Since April 18, I’ve been training to become a registered yoga teacher.
The decision to become a teacher was surprisingly easy. I felt a pull toward the program, despite feeling like a newbie and having not an inkling of spirituality in my bones.
So every Wednesday for the past five months I sit in a circle at 7:30pm. A student rings the bell and we chant. We take turns about our one-word intentions (mine is ‘safe’) and for the next two hours we practice teaching, take a posture clinic or learn about yoga history, chakras, anatomy, first aid and meditation. On the last weekend of every month we meet for a long weekend: Friday night, all day Saturday and all day Sunday. We bring a potluck lunch, clean the studio and co-teach the public classes. This, of course, doesn’t include the 4 traditional classes we attend every week as students for the full five months.
To say I’m exhausted would be an understatement.
Our first weekend together involved a kirtan, burning sage, dancing with drums and a lot of self-help chit chat. My first thought was, ‘What the fuck did I get myself in to?’
The next weekend focused on medical intuition, chakras and spirituality. I sobbed like a little girl when I realized so many yogi rely on the spiritual aspect of the practice. I can’t yet define my yoga, but I can sure as hell tell you it doesn’t involve chakras. I felt isolated and worried I was completely unequipped to teach.
And then I started teaching. The first month we taught one posture publicly. The second we taught two or three. The month after that we were teaching the whole class solo. And just last month I co-taught an entire class with Fiona, the owner of our yoga studio.
I wasn’t really planning to teach. I love yoga because my mat is the one place where I can go and feel totally and completely safe. No matter what’s happened in my day, it melts away the second I step into that studio. I still can’t answer why I took the course. But as the months went on I’ve found such a rush from teaching! When I teach yoga, I KNOW what I have to say is worth listening to. I love how the intonation of my voice and the ‘coloring’ of my words can help a student feel their postures differently. Better. Deeper.
I’ve re-discovered my passion for yoga (there’s nothing like 10 hours a week of homework to dampen your spirits), along with trying to understand the concept of the ‘atman‘. Our inner teacher. Our gut. Something I’ve now decided to trust more than anything and anyone else. A concept in yoga I know to be true.
I have no idea what role yoga is going to have going forward. The industry still scares me a little, but the community is stunning. The women (and one man!) in my course have changed my life. They are some of the most inspiring, beautiful, earnest people I’ve ever met. And they’ve helped me grow as a person and a yogi more than I could have imagined. I could not be more grateful.
Depending on actually passing my final exam, I graduate in three weeks.