Pomp and Circumstance
In December I officially became a 200-hour certified yoga instructor. I complete my last yoga teacher training workshop last weekend and passed my teaching practicum and exam. After six months of training, hours of home study, and a few years of yoga I am "ready" to teach.
I completed my training through Purple Lotus Yoga and had a great experience. I'll admit it was a little more intense than I was expecting, I would actually compare it to a graduate course when you factor in all the reading and homework hours plus time spent taking yoga classes (and time spent exercising in general so you can keep up in all the yoga classes). I learned a lot about the body, mind, and spirit, and truly feel like my yoga journey is just beginning.
A few "a-ha's" and highlights:
- Your yoga is your yoga. Practicing yoga should be fun, not a chore. It's OK not to like all styles and types of yoga. Turns out I like teaching kids-style classes the best and enjoy practicing yin yoga and guided meditation just as much as the usual vinyasa-flow classes.
- I had never given much thought to the way people felt in the past and, of course, they felt the exact same emotions and stresses we feel today in the same way back then. Yoga was originally developed as a tool for coping with human challenges approximately 5,000 years ago, so being "stressed out" is definitely not anything new, it's just part of being alive. More people really do need to give yoga a try, if only for the stress-reducing benefits.
- Obviously yoga is not a religion, but the 8-limbs of yoga compliment Christianity (and I assume most religions) quite well. Yoga's influence on life and health is everywhere too once you know how to recognize it.
- If you're looking for some good yoga-reading I recommend Journey into Power, The Guru in You, The Heart of Yoga, and The Key Muscles of Hatha Yoga just for the great illustrations.
- I finally got Matt to give a home practice a chance after complaining about low back pain. He was "just going to try some stretches instead" - um, that would be yoga. :)
- Connecting with your breath, controlling your movements, living with intention, and staying in the present moment is always a good idea!
What's next? I completed teacher training because I wanted to learn more about yoga and challenge myself, not because I want a second career. My plan for now is to start looking into teaching children's yoga classes over the summer and possibly substitute teach for other yoga teachers. I am open to other yoga opportunities too, but I don't want to take on too much or lose the fun of doing yoga on my own. I might start teaching tomorrow or maybe not for five years - we will see I guess. In the meantime, hooray for yoga!
[Mountain top meditation in beautiful Sedona, Arizona]