Monday, May 11, 2015

Why I Decided to Do Yoga Teacher Training

I’ve been practicing yoga on and off for over ten years now, but it wasn't until 2013 that I really started ramping up my practice to about 2-4 times a week.  By January of 2014 my yoga practice started to evolve into a way of life, and so I signed up for a program with Katy Rowe called “40 Days to Personal Transformation," (which I blogged a lot about here) Those 40 days proved to be truly transformational for me and became the beginning of my dedicated daily yoga practice.  A month or two later I found myself craving more, and so I signed up for a Yoga Immersion with Christen Bakken.  
Throughout 2014 my practice grew – I was learning something new almost every day and growing in incredible ways, on and off my mat. I did 365 days of handstands with Joy Wegs, went to Hanuman Yoga Festival, (started wearing yoga pants as actual pants!) and it didn’t take long before The River started to feel like a second home to me.  When The River’s Yoga Teacher Training program came around I toyed with the idea of participating; I thought it might be an opportunity for personal growth, or a way for me to take my yoga practice to the next level, but ultimately decided that it wasn't my time.  Although my first time on a yoga mat was 11 years ago, I felt that my real personal practice was still in its infancy. How could I presume that I knew enough to teach anyone anything?
Thankfully, Christen and Katy had other plans for me. They gently prodded me, encouraging me to join their info sessions, and slowly I started to come around.  I waited until the training was almost completely full before I finally caved and claimed my spot in the program.  And now that it is over, I cannot believe that I second guessed it for even a minute. 
"The Thundercats" my co-teaching group from our Teach-Out
The River’s YTT program was everything I had hoped it would be, and more. There aren't a lot of opportunities in adult life (at least in my life) for personal development, and YTT proved to be an amazingly fertile ground for my own personal growth. Coming out at the end of YTT, I feel a renewed sense of purpose and for the first time in my life clarity in my visions and goals for my future.  My personal practice has been also invigorated.  I now have a greater handle on foundational alignment, an understanding of and appreciation for the history and evolution of modern yoga, and the ability to guide myself through a home practice, or modify or up-level any public class that I attend to suit my body’s needs.

Beyond all of this, I am now teaching yoga! Something I had never really aspired to do (or thought I was capable of).  I feel confident that Katy and Christen gave me all of the tools that I need to go into the world and share my love of yoga with the community.  I still have so much to learn – I will forever be a student of this practice – but now I am also finding my voice as a teacher and am so excited to have an opportunity to take on this new challenge.
This is the moment I declared "I'm a Yoga Teacher!" Can't even contain the excitement!
I can’t even express how thankful I am for the friendships that I made in my teacher training group.  If you’re looking for a community to belong to, an opportunity to grow, or just a new challenge, don’t even think twice!  There will be ups and there will be downs, but it is definitely a ride worth taking! I would do it again in a heartbeat.