It’s amazing to look back on a decision or event in your life and think, “Did I really just do that?” That’s kind of the feeling I’m having this morning after graduating from Yoga Teacher Training last night. #surreal
Ensley had talked about doing her TT (“teacher training”) and it seemed like a natural next step for me as well. I enjoy yoga, I enjoy teaching, so I thought why not combine the two. This summer was the perfect time for me before little baby Deane arrives this October.
We were both registered to train in Charleston for a 28 day intensive at Satsang Yoga, but when June came around and the preggo hormones were telling me to create security, the thought of leaving my home and support system (no more foot rubs) made me cry. Literally. I knew then that I needed to look at other options or put this on the backburner till the timing was better.
I looked online for the different studios in Charlotte offering teacher trainings this summer. I found Y2 Yoga, and really loved the schedule: 5 weekends spread out from June-August. I had signed up for their new student special (it’s a great deal guys!) during week 4-8 of my pregnancy and loved it, so I knew I’d be in good hands. I started the weekends when I was 23 weeks pregnant, and just finished it being 32 weeks pregnant. So, baby needs a TT certificate too right?
Here are some of my takeaways:
Always learn and grow
I didn’t realize how much of the training would be focused on personal growth. It makes COMPLETE sense though. You can teach anyone how to recite a sequence of postures, but learning how to connect with students, relate to students, offer support to students and be an example is something totally different. I never really used to enjoy non-fiction but after finishing our required reading books, as well as reading some pregnancy and parenting books too, I realize the value of learning about real life. Most of the books deeply impacted me, some not so much, but I am determined to keep reading so I can learn and grow.
We are all in the same boat
It was incredible to realize how many of us deal with the same issues. Fear, insecurities, pain, loneliness and many more. I realize that I talk too much because I’m actually insecure. I want people to like me so I totally take over the conversation and end up putting my foot in my mouth. My mom and dad have always told me to speak when I have something valuable to say but I’m still learning to do that 30 years down the track.
We also don’t realize what voices people are hearing in their own head. We often only scratch the surface even with the people we love. It’s so easy to see the deeper issues behind someone else’s problem, but not do the same digging into our own struggles. I think a Psychology Degree is on the cards for me in my next endeavor. Haha. Daniel is gonna kill me.
Teaching is much harder than I thought
I didn’t realize that teaching a yoga class was more than a sweet message and saying some pose names. Seriously, I had no idea that the yoga teacher’s brain was doing a bijillion things at the same time:
- Checking the heat/humidity
- Turning fans on and off
- Managing the playlist (That’s another blog post in itself)
- Creating the flow and saying the pose names
- Cuing where hands and feet should go (And then modifications and other options)
- Walking around (Not pacing, not standing still, not hovering. This is harder than it seems!)
- Turning the lights on/off
- Managing their voice
- Motivating students
- Getting people blocks/straps
- Telling stories/messages
…and I’m sure I missed others?
Baby bump was a blessing in disguise
I knew that being pregnant while doing TT was going to be a challenge. It was tough to sit for long periods of time, the yoga and assisting were physically demanding and some of the sessions were really emotionally grueling as well. Tears? Plenty! It was hard for me see my practice become more modified (I’m the blocks and bolster lady) as opposed to learning how to do scorpion or chin stand (see photo below). That was a whole lesson in itself. Is being a yoga teacher being able to do all those things? No! But did that make it any easier for me, no again.
It was a blessing to do the training pregnant because I kept active. I might have laid on the couch watching “One Tree Hill” for the first time all summer, but this training kept me mentally, physically and emotionally sharp! Also I had a preggie friend, Molly, with me every step of the way! I would have felt very lonely without her. Thanks girl!
Practice, practice, practice
Whatever it is that you want to accomplish right now, the most beneficial thing you can do is practice. Malcom Gladwell talks about 10,000 hours of practice in “Outliers.” He says that talent is great, but practice is better. I’m only on 200hours into my yoga journey, but that’s 200 more than I was on a few months ago! Teaching my first warm up was a nightmare. It was like I was learning how to speak for the first time. “Ummm, Peaceful Warrior, put…ummm..your left, no…right…um leg…” Oh dear! But the next was better, and the following one was even better after that. I still sound like a phone conversation that’s going in and out of cell signal every now and then but I’m ok with that. I’m still practicing.
Congratulations to all the trainees, you beautiful people. Thanks to Tanner, Jen and Johnna for this opportunity to learn and grow. I’m already a better wife, daughter, friend and mother for it.