Yesterday, I entered a new phase in my teacher training. Once a month me and my fellow teachers spend the weekend in training. Correction: Me and already established yoga instructors meet once a month for 5 months out of the year in the attempt to log 300+ supplemental hours of training to become eligible for a 500 hour internationally recognized certification through the Yoga Alliance.
First, I will need to complete my 200 hour certification. However, I’ve decided I need to head down this advanced path of training as it is evident that 200 hours of training will not get me comfortable enough to lead others in their yoga practice. At least not to the level that I feel they deserve.
The year of monthly immersions began on Friday with a fundraising dinner focused on the Tibetan Children’s Foundation. Throughout the evening, we ate up delicious Tibetan cuisine and learned about the programs TCEF has established for support of Tibetan children and elders in exile.
On Saturday, Christina, one of the teachers in the program completed her 500 hour training requirements with her workshop on The Science of Innovation which included physical & subtle anatomy, philosophy, and science. She finished it off with a nice yoga sequence that got our blood, breath, and ideas flowing.
After the workshop, the general population dispersed and we entered into group discussions beginning with feedback for Christina. We then discussed important components for opening our classes (assuming we had a class to open). Some ideas exchanged focused on guiding our students into the here & now, setting a foundation of good alignment early on, incorporating breath work (pranayama), and perhaps including a theme to tie into the practice.
After this discussion we given 20 minutes to write an opening for an asana class. We then partnering up to put it into action. Mine was short and sweet. Having never taught yoga before, I was nervous as heck. I tried to ignore the voice in my head that told me that I knew nothing. Without having anything else to draw on, I wrote down the things I like to do with I first come to my mat. Mostly, these consist of getting present and letting go of distractions, and loosening up my spine. When I’d completed my 5 minutes of introductory teaching, I kneeled on my back and listened to the feedback…
She said it was good. She liked the visualization I had included. I focused on her words and did my best to quiet the voice that said she was just making me feel good. “Really?”, I asked. “Yes. Really!”, she said. It wasn’t much but it was something. If 5 minutes of teaching felt this good, how great must Christina feel after teaching a 3 hour workshop?
In 500+ hours, I’ll know.