Thursday, January 28, 2016

Yoga Teacher Training: The Journey to Day 1

Last weekend, I started my Yoga Teacher Training at Yogacampus hosted at The Life Centre in London. The process of arriving at the decision to apply to this training feels like a process that has been in the works for a long time, forever even! I have been thinking about becoming a teacher for years and waiting for the right alignment of factors. Last summer, something clicked. I knew I had experience to share, I knew I wanted to teach.

And it has been forever. If I search through my emails, I find that back in October 2008, after four years of yoga and after finishing my undergraduate degree, considering my next steps, I had written to one of my dear teachers, Amelia, for advice. Even then, I claim I'd been considering the idea for a while. She responded with great enthusiasm and, reading the letter again now, I see indeed that she was and is right -- I will never be in a class the same way again. Fast forward eight years later (at least!) and, finally, here I am.

Well, perhaps not so fast. In the correspondence (gotta love the personal archive of Gmail), I express my hesitance in finding the way forward. Finding my style, finding my teacher. I know I asked a few people for advice on Teacher Training and got all sorts of different answers. Stay local. Go international. Do a quick immersion. Do a long intensive. Etcetera. I wanted someone to give me THE answer, but as life progresses and continues to testify, there are no 'yes/no' answers to the questions these days. And while I know I was foggy with what I wanted, I was also pretty clear with wanting to find a creative, personality-accepting style/training because the best yoga classes I experienced were always a journey for the subtle body, coaxed along by the warmth of humour and smiles. I couldn't bring myself to do a rigid Astanga or Sivananda style training.

And while style was a big consideration for taking the plunge into a training, I was also convinced that I needed to be advanced to undertake the big step. That has been a HUGE stepping stone in my mind. And the more I chased the advanced positions and the need to have a very regular physical practice and whatnot, the more I found I needed to relax into my body and listen to how it wanted to move and how far it wanted to go. Which, in retrospect, was quite an important part of the path.

So last summer, after the upheaval of new degrees and new jobs and new homes had finally settled to stability, I felt I was in a place to decide on a training. Something just clicked after all that time.

And it's funny, for all my thoughts of needing to be advanced, the training initially threw me for a loop. Starting my teacher training last weekend, I found that the approach was different than I expected. Or different than how I thought it would be, or how it would match up with my experience. We didn't jumping right into sequencing because everyone was so advanced and experienced. Instead, we were breaking down poses to their foundations. Teaching for beginners by building poses from their most basic, most pure dynamics. It's funny because my previous post had been about not being able to remember being a beginner and now, it is all about getting into the mind of the beginner and building the pose up for those more experienced.

And so it begins. Lots of anatomy, lots of sanskrit, a new approach to my home practice (not just doing my thing but exploring poses and exploring sequences), but it is all very welcome. At long last.

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