The Next Step in My Yoga Practice (Yoga Teacher Training Journal 1)

If you’re considering a yoga teacher training program but aren’t sure what it’s like or what work it entails, I’m writing these journals for you.

Just a few weeks ago, I was at the grocery store with my six-year-old daughter. As I waited impatiently in the hallway during her fourth trip to the bathroom, I noticed a flyer on the bulletin board. It read, “Yoga Teacher Training: Starts September 20.”

Little did I know, my daughter’s fortuitous bathroom trip would be the platform for my newest adventure: obtaining my RYT 200 through Yoga Alliance.

There are three lessons to learn from this story:

  1. Advertising works.
  2. Always keep your eyes open.
  3. Even bathroom trips with your children can be opportunities for new discoveries.

I’m halfway joking about that last one, but I’m also serious. Completing a yoga teacher training is something I’ve had in mind for a few years now, but if you had asked me a month ago, I would have told you it probably wouldn’t happen for at least another year. But here I am, one week into my first teacher training.

If you’re also considering a yoga teacher training program but aren’t sure what it’s like or what work it entails, these journals are for you.

Why Get Certified?

Over the last ten years, yoga has been the most consistent part of my physical fitness. It helped me through the stress of graduate school. It kept me strong and focused during and after my three pregnancies. I’ve taught yoga to personal training clients and have included yoga in all the workouts I’ve written for pregnant and postpartum women. So I figured it’s about time to delve deeper into what the heck it actually is, where it came from, and how to do it correctly.

After my trip to the grocery store I went home and Googled Yoga Yoga, the school that is offering the teacher training here in San Antonio. After reading a bit more about the school and about this particular training, I was certain that I wanted to pursue things further. I emailed the head of the teacher training program and followed up with a call the next day. Within a week, I had enrolled and was two days away from my first class.

What To Look For

One of the things I recommend you do before choosing a program is make a checklist of qualities you want. Have standards before you start out to maximize the benefit you will receive from your training. You will be committing a lot of time and money to the program, so might as well get the most you can out of it.

For me, this particular training was ideal, since it met my top priorities:

  • It won’t take big chunks of my time away from my kids. The trainings are every other weekend (twice a month at most), from 11am -5pm, at a location that is only thirty minutes away.
  • It is a Yoga Alliance training. This is important to me because it ensures some basic standards are met. Also, many schools and clients look for this credential in a yoga teacher, so I hope it make it easier to find clients when I start teaching.
  • It is taught by an experienced yoga practitioner. I wasn’t even aware of how true this was until I asked for more information about the program. My teacher, DeLora Frederickson, is highly experienced in several types of yoga. As it happens, she also specializes in prenatal yoga (which is also my intended area of focus) and the pelvic floor.
  • Payment is flexible. We are currently making home repairs, so our finances are tight. This program offered a payment plan that allows you to make monthly payments instead of paying in full.

Everything just clicked in place perfectly. Day one finally arrived.

Day One

I walked into the studio on day one and was surprised at the number of people in the class. There are 23 students in our group, which was more than I anticipated. As DeLora pointed out, this is a great opportunity because we get to observe such a wide range of ages and body types. Plus, it’s just fun to meet so many new people. We spent a lot of time introducing ourselves, playing a name game (which was surprisingly effective – I still remember most of the names and it’s been almost a week), and discussing why we decided to take the next step in our yoga practice.

After the morning introductions, DeLora led us through a short flow and then we all learned about the particulars of each asana. DeLora’s discussion of the eight limbs of yoga was especially interesting, since I think it’s something that is often overlooked by teachers and students alike. We learned about the distinction between foundation, motion, and action, not only by listening to DeLora’s instruction, but also by observing our classmates in various poses. It was eye-opening and exciting to put what we had just learned into practice.

Day Two

I left the studio on day one feeling so excited for the next session. Day two was completely devoted to anatomy with our amazing guest teacher, Rachel Hector. I will admit, anatomy has never been my strong suit. I always remember the names of bones and muscles after I am reminded of them, but have a hard time recalling them on my own. After one class with Rachel, I felt so much more solid in my anatomy, both theoretical and applied.

Part of this was because of the reinforcement we received during the training. We’re not just listening to lectures and taking notes – we’re also using the new knowledge by observing other students in the class and also feeling the anatomy in our own bodies. It’s the best way to learn.

I have two weeks until my next training but plenty to do during that time, with the required reading list, class observations to complete, notes to study, and of course, my own personal practice to develop. Until next time!

If you are also considering becoming a yoga teacher or have completed a training in the past, please share your experience in the comments section below!

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