After I completed my RYT200 I wrote a post about the 10 things I learned in yoga teacher training. If you haven’t already read that post, go check it out because this is part 2. Ten more things I learned in yoga teacher training as I just finished my RYT300. For those not in the know RYT is registered yoga teacher. The number after the RYT designates the number of hours training earned. Now I have my RYT 300 I can apply for 500 status. Typically we did 20 hour intensive weekends with two 5 day retreats.
Yoga teacher training has been a huge part of my life for the last 4 years, and especially so the last 12 months as it’s been intense. The personal journey through the training is amazing. Previously every time I used to see the marketing saying “change your life” I thought it was so cliche. But, it’s so true!
Things I learned in yoga teacher training (part 2)
While my yoga teacher training included anatomy, physiology, communication, technique and philosophy it really led to much more self study. During the yearlong training I’ve laughed, cried, been injured, suffered with illness, had my wisdom teeth removed, travelled on 5 trips, celebrated birthdays/holidays and generally had a full and productive year. Let’s dive into the 10 more things I learned in yoga teacher training. Note: they are ALL about myself!
I’m a full on ‘Anatomy Nerd’
Of all parts of the program I love the anatomy the most. The human body is amazing to me. So complex and yet also so simple. My love of anatomy was sparked during my personal training and group fitness career, but in yoga training a deep love developed. I bought a 4 pack DVD of human dissections to watch for extra study. The passion for anatomy is real, and it’s a long term relationship status.
I’m a beaver
My yoga friend Sarah brought in a 5 minute personality test. We considered ourselves pretty similar (pita doshas) and yet this test showed that we were completely different animals. Literally. This test compares you to animals, and I discovered I’m majority beaver/lion. Beavers are analytical, detail oriented perfectionists with high standards. They are hard on themselves and overly critical of others. While it doesn’t fit for all situations (when my Lions comes out) the more I read the more things fit. If you haven’t taken this test, I highly recommend it! Let me know in the comments which of the four animals you are!
I have a passion to educate
Admitting my personality traits, it started to make perfect sense that I like many of the friends I have, and things that I do. One example of this is the desire to teach teachers. I have a passion for educating myself, so I can educate others. My happiest times are when I see light-bulbs go off as someone “gets it”. In yoga class or otherwise. Beavers love rules and detail, and love to share that with others so we can all be on the same page! Providing continuing education for yoga teachers is something I really want to explore, as well as creating more educational content for this website.
Struggling with low self-confidence and self-esteem
This one may surprise a few people because I can often come across as confident and self-assured but under that veneer is a self-conscious lump of jello. I’m an introvert, which also might surprise some people given my career of choice. Confidence is something I’ve always struggled with, and with that comes self-esteem issues. I hate speaking in public in front of my peers so the presentation part of our final exam was a huge daunting task. Moving forward I will be working on building my confidence and will have a blog post and video about this soon! This is one of the things I learned in yoga teacher training that I’m already working on.
I hate feeling vulnerable
Of the things I learned in yoga teacher training this was one of the most powerful. For a long time I viewed vulnerability as weakness. I grew up with strong female role models (my mother, and grandmother) and you sucked things up and soldiered on. I’m learning to show more emotion and opening up to be vulnerable. Shame, guilt, and fear all raise their heads but I’m learning that in order to grow I have to explore ALL aspects of myself and that includes being uncomfortable. My mindshift on this was when I was reminded of Brene Brown’s vulnerability TED talk. Which if you haven’t watched, it’s a must see!
I set my goals low so I can feel successful
During one of our yoga retreats we were discussing goals. I shared that I secretly have these huge goals but think they are unobtainable so I set my goals low in order that I can feel successful, and check it off the list. Hello beaver personality! Perfectionism and fear of judgement strangle me, and keep me from aiming high. This one is mostly caused by a few other things on this list, but needless to say that as I work on those I will also be re-evaluating my goals moving forward. Look for another post on this soon on getting outside my comfort zone, and being ok with failure. Which leads to…
Fear of success
As we’re talking about goals, another roadblock similar to fear of failure, is fear of success. Of the things I learned in yoga teacher training I felt alone with this one as I feel that this is cultural. Living in the USA now I see people become successful and their friends are happy for their success. In England success was not something celebrated, and is actually often met with suspicion and derision. Success also brings attention and makes me vulnerable because people will judge me. See how everything is connected? I’ve made a conscious decision to let this one go. I’m setting some major goals and now consciously working to succeed.
Trying to learn more about myself, one thing I began to pay attention to was my communication. I can be pretty abrupt, and cut people off in conversion. Patience is definitely NOT a virtue I possess. The biggest problem is that all the above traits come into play and I end up flustered, unsure and self conscious. So often I’d rather not say anything at all. To top that off I have hearing issues, and often have to ask people to repeat themselves. Slowly but surely I’m learning to breathe, relax, and take a leap of faith. Teaching yoga classes I’m learning more ways to communicate. So I don’t feel like I’m repeating the same things over and over.
This is the most recent discovery I’ve made and once I looked up the definition it fit my whole career to a T. Imposter Syndrome is a psychological pattern in which people doubt their accomplishments and have a persistent, often internalized fear of being exposed as a “fraud”. Yep, nailed it. Why would people want to come to me for education when “other person” knows so much more? I don’t know everything yet. I’m not an “expert”. I need more education myself before people will take me seriously. Even now as an RYT500, the highest level of education I can get in yoga I still feel inadequate. While teaching teacher trainees in 2016 I had a minor breakthrough after realizing that I do know this! I’m slowly pushing out of this box I’ve put myself in!
I decided to ironically put #mefirst last. Honestly this has been one of the biggest shifts in my behavior this year. Previously I’d fit clients in whenever they wanted. Now I’m a little more selective and have “work hours”. I realize I need to do MY yoga, MY self-care and MY workouts first. #mefirst came up during one of our fireside chats in Oregon and I’m fully embracing it. As airplane announcements dictate, put your own oxygen mask on first. You can’t pour from an empty cup, take care of yourself first. I really think this is hard for women as we’re nurturers, but I’m learning to embrace #mefirst
All this hard work means I now get to add an extra credentials to my name and website. I am E-RYT 200, RYT-500, and a YACEP. Looking into the future from here is a scary thought, but something I need to think about. It’s by pushing through our comfort zones that we grow. I’ve established things I want to work on and now, it’s time to do the work!
Did you take the personality test? What animal are you?
What have you discovered about yourself in the last year?
Do you embrace #mefirst? If not, why not?