Yoga Teacher Training: First Thoughts

It’s funny to think that one month ago, I hadn’t even signed up for yoga teacher training – and here we are, two weekends already completed.

When I walked into the studio that first Friday evening, everyone was comfortably seated on the studio floor – surrounded by an array of bamboo mats, text books, wooly sweaters, thermoses of tea, rolled-up blankets.  I had been nervous walking in, anxious and unsure of myself, but it all dropped away within those first few moments.  The atmosphere was thick with an air of expectancy and eagerness.  Introductions were made, the course was outlined – someone later mentioned it felt like the first week of college.  Where you know where you are, but not who you’re with.  When you have a vague sense of what could follow, but not necessary what will.

The studio is immediately both calming and energizing, with smooth bamboo floors, soft lighting, black and white photographs tiling the walls.  Its peaceful atmosphere encourages self-reflection and provides a momentary oasis from the distractions to which we are constantly subject: phone calls, texts, traffic, music, tweets, facebook messages, etc. You know, the noise of life.

Down Under Yoga

Over the course of that first weekend, we began each day with a 2+ hour yoga class.  The practice was slower and more methodical than I’ve been used to, with real clarity provided about the proper alignment in poses that I’ve become complacent in.

{Who knew you could spend over an hour discussing Tadasana?}

There are between 25 and 30 of us in the room, and all that collective work really builds up heat.  The room gets warm, the floor glistens with sweat, stomachs are rumbling and some faces are grimacing.  That’s part of life, though.  You train your mind to focus so steadfastly that all the small details – grumblings and sighings and groanings – drop away.

I’ll tell you one thing: the Savasana after an intense class can be scrumptious.

The practice was then followed by several hours of discussion.  Correct anatomical alignment, proper teaching technique, yogic philosophy, and practice teaching sessions.  The hours go by so quickly, and I realize with a start that I never even look at the clock.

The second weekend consisted of intensive anatomy from 1-7 on Saturday and Sunday.  I worried about retaining that much information, but the guest teacher had a wonderful way of integrating what we already knew from years of practicing yoga with the proper anatomical terms and explanations.  I learned some “hey that’s pretty neat!” facts (like Rachel, I learned there is no muscular distinction between your “upper” and “lower” abs) but more importantly, we learned from an anatomical viewpoint how to avoid injury – why your back leg in Warrior One is always positioned at 45 degrees, why you must externally rotate your arms when raised above your head, and why tight hamstrings can lead to lower back pain.

The class is comprised of all types – male and female, with ages ranging from mid-twenties and onward.   Some are already yoga teachers, while others have only been practicing yoga for a year.  Some exude a quiet spirituality and some have boisterous, infectious personalities.  One similarity we all share is a love of yoga and an appreciation for how it continues to change our lives.

Reading material for the next few months

It’s only been a few weeks but I couldn’t be happier about my decision to undergo this training, and feel truly grateful to have this opportunity.

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5 thoughts on “Yoga Teacher Training: First Thoughts

  1. ahhh Meg this sounds wonderful! I can’t imagine how melty a savasana must feel after such a long class. training seems like such a perfect fit for you: the combination of the precise anatomy and the mental concentration.

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