-long class as part of my final. There’s so much to keep in mind when preparing and teaching a class. How do you keep it all straight?
I’m in awe of my instructors for their ability to teach a kick-ass, creative class while providing detailed cues that are applicable to most of the class and individual adjustments.
I continue to be nervous and excited. I’m so grateful to be immersed in this training and to have this time to focus on myself. But there are sacrifices for sure like not seeing my kids all weekend. Jasper keeps asking me why I want to teach people yoga and why I would want to do the training instead of spend time with them. And it’s hard.
20 hours down. 180 hours to go.
More about my yoga teacher training experience:
- Yoga Teacher Training: Week-long Intensive
- Teaching Voice
- Compassion and the Yoga Sutras
- Teaching Final – Done!
- Yoga Teacher Training – Graduation
- 9 Lessons from Yoga Teacher Training
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