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Curious about what a yoga teacher training is like? Want to know more about how it changed me?

After my graduation back in December, I sat down with myself trying to go over the last 6 months, only to realise this training has been a guiding light through health battles and emotional turbulence. This transformative experience unfolded in unexpected ways, revealing untapped potential inside me and a newfound sense of purpose. I’ve learned to Show up on the mat regardless of what I am feeling. The practice is the same, the only thing that changes is you. Yoga is more than the yoga as we know it: yoga anatomy, philosophy, history, teaching skills, ethics, and sequencing.

Read through for my key highlights…

The Physical Journey: Rediscovering Body Strength

This training came at a pivotal time in my health journey. Battling bulimia and knee surgeries, it became the light at the end of the tunnel.

200 hours of yoga is a lot. We’ve had days practicing for 7 hours and others sitting for 10 hours learning the body’s anatomy. Every morning, we met on our mat at 7:30 am sharp, ready to embrace physical challenges and breakthroughs that awaited. The early morning practices became a ritual, a daily communion with our body’s potential. As we flowed through the asanas, our muscles awakened, our flexibility increased, and our confidence soared. A daily reminder of the body’s incredible capacity to recover and adapt.

The practices were not always easy; there were days when fatigue tried to overpower us. Yet, in those moments, we discovered a reservoir of inner strength, a testament to the power of consistency and commitment. Through sweat and determination, we learned that the practice is not about perfection but about showing up on the mat, regardless of what we were feeling that day.

The repetition of the same postures day after day was a profound lesson in self-observation. We began to notice the subtle shifts in our body, areas that needed extra attention, and moments when we pushed myself too hard. It was a journey of self-discovery, not just physically, but mentally and emotionally as well.

Moreover, the physical aspect of the training extended beyond our mat. It encompassed the discipline of regular meal times, nourishing our body with the right foods, and prioritizing self-care. This holistic approach to physical well-being reinforced the idea that yoga is not just a series of poses but a way of life.

Strength is not about muscles; it’s about the unwavering commitment to self-improvement and the belief that our bodies are capable of incredible transformations.

The Mental Journey: Cultivating Focus and Routine

I embarked on a profound mental journey that went hand in hand with physical practice. We welcomed discomfort as a sign of growth.

Each day, we dedicated a significant portion of our time to yoga theory, diving deep into the philosophical and intellectual aspects of yoga.

The intensity of these theory sessions, lasting approximately four hours each day, initially felt overwhelming. Learning about white supremacy and colonialism expanded my understanding of the world and the bias interwoven in society.

As the days passed, I discovered an incredible ability to focus and absorb the teachings. It was as if a newfound clarity had settled within me, allowing me to fully engage with the rich tapestry of yoga philosophy, history, and ethics.

The daily routine of these sessions became a cornerstone of my experience, providing structure and purpose to each day. The consistency and predictability of the schedule allowed me to fully immerse myself in the teachings, leaving behind the distractions of the outside world.

One of the most valuable lessons I learned during this mental journey was the power of mindfulness. As we delved into yoga philosophy, I began to understand that yoga is not merely a physical practice but a way of life. It is about being present in every moment, fully aware of our thoughts, actions, and intentions.

During the final exam, I threw myself into the abyss, teaching without demonstrating poses. Constructive feedback triggered tears, but I see it as a catalyst for growth. I learned (and continue to) to sit with discomfort, go inward to explore my internal world responding to external triggers, and embracing it all to grow.

The discipline of daily meditation and mindfulness exercises became instrumental in honing my ability to stay centered and focused. It was a reminder that the true essence of yoga lies in the union of mind, body, and spirit.

The Expanding Horizons: Inspirational Figures

Kat and Helen, our teachers, were like Yin and Yang. Two inspiring women who have planted seeds in our hearts. While Kat embodied Agni energy (fire), Helen embodied Apas energy (water), which radiated through every pose and word. Their practices were a living testament to the power of self-acceptance and self-love, reminding us that yoga is a journey towards self-discovery and self-empowerment. Their authenticity and fearlessness inspired us all to go on our individual journey, finding our unique gift, both on and off the mat. The journey prompted a shift in my relationships, pushing me to filter out noise (it hurts!), while aligning my values with newfound interests.

The Challenges of Teaching and the Joy of Learning

Teaching is hard. It’s so much more than what we see. It’s mastering the art of modifications, assists (acts of kindness!), sequencing, creating themes, setting intentions, and curating music.

Teaching yoga is a multifaceted endeavor that involves mastering the intricate art of modifications, assists, sequencing, theme creation, intention setting, and music selection. These challenges demand a deep understanding of individual needs, empathetic guidance, and the ability to curate a transformative experience for students.

Modifications are a pivotal aspect of teaching, as each student is unique in their abilities and limitations. Guiding others through poses requires not only physical competence but also an intuitive sense of adaptability. Assists, too, required a delicate balance between physical support and respectful guidance. Sequencing classes was akin to composing a symphony, ensuring a seamless flow that nurtured not only physical progression but also an emotional and spiritual journey. Creating meaningful themes and intentions deepened the practice, connecting it to broader life concepts. Selecting music to complement the experience added an emotional layer, transforming the yoga class into a holistic and memorable journey.

Amidst these challenges, the joy of being a student kept us going. Embracing this role allowed for humility and receptivity, fostering personal growth. The group was such a safe space. We could all be ourselves without withholding any emotion or thought. All of me was welcome and I welcomed all from everyone else. Vulnerability became a source of strength, through sharing struggles within this supportive community. We had embarked on a shared voyage of self-discovery, healing, and profound connection.

Nature’s Healing Touch

The beauty of sunrises and sunsets became a daily meditation. The soothing embrace of the ocean offered a profound sense of healing, its rhythmic waves echoing the gentle cadence of breath.

Amidst this natural backdrop, I encountered a series of profound realizations. I recognized that assists during yoga practice are not just physical gestures but acts of kindness, bridges between teacher and student, fostering trust and connection. I learned that teacher training is a rigorous endeavor, both physically and mentally, demanding unwavering dedication and resilience. A seemingly simple realization, like a blocked left nostril, revealed untapped feminine energy within me, inviting further exploration of the mind-body connection.

Through it all, healing took on unexpected forms. It wasn’t confined to rigid diets or austere practices; it could be found in simple joys like savoring cookies, bread, or sharing laughter with friends over a glass of wine. These moments of indulgence became part of the journey, a reminder that healing encompasses not only discipline but also self-compassion and balance.

In essence, nature’s presence and these realizations wove together to create a profound tapestry of self-discovery and healing. The tranquil beauty of the natural world served as a silent teacher, guiding me toward a deeper understanding of myself and the interconnectedness of all things.