I just finished my 4th module (out of 6 modules) of 300RYT teacher training at YogaMaze in LA. The training started in November and now that it’s a little over half a year later and I’m almost finished with my certification, I feel like I’m on the path to becoming a whole new yoga teacher. I have adopted new outlooks on yoga, as well as life. Now, I have so much more to offer students and myself. I’ve collected tools along the way to put in my toolbox to keep forever. When I feel ready, I will be able to pass along these tools to my students who really care and want to know more about yoga. These students will be as curious and open as I am about learning and growing.
When this training started, I was in a precarious state of things. I felt a bit trapped in the employment situation I had put myself in. Forces that were trying to keep me small and powerless were holding me down. These forces were telling me to not do this 300RYT training. I was told that I did not need to spend the time and money to educate myself further. I was told I already knew everything I need to know. But I knew in my heart of hearts, I knew that was not true. I knew this training was my way out of this weird situation and a way to empower my mind and body. Now, a half a year later, I feel like I have much more control over my life, my work, the people I surround myself with, and the way I teach my students. I will never again put myself in a hostile work environment. However, experiencing being powerless is a great lesson. Simply, it taught me to never allow myself to be that way again. I have the power to put myself in only the best and most productive situations. With experience and education it becomes easier to place myself where I will be the most happy and free.
Back to the training…. Each week I attend YogaMaze, it is information overload! So, I really appreciate that it's taking a whole year to finish the certification. I can take my time to let the information sink in and utilize it while teaching my weekly classes. It’s normal to feel a bit wonky while using new ways of teaching, but with practice and repetition I can figure out better ways to integrate the new stuff with my old stuff. It’s about breaking old habits and familiar patterns of doing things. Trying new ways to get the information across to my students is so valuable. I can experiment with what works for me and find out what doesn’t work.
I’ve been told by one of my favorite teachers, Tamara Levinson, AKA Cuchira founder of Yogance, someone I look up to very much, that when a teacher gets in front of a class to teach, they get more out of the class then their students. In my experience, when I teach a class I notice everything. I notice the nuances of the sequences and the poses. Everything in the room is magnified. I have more insight on how to clearly instruct the content at hand, what is useful and what can be scrapped, how to connect with different kinds of people and how to be relatable and accessible, how to push people physically and mentally. How to be real! And how to be fun! You can load up on certifications and teacher trainings, but you cannot learn all of these things just by training… you must get out there and get experience. Hands on learning! It’s very much like stand-up comedy. You receive instantaneous feedback from your students whether they tell you verbally or not. You can read it all over their faces and in their body language.
Recap: 3 main points…
1) Don’t make yourself powerless in other peoples hands. Take control over your own life! Let your gut lead you to the truth!
2) Empower yourself with knowledge! Seek more education!
3) Get out there and get experience! Hands-on learning is really the only way to become better at whatever it is you do.
Ok, one more thing… I'm going to add a fourth point…
4) Do everything with LOVE. Speak from your heart. Share from your heart. And teach from your heart. Even if you are not a “teacher” you can absolutely teach the people around you about the things you care about.