By the time I had considered participating in yoga teacher training (YTT) I had been doing yoga consistently for a few years. I bounced around between a few studios, but one in particular I considered “home base”. I remember being in class one weekend and the teacher announcing that the recent YTT class was graduating and that they were accepting new students. The thought of teaching yoga had crossed my mind a few times prior but self doubt always seemed to prevail.
What if I wasn’t good? What if I wasn’t as flexible or strong as some other yoga teachers? What if I fail at it? What if no one ever comes to my classes? What if I never find a studio to teach at? The list of questions that ran through my head could fill the pages of an entire book. Somehow, after class that day, I found myself sheepishly walking up to the front of the room and asking my yoga teacher if she thought I could do YTT. She reassured me by telling me she thought I would do great. That was the when the idea of teaching yoga became real to me for the first time. Over the next few weeks, I had filled out an application, had an interview with the director and put down a small deposit to hold my spot in the class. HOLY CRAP! I was doing this.
I didn’t know what to expect for yoga teacher training. I knew it would probably be exhausting, as each class was an entire weekend from sun up to sun down, but I assumed I would be doing yoga and it would be great! Well, you do yoga and lots of it; public classes, private classes, group classes with your classmates – all the yoga in all of its forms. Exhausting … doesn’t disappoint in that category either.
THAT IS NOT ALL …
Besides teaching proper alignment, you have to make sure students are safe. Your cuing is accurate and correct. You are cuing for the appropriate level of your class. Your sequence makes anatomical sense. Your flow is natural and organic. There is the public speaking component, being confident in your voice and your skills. Creating and selecting the music for your playlist that mirrors your flow. Keeper of the time. All while trying not to become visibly winded yourself.
IS IT WORTH IT …
With every YTT weekend that came and went, I found myself changing. Whether it was depicted through my eagerness to want to learn more, or my courage to walk into an unknown studio and try a different class, or being cognizant of that tiny moment that exists between blowing your horn and flipping someone off or letting that shit go … Change is change! Even if it is just 1% different. Through all of the challenges, all of the exhaustion and all of the hard work, YTT, in all of its forms, is 100% worth it. There is beauty in challenge, for it initiates growth. With growth we are able to recognize the need to create space within ourselves. Sometimes this is terrifying. Sometimes this is ugly. Sometimes it makes us face realities and insecurities we have ignored for years. Yoga teacher training has taught me to recognize that space created within us, allows for mindfulness to know ourselves. And knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.