I am officially a certified yoga instructor (woohoo!). I’m still torn between wanting to let out tears of joy and wanting to shed tears of sadness. It’s a combination of feeling invigorated, relieved, scared, sad, and accomplished all at the same time. It’s like graduating from school; There’s a bittersweet feeling when something you’ve invested time and energy into comes to an end.
I apologize ahead of time about this post because it will probably be a mix of jumbled thoughts and rambling. I’ve been wanting to blog about yoga teacher training since day one, so there’s a lot on my mind! I feel like now that I completed training I can finally reflect on everything and share what I took away from the whole experience. During the 4 months of training, my life was immersed in yoga. Taking 2-3 yoga classes a day became a normal routine, and talking through postures out loud became my new car activity. It pushed me out of my comfort zone on a daily basis and because of that, I truly felt like I grew as an individual.
Over the last few months yoga kept me constantly busy. I completed my 200-hour teacher certification training and an extended 50-hr training through Corepower Yoga (Note: Teacher training programs vary depending on the studio, so I can only speak on the program and studio I went through). The training at Corepower was over a 3 month period and consisted of weekly lectures, homework assignments, and taking a required amount of yoga classes. During the lecture sessions, we covered everything from breaking down postures to basic yoga philosophy and anatomy. Basically, it was all yoga, all the time. I learned what it truly meant to have dedication, work ethic, and passion.
Let’s flashback to day 1 of training. To be honest, I really had no idea what yoga teacher training would be like and I was a little intimidated. I worried about whether I would get along with the other teachers-in-training and about what I thought would be a competitive few months. Well, it turns out I would be pleasantly surprised at how wrong I was. I was surprised at how open everyone was about their personal stories. I especially remember something one of our coaches said: “no one here wants you to fail”. It was that kind of support that got me through til the end. We spent many hours together (200 hours to be exact) working through struggles, vulnerable moments, and eventual break-throughs. I went into teacher training mentally on my own and came out of it with a supportive community, a second family, and new friends at my side.
Going into training, I was not someone who had consistently been dedicated to yoga. I have a habit jumping from one thing to another and being generally non-committal; My yoga practice depended on what yoga Groupon deal was available that month. At one point I actually stopped doing yoga completely and turned to kickboxing for a couples years. I finally came back to yoga right before I moved to Austin and decided to stick with it. Once teacher training started, yoga became the one thing I could count on to be consistent in my life. What started out as a hobby turned into a passion (and possibly a career!). I’m not going to lie, it wasn’t easy nor should it be. There were days when I felt exhausted and over-yoga’d, but often when we struggle it reminds us of how bad we want something and how important it is to us. Throughout training yoga kept – and continues to keep – me grounded, even when life might be hectic.
There were a lot of things I learned through training but one huge takeaway is understanding that being a yoga teacher requires more than just having a love for the practice. Guiding a class and having a strong presence in the studio room is not easy, and not a natural skill that everyone has. There is so much to consider as a teacher – the lighting, music choice, pacing, sequencing, etc. – not to mention making connections with your students, ensuring their safety, and being authentic. Training has made me more mindful about what I say and how I say things. You have a lot of power as a teacher; Actions and words, no matter how small, can affect someone greatly. Everyone has a story and you never know what people are going through when you interact with them.
Teacher training made an impact on both my personal yoga practice and personal life. Coming out of training I not only feel more empowered and confident in myself, but also grateful for the people in my life, where I am at in life, and my self. I still have a long ways ahead of me in being a yoga teacher, and I’m looking forward to seeing where this journey takes me. Whether I end up becoming a teacher or not, I know that what I learned from the experience will stick with me on and off my yoga mat. If you have a desire to deepen your yoga practice and make a change in your life, think about doing teacher training. Namaste!