I left the first weekend of my Jayayoga 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training elated for the journey ahead and made the decision to put my gym membership on hold to begin my journey in self-practice. Self-practice was something you could say I had dabbled in previously. I had played around with different asanas, keeping it simple and strictly to the poses I liked or felt good at (admittedly it was what felt good for my ego, not necessarily what felt good for my body at the time).
I created a space in my lounge at home purely dedicated to my yoga practice. I have strategically placed Buddha, personally created music playlists I play and a candle I light before every practice which transform the space from my lounge to my own personal studio. It is here in this fresh, open and nurturing space I truly begin my journey in self-practice.
As I approached my mat for the first time after our first weekend of training I was feeling both overwhelmed and eager. Knowing I can now come to my mat purely with the intention of honouring my body and what it needs for that day, allowed me to relax and let it flow. Some days my self-practice looked like 75mins and other days it was 15mins. It varied from a strong powerful Vinyasa to a slow and nourishing Yin. Whatever my body required at that very moment on my mat, I honoured it! I was allowing nothing but observation and honesty in to my self-practice.
As much as I was relishing and enjoying my self-practice, I wanted to mix it up with instructor led practices. Some days I just need a little guidance and as part of our teacher training it is imperative we participate in both. Through recommendations from many, I signed up to yogaglo (a website that offers hundreds of yoga classes catering to different levels/focused practices) so I could have a led practice at my fingertips no matter what time of the day! I have quickly connected with instructors whose classes I love and also with some whom although I haven’t enjoyed their practice/teaching, I have learnt a lot from them from a teaching aspect.
With our second weekend of training just around the corner, I made sure to record any self-practices/guided classes completed, any yoga related studies I had undertaken and most importantly that my homework was fully completed. Being as ready as one could be, I stepped in to Module 2: The Practice Of Teaching ready to bring it!
Over the next few days I got to understand what the heart of yoga is. I got to know what core values every yoga teacher needs to be authentic in their teaching, what preparation/sequencing for a class looks like and what makes a complete practice. This information coupled with the opportunity to observe two classes taught over the weekend gave me a whole new appreciation for yoga teachers and all that they do. I am so present to the time, energy and thought that is put in to every class. How no one class is the same and how at the drop of a hat you may have to restructure an entire class to cater for injuries, abilities, pregnancy etc...
At the end of day 2 we were divided in to groups of three in which we will each take turns in our groups to lead our fellow course participants through a yoga practice. Delighted with my chosen team (aka “Team Red”) I think to myself, ok we are going to have to teach at some point and what better environment than this one of encouragement to start in. We are then informed that Team Red will be the first team up to teach. AHHHHH… It is at this moment a nervous laugh escapes me and that little voice inside my head pipes up with its self-doubt (it is always easier said than done not to listen to that pesky wee voice that holds us back from our greatness). After recollecting my nerves, pushing that little voice to the side and connecting with my team and lead facilitator Jen, I am left with the assurance that I CAN do this!
With my cup overflowing and anxious excitement flowing through me knowing I will be teaching my first ever class in just 5 weeks, I reflect on the knowledge I have acquired from the course thus far and leave my second weekend of training knowing once again I am right where I am meant to be!
In the words of Robert Heinlein “When one teaches, two learn”.