You know when you’re in a foreign country and everyone around you is speaking a different language and you feel like you’re in a whirlwind of noise and you’re trying to figure out what they might be saying but can only understand bits and pieces. That is a little how Yoga Teacher Training has been. A whirlwind, a language that feels foreign, but exciting and bringing out my curiosity in every way.
YTT is like learning a new language. Every time, I grasp one word about a hundred more are thrown my way and I almost feel as if I’m drowning in Sanskrit. Drowning in the knowledge that I need to let soak in. And who knew reminding someone to breathe with such simple words as inhaling and exhaling would be so easy to forget when cueing through a posture.
There is A LOT to learn. And I feel like I have a very little amount of time to learn it all. I’ve been humbled these past few weeks. Yes, I know how to listen and I feel my yoga practice is really strong but as soon as my role is turned upside down and I’m thrown into a teaching position, I sort of freeze up and I find myself forgetting literally everything I’ve ever known or heard about yoga. I know this is completely part of the process and I’m letting my frustrations go, as best I can, and trying to embrace my experience in every way.
The first week we met on Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday, each time for three hours. I thought for sure three hours would feel like an eternity, especially since I haven’t really been in a classroom setting in a long time. But to my surprise, the hours fly by, and before I know it we are gathering for our closing meditation and OMs.
In our very first session, among a lot of other things, we broke down one pose, a pose and posture we do in every class. Chaturanga. Watching our teachers break it down and us as students help to break it down and see it done properly was like opening your eyes for the very first time after a long sleep and seeing everything clearly. I learned that my Chaturanga was not in proper form and that most people doing chaturanga are also doing it incorrectly.
Instead of pushing forward on your toes to come forward before lowering into low plank, you should actually be opening up your chest forward, which is a much smaller movement but it allows your chest to be in correct alignment for your arms to lower up to 90 degrees on a low plank. Try this next time you go to practice. It seriously will change your posture in the best ways. I also learned that the little dip you see people doing from low plank to upward facing dog is also incorrect alignment, all you really need to do is push straight up, pressing your palms into the earth and extend your arms straight. Ahhh the little things. They feel so good to learn and so impactful to learn.
After literally years of yoga, going to different studios, and having different teachers, Corepower Yoga is the first studio to actually break down Chaturanga in a yoga class and not only break it down but give you variations and a demonstration so you as the student can actually see what it should look like. I personally, just had to learn by watching others, and clearly watching people do it wrong has led to flaws in my own practice.
Not only are we breaking down postures, learning how to cue properly for each posture, but we are also learning variations to postures and how to properly fix misalignments that we see in students. Basically, a ton of information is coming at us in three hours. Each class we break down about 5-6 postures and then we spend time with a partner and practice cueing them through those postures.
After one day of that and seeing how flustered I became I knew I needed to spend a ton of time practice talking out loud at home and writing out what I wanted to say and how I wanted to say. I just know that’s how I work, memorization for me works wonders for something like this until I get more comfortable with it then I’ll be able to add more personality and fun aspects to what I’m saying.
I have always wanted to be an “A” student. Growing up I would beam with pride when I would bring home my report card and have all A’s and I have those feelings rushing back to me during teacher training. That feeling of wanting to have a perfect grade and do the best I can but right now I’m feeling a little more like a C- student! The one thing I have though, that will help me immensely, is a great determination. I will be practicing tons and tons and my sisters and family will be getting a lot of free yoga lessons throughout these next 6 weeks!
Since we are learning a set sequence from Corepower’s C1 classes in my YTT, it’s been nice to go to C1 classes and really hone in on what the teachers are saying during class. I try to take with me at least one thing they have said in class to help with how I will begin to be as a teacher one day.
We have also begun reading Baron Baptiste’s “Journey Into Power” and it’s seriously such an amazing book. Even if you’re not doing YTT you should check it out because it seriously is giving me chills reading it. He talks about so many great things and how transformation comes from within, which is such an important lesson. I think we all get caught up in our physical appearance and physical transformations but to truly transform it has to come from within. Anyways, I basically find myself up in the wee hours of the morning reading his wisdom and highlighting literally everything because it’s all so important.
My brain is going to go through quite a challenge and a little rewiring to be able to get through this but I know it’s possible! I’ll be over practicing, practicing, practicing until I feel comfortable and confident. And even though I may never feel fully ready to practice teach for real, I know once I do it, I’m gonna love it. I already feel like when I’m stumbling through my cues and finding my little teacher voice that I’m falling in love with teaching and with yoga even more than I knew I could.
It’s crazy to me how yoga came into my life when my life was sort of flipping upside down and all around. I found CorePower in a time of uncertainty in my life. I had just moved to LA and I had made a decision to not go back to a traditional desk job but I was trying to figure out what I was going to do and how I was going to afford to live in LA. And where I was going to work outplayed a big role in my worrying as well. I joined CPY in all the madness and have been hooked since and I truly believe I was meant to be in the very place I am now, learning from my favorite studio and my favorite teachers. So I will hold that with me in times of frustration and worry and uncertainty. All things in life come into your life for a reason, to push you, to help you grow, and to help you become your most authentic version of yourself.
I hope you have enjoyed this little peek into my yoga teacher journey with CPY! Did anyone else experience these feelings during YTT? I would love any advice to help remember the Sanskrit names (is there an app that has helped you at all?!) and how to help remember to tell students to breathe! haha
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