On the first day of our teacher training, our teacher asked us what expectations we had from the training, I responded that I wanted to be able to get into the Vrischikasana – Scorpion pose.
Wow! How time has flown. It is a cliché I know, but it has its truth anyway. I officially finished my teacher training in March this year and was then able to log my hours as “official” with the Yoga Alliance (any teaching before then doesn`t count towards hours as my training had not been completed- but definitely counted towards personal experience!) I was lucky enough to be offered a teaching position at the same school as where I did my training. This was a HUGE help, as anyone who has had a look at the yoga trend lately will know that there are more teachers than studios out there.
Since March I have logged almost 200 hours of teaching. Seems so little when I put it that way…and I can still remember how nervous I was when I did my first few classes in comparison to today. I used to plan my lessons to the very last letter, making sure I didn’t forget a single detail- you might even say I didn’t really trust myself to get the Surya Namaskar right, LOL. I still get nervous don`t get me wrong, and my lessons still take some time to plan, but I have more confidence in myself and my yoga direction to know a few mishaps here and there only make us human…and everyone can relate to that.
So here is a roundup of what I have learnt from my short time as a yoga teacher (I am sure many can relate):
This is very important. If you take yourself too seriously, chances are you are going to drive yourself crazy. Sometimes I say things in class that make no sense- my mind runs faster than the pace of my mouth so to say. I switch the feet with the hands, the hands with the feet and then judge by the look on the faces of those in the class that what I just said made no sense. We know each other well now and we are all able to laugh out loud at my verbal mishaps.
Of everything, of every being. This goes beyond so much more than a physical level. Be aware of your breath, of your mind, of the spiritual element in your practice. A Surya Namaskar is so much more than just a good way to warm up in your practice. The individual elements help you tap into yourself. This may not be for all. Some people go to yoga because they recognize the physical element, it stretches you after a marathon, or prepares you for the next. End of. Others come to yoga because when in Balasana (child`s pose) whether their bottom comes down to their heels or not, they can hear their breath, they can quiet their mind and they can forget everything that waits for them outside the class. Being aware, being mindful, it vibrates to every cell of our being, to every being in our cosmos….it is so important!
Of perfections, of imperfection, of pre-set agendas you may have, past pains, past sorrows- LET IT GO! The need to get into asanas (Scorpion pose for instance) just to make a pretty Instagram photo. (Like no one has ever done that before), all that pressure, really,
no one needs it. And think of it, if you manage to let go of these preconditioned thoughts, you won`t have to be nervous teaching your first class.
I wanted to impress the people who came to my class. I wanted the dynamic classes to make people sweat and think, “wow that was tough”. I don’t want that anymore. I want people to come to my class because of all the things I have listed above, they get to laugh at themselves, they become aware of themselves, they let go and all the perceptions they had about yoga are left at the door. Even if it means they don’t come back to my class because the flow was not what they expected or I couldn’t tell my foot from my hand- so be it. You don’t have to be able to touch your toes, put your leg behind your head or tickle your nose with your toes…goodness knows I can`t- so drop the pressure!
I still can`t get into the Scorpion pose, but it isn`t an issue for me. I love teaching yoga and I love the change that it has brought in my life. I am a different person thanks to the training, there are still some things that need work…but I am AWARE of them, just as much as they are aware of me.
And even if you never plan on teaching a class, the rewards that you get are endless, do something just for you, something no one can take away from you.