A year ago as we were getting ready for our UK vacation I was also making plans for my professional future. After 30 years of doing yoga, and 5 years teaching yoga in gyms I was itching for more yoga knowledge. Was it time to stop pretending at being a yoga teacher and put some time (and money) into actually doing my 200 hour yoga certification?
Yoga teacher training
Having looked at my options I settled on the 9 month program with Jeni Winterburn at Yoga Nook. Not only was it 5 minutes from my house, but I knew 2 of the teaching faculty already and Jeni, like me, is a British born yogi living and working in California. Plus because Jeni focuses her yoga on anatomy and physiology, like me she’s an anatomy junkie, her teaching is based on yoga for YOU. All that combined with an holistic approach to yoga, and the fact that Jeni and Jessica from our faculty both had similar stories to mine (group fitness/personal training wanting to be a yoga teacher). Seemed like it was meant to be right? After taking our vacation to think it over I came home and laid out my deposit to do my 200 hour training. Yikes! In a matter of weeks of signing up, after an 18 month hiatus of teaching yoga classes, I was offered 2 classes at Gold’s Gym. Karma baby!
For the last 10 months I’ve been engrossed in yoga. Reading, studying, learning sanskrit, practicing and living yoga. Sounds cliche to say, because everything I read about yoga training is “oh it changed my life”, but it really does. My training was a weekend every 5 weeks which made it accessible for those of us with jobs/families. As much as I’d love to go to India at a retreat to learn yoga I couldn’t just pack up and leave my life on hold for 5 weeks while I immersed myself in yoga, and honestly I don’t learn well that way. I need time to integrate things to learn well and having 4-5 weeks between modules gave me that time, and I needed it.
I’m happy to report that I passed my yoga teacher training and am now a certified yoga teacher and will be registering with Yoga Alliance as soon as I pick up my certificate (I’ve been on vacation). In the last 9 months I’ve learned so much about yoga, but a lot more about myself. Not only that but I’m still learning. I’ve met a bunch of people who I’ve learned, loved and laughed with about yoga, life and loss. During the last 9 months I’ve said goodbye to one of our dogs, attended a conference, confronted some emotions I thought were buried, and more recently the week before my yoga teacher exams my biological father passed away. Along with way I’ve been blessed to meet someone whom I consider to be a big sister I never had. Honestly it’s like gaining a whole new family. It’s been a hell of a year!
The 10 biggest things I discovered in yoga teacher training:
- There is a big difference between doing poses and doing yoga. I’ve been guilty of this for years. I’ve been doing poses for years, but I think the last two years is when I really started doing yoga.
- It’s easy to to do yoga, but harder to live yoga. Yeah it’s not all namaste and OM, especially when another driver cuts me off… I’m a work in progress.
- More is not better. Yoga is the balance of strength, stability, mobility and flexibility. Just because you CAN doesn’t mean you SHOULD.
- I have some personality traits I don’t particularly like, and am working on changing. The philosophy was a real head trip!
- Emotions you thought were buried, can and do rear up again. For me it was being taken back to my early teens and not receiving recognition for a poem in the school ezine. Never said anything at the time, but apparently it’s bothered me for 30 years!
- I’ve turned into a bit of a ‘yoga hippy’. I now own more yoga pants than regular pants, and they have weird patterns on them. I also have a growing collection of yoga tanks… and I joined Fabletics
- Consistency is key. Getting on the yoga mat daily can cure just about anything. Seriously even a bad yoga day is a good yoga day.
- Yoga is always the answer, and it comes in many forms. Be open to the different types of yoga. I hated restorative when I first did it, but that is the very thing I needed, and now I love it!
- You can never have too many yoga books. Seriously I have a whole shelf full now… and I still want more. Currently I’m reading “Tree of Yoga” By BKS Iyengar, I wish it had been required reading for the 200 because I’m learning a ton. I guess this is the ‘self study’/Svadyaya in the niyamas of the 8-limb path!
- This is just the start of my training. Seriously back to #9 but I have a whole host of books, website, courses, and more lined up in the future. Plus at IDEA World Fitness Convention I did some yoga classes. I have a continuing education workshop in November and another in February!
What major things have you learned about YOURSELF from an educational course?
I’ll be working on more yoga type posts and workouts in the future so let me know what you’d like to see! What things do you wish you knew about yoga?