Becoming a yoga teacher was never one of my life ambitions.
For over five years, my yoga practice brought me joy and fulfillment, but solely from my studentship. Teachers had always intrigued me with their beauty, strength, confidence and presence, but to actually become a yoga teacher seemed like entering a different realm — one that I thought could not possibly be as blissful as the space on my favorite coral-colored yoga mat.
But every now and then I would think about what it would be like to lead a class, spreading pieces of possibility and shining smiles to all the students. I would cue and they would flow, moving with ease to the perfect music I was playing that matched all the perfect words I was saying.
But then my daydreams would subside, and I would find myself happy to only be responsible for my own moves, my own mind. Why would I want to teach anyway? It would take up so much time. When would I get to do my practice? If I was teaching, I wouldn’t be learning.
But are the two job descriptions — writer and yoga teacher — really that dissimilar? As a writer, my true calling has always been found in the power of connection and inspiration, traits any good yoga teacher should possess. I like to set my own schedule, travel a lot, wear comfy clothes and work in bare feet. I love sharing my insights and experiences, spreading words of wisdom wherever I go.
So, yes, now I am not only a writer. My career of word crafting has united with my passion for movement.
Stuck on my mat
The fact is, we are always teaching each other. Any resistance I had to sharing my yoga with others was a resistance that would, and inevitably did, show up in all other areas of my life. My “writer’s blocks,” for instance, have not been just creative lulls, but rather a tendency for me to be more self-absorbed than self-expressed.
So I finally stopped resisting and recently completed 200 hours of teacher training with Real Evolution Yoga in Costa Rica. The two-week course was a full immersion, with over 15 hours of physical, emotional and perceptual work every day.
REY teacher training was about so much more than what a pose is called and what a sequence of poses should be like. This unique training includes a strong emphasis on human development, so a lot of time was spent sharing with the group in search of authentic awareness and expression.
Even if you don’t plan on ever teaching a yoga class, there is no doubt that taking a yoga teacher training will benefit you powerfully. Here are four suggestions on how to truly take on your yoga, simply by seeing that you are already a perfect teacher.
1. Trust your teachers
Building the foundation for a strong personal practice is one of the best ways to lead your yoga to new levels. Once you have found a few teachers who inspire you, use their guidance in the studio setting to create both an intuitive and expansive practice. Your body is your best teacher, so follow a flow that works for you and continue to evolve the pillars of your knowledge.
2. Try a training
Going to a yoga teacher training doesn’t mean you have to become a yoga teacher. In fact, participating can simply be a great opportunity to expand on your yoga practice and open up potential for new possibilities in your life. The Real Evolution Teacher training not only allowed space for me to deepen my practice, but has also helped me to integrate the physical, emotional and perceptual aspects of my being.
3. Find a peaceful perspective
A training may be available to you in the area where you live, or there may even be training opportunities at your home studio. You can, however, take your yoga practice with you wherever you go, so why not relish in the opportunity to travel somewhere new for a teacher training? I studied with REY for two weeks at Peace Retreat Costa Rica, and I can’t think of a place I would have rather spent this time of true transformation. Think about where you may want to travel, and also ask some of your teachers for their training recommendations.
4. Go with the flow
Don’t create expectations around what your training will be like. The best way to enter into the realm of possibility is to go in with a willing mind and an open heart. There will be challenges, and there will be breakthroughs, but it’s not up to you to decide what those are. Be with yourself, your practice and your community.
For me, teaching is a tool — a tool for inspiration and an avenue for transformation. Taking my turn to teach doesn’t mean giving up my own guidance, but rather expanding my passion for possibility beyond my words and past the perimeters of my mat. To teach yoga is to teach life, and we are all here to learn together.
Real Evolution Yoga is offering Stage I Teacher Training from January 26 to February 2, 2013, and Advanced Teacher Training from March 30 until April 6, 2013. Trainings are held at Peace Retreat Costa Rica. Contact REY at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and to apply.