I realise it’s been aaaaages since I last posted anything here on my blog! Turns out training to be a yoga teacher, alongside working full time, alongside trying to keep a small shred of a social life is rather time consuming and the past couple of months have been hectic to say the least. With all that in mind, now that I’ve hit the half way mark in my training, I thought I would attempt to find a moment to update you all on how I’m feeling about it.
Free time = Gold dust
Now of course my experience of YTT is entirely unique to me and perhaps this point of ‘spare time to yourself going completely down the drain’ is not something everyone would associate with their teacher training however this has been something I’ve really struggled with. For those who don’t know, I’m a Radiographer and work full-time. How I would LOVE to dedicate all my hours to doing yoga and studying yoga and thinking about yoga and talking about yoga etc etc, unfortunately that doesn’t pay the bills so for now, it’s rather necessary. I condense my hours into three days of working; 7:30am until 8pm Monday to Wednesday, leaving Friday evenings and weekends free to yoga it up! So when the course requires you to have a 6 day a week practice these work days become exhausting to say the least. Maybe I’m being too precious, maybe having Thursday and most of Friday off is far more than some people get and I should be thankful, but perhaps it’s just the sudden change in lifestyle that’s making it difficult for me. In that day and a half I have off I seem to always have an endless list of stuff that I’ve fallen behind on and if I want to factor in seeing my family who live a few hours away, then that day and a half whips past my nose faster than a chipmunk on speed. I hold my guilty hand up, I have yet to do one bit of revision of course content yet. Sure, I’ve practiced verbally teaching my exam sequence to my boyfriend once or twice, but I’ve not had the time or energy to dive into my books and research interesting topics further like I would have liked to. Cos to be honest, on Thursday mornings it takes ALL my motivation to not stay under a blanket on the sofa watching homes under the hammer.
If anyone had a preconceived idea that yoga teacher training was an easy breezy ‘learn some stretchy poses and how to tell people to breath’ sorta thing, let me just assure you how wrong you are. Once you get past learning the proper alignment for all the poses, once you get past how to adjust someone in each of these poses, once you get past learning the Sanskrit names and the some of the most common errors you see, you then have the small issue of actually being able to verbalise to someone how to approach each asana in what needs to be an interesting and engaging manner. Just getting the right words to tumble out of your mouth in the the short space of time is the hurdle I’m currently trying to jump, the creativity and engaging tone will quite frankly have to wait! My main point here is that teaching yoga is SO different to practicing it yourself. There is just so much to learn. But this isn’t a complaint! I am loving every second of my training, every little new piece of information I learn, and my practice has definitely benefitted from it, I can kind of mentally adjust myself in a pose if I move into it without enough consideration and have noticed I’ve been able to move deeper into a lot of poses because of this. I’d heard a lot of people take YTT without any intention to teach and at first I didn’t understand that in the slightest, but in hindsight I can see how the training makes you a far better practitioner regardless of if you want to tell someone else how to do it or not.
One thing that has made this whole information overload slightly more tolerable is my background knowledge of human anatomy. I’m a self confessed anatomy nerd and can already see that this is gunna be my ‘thing’ when it comes to yoga teacher niches. I find it particularly fascinating in the world of yoga, to figure out why exactly is it that I cannot get into a certain pose, or what exactly is working hard to enable me to achieve something. So the 16 hours of anatomy lectures I’ve sat through have thankfully been a light little revision session and I’m not too stressed out about the lack of home study I’ve done on the topic. I know a lot of my class mates aren’t so fortunate though, and the task of learning a whole new ‘language’ of human biology on top of all this other stuff would be a hugely daunting concept to me, so YTT girls, I’m here for you! Fire your questions at me!
What is Yoga?
So something that I have surprised myself with through this process is my slowly morphing mindset of what yoga means to me. I went into this training course with the sole intention of wanting to learn how to teach people in and out of poses, with no consideration that my practice could do with some TLC itself. And I’m already taking so much more from this training than the ability to instruct. I’m adding more Pranayama (breathing exercises) into my personal practice, I’m modifying postures where before I was adamant I was capable of the full expression, I’m more concerned about doing things correctly rather than making it look most impressive and in general I’m enjoying my practice far more than ever before.
Pranayama used to be something I sat through in yoga classes not really seeing the point yet somehow I’m now considering how and when I would incorporate it into my own classes and I have learnt to see props in a whole new light! (even though my ego still takes a little hit every time I realise sitting on a block in certain poses really is beneficial).
So as I write this, I’m multitasking my way around the Internet and researching local halls I may be able to hire out to start teaching after I graduate. And to be honest it’s pretty damn exciting!! I feel like I’ve found that something that is really me, and I just can’t wait to start sharing it with as many people as possible! If you live in or around Hemel Hempstead and struggle to touch your toes, fear not! Help is on the way!