It’s here! Yoga Teacher Training has kicked off. I’ve been looking forward to this for months now and can’t believe the time has come.
Friday: So this evening’s training started at 6:30pm and was classroom based in a conference room near to the yoga studio. It was lovely to meet our trainer – Kathy Ran – who is a Yoga Alliance senior yoga teacher and owns studios near to St Albans and Mill Hill and also the other trainees. There is a group of 12 of us in total which is a really nice number. We had a introduction from Kathy where she told us her story and how she came to yoga. We then went around the circle introducing ourselves and explaining our ‘Manifest Boards.’ There were so many comments that resonated with me and I really felt that I was in a room of people that were ‘my kind of people’ which is cool. Finally we went through the course syllabus and expectations with some questions and answers. It finished at 9pm and left me super excited for tomorrow’s learning! We were also given our teacher training manuals, which are the thickest booklets I’ve ever seen, and I’m looking forward to getting stuck in!
Saturday: So we started off the day at 10:30am with a full 90min Bikram Yoga class led by our lead teacher Kathy Ran. Our course follows the Absolute Hot Yoga series but we did this class to compare the sequences. I found them to be quite similar but I do prefer the Absolute series as it flows better to me. After the class, I was so sweaty but felt amazing (as I always do after a yoga class)! We then had an hour and a half break so the group grabbed a shower and headed to Nandos for a cheeky treat lunch!
I made the epic mistake of forgetting some essential items when packing my bag for today – plastic bags for all my sweaty gear and snacks! I’m going to post a YTT packing list as I searched for one online when getting myself ready and found nothing!
In the afternoon, we headed back to the studio (with coffee) to start on some of the history of Yoga. This session was really interesting and there was lots of opportunity to ask questions. Following this, we moved into practise teaching. We started by reading the dialogue cues aloud from the training manual and then we had to do the cues for one pose each going around the room. As soon as the written cues were taken away, it was like my mind went blank! Somehow I made it through. We also went into pairs to practise the set 7 pose sequence on each other which was really helpful. Tomorrow we are going to be observed delivering the sequence and given feedback so I’m super nervous for that!
Finally this afternoon, Kathy got each of us into a really common yoga pose – Downward Facing Dog – and gave us individual alignment cues. This was really useful to improve my own practice. I found out that I need to put a microbend into my elbows to help my biceps rotate round, that my spine isn’t straight without alignment cues and that my hamstrings are very long – who knew?!
The day ended at 6:30pm and although I’m tired, I’m excited for tomorrow albeit – nervous about the teaching part. I’ve spent my evening swotting up on the dialogue!
Sunday: We started off the day again at 10:30am but this time in the classroom. The focus of the morning was the 8 limbs of yoga – which I found mesmerising. These are truly directions for the way I would like to live my life. I’ll go into more detail in a later post about this. This morning was a long session but really interesting. We have a piece of homework to produce our own representation of the 8 limbs of yoga so I’m going to think on that and see what I can come up with.
After that, we had a chance to grab lunch before the afternoon session. The afternoon was the part we had been dreading a little. We were split into groups and had to teach the first 7 poses of the Absolute sequence to our group, whilst being observed and then feedback was given. I went first in my group (which is so unlike me; I don’t usually like to go first in anything) and it went fine. I remembered more than I thought. My main feedback was using my voice better – dips and highs, sounding more confident but that’s definitely something to work on going forward.
Once that was over, we continued with our 8 limbs of yoga work. The group sessions almost feel like group therapy sessions but in the best possible way. Everyone is so honest and it’s amazing! I already feel like I have a whole new group of friends.
My main takeaways from Week 1:
- I want to try to use the Yamas from the first limb of yoga – non-violence, truthfulness, non-stealing, control of yourself and detachment – to integrate more into my life. I really resonated with all of that when we were talking about it and feel it is the perfect time to start.
- I really need to get daily practise of the dialogue in as there is so much to learn! If anyone wants to be my guinea pig please let me know!
- We had a discussion about control and happiness. You can only control your actions; you cannot control how others behave or think. Once you’ve accepted this, you can be happy.
- Journaling and reflection will be really important in this journey.
- All the videos and pictures on Instagram of ‘yogis’ aren’t the true definition of yoga and often put people off going to a yoga class. You don’t need to be super flexible, you don’t need to get your leg over your head, you don’t need to be able to do a handstand. You just have to be open and willing to try.
So that’s weekend one over! I cannot wait for the second weekend in early February!