As some of you may know, I took a leap of faith and committed myself to a 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training (YTT) course just before Christmas and last week, the fateful date arrived and I spent my first weekend making head way on pursuing a dream to become a yoga teacher. That’s all pretty easy to condense into a sentence now, but making that decision and getting to this point was a huge challenge in itself. I’m pursing a career change in a field well renowned for not making you much money, but with a little determination, a lot of passion and a lot more hard work I’m following my heart, crossing my fingers and hoping for the best!
I have signed up to train with Yoga London; I received some great recommendations of the school from previous students and liked the fact they offered various time schedules to train in. Unfortunately due to grown-up stuff such as a mortgage (and less grown-up stuff such as leggings addictions), I’m having to keep hold of my current full-time job to not only pay for the course, but support myself throughout and for as long as necessary until I start making any money as a teacher. The fact Yoga London offered weekend-only training courses was a great selling point as I have been able to schedule my work pattern to have weekends off for the duration of my training.
Despite being advised to go for the 6 month training course, exciting holiday plans meant I wasn’t around for most of that time and as I’m pretty impatient and didn’t want to wait until October, I went for the 3 month course! The only reason 6 months was advised for me was due to the fact I’ve only been practicing a little over a year but it’s been a pretty full-on year and in hindsight after my first weekend, I didn’t at all feel left behind or incapable compared to the others, so the gamble paid off.
The Training Weekend
The first weekend was focused on Sun Salutations, gently easing us in! Each day we started the training with a physical practice, one of which is the teaching sequence that I will eventually be assessed on teaching *gulp*! The asana practice this weekend was quite basic in terms of complexity. It was very similar to the Ashtanga primary series and dare I say it, I was left feeling a bit like ‘I hope they teach us more than this?!’. I’m pretty certain I’ll be eating my words a few weekends down the line when we progress to the splits and my hip flexors start to cry.
Aside from the physical practice we did some study on definitions and benefits of many aspects of yoga for which I furiously scribbled many notes of which my brain has retained none of…
Each posture of the sun salutations was broken down – alignment, drishti, bandhas, common errors, Sanskrit terminology… You would not BELIEVE how much there is to know about simple Tadasana (Mountain Pose). Each pose we studied we then tried out physically in pairs, checking each others alignment. One thing I hadn’t anticipated is how every yoga school has their own technique they will teach and they expect their students to teach accordingly; for example, I have always forward folded and placed palms alongside feet, toes and fingers aligned, but Yoga London teach to align back of hands to toes, and a few other minor differences like that which I will need to adapt to.
We were also shown how to provide adjustments! If there’s one thing more daunting than teaching a class and screwing up, its providing an adjustment and hurting someone! But it was so much fun to learn all the different assists and try them out on one other. Making physical contact with people isn’t something that comes naturally to me, ironically to the job, I’m quite an introvert, so this is something I really need to work on. My partner said I did great, but I was pretty unsure of touching her in fear of getting it wrong!
I seem to have been able to summarise the weekend pretty consciesly but in reality the weekend was jam-packed with so much learning I thought my head might pop. Its seriously made me question whether I’ll be able to keep up come May when I continue the course, having these weekends of study EVERY weekend! But what makes this easier than any sort of study I’ve ever done before is this time none of it is a chore. I’m not learning stuff purely to be able to tick the right box on exam day, I’m learning stuff that I am wholeheartedly interested in and have a thirst to know more.
I left the studio on the Sunday evening with the most mixed bag of emotions. Overwhelmed with the prospect of what’s to come, sadness that I won’t continue this journey with the same incredible bunch of people I met this weekend, and complete joy in the sense of truley finding my niche. Roll on May 6th when this crazy life adventure of mine continues! ♥️