Since the teacher training intensive in April, I kept myself quite busy. I went travelling in New Zealand, started a new full-time admin job and was still adjusting to life in Brisbane. As I mentioned, I felt like my journey had already changed. Was I taking on this training to become a teacher? Or would I simply take the training to develop myself and my practice more deeply? The answer to my self-doubting would unfold over the course of the second week of intensive yoga teacher training in September 2017.
The Personal Side of the Yoga Teacher Training Journey
The first week of yoga teacher training intensive had left me thinking this training might be more about personal development than a career choice. But between training intensives, I experienced a rollercoaster of emotions that left me confused and full of self-doubt again. I started putting pressure on myself through expectations around the outcome of this training. I measured myself up against everyone who has already achieved success. And, convinced of my failure to live up these (self-imposed, impossible) expectations, I’d forgotten the simple pleasure of the process.
So, first up in week two, we spent the morning checking in and coming back together as a slightly different group of women who started in April. I was genuinely surprised at how much had changed in each of our personal lives. I wasn’t alone in all of this uncertainty and personal struggle after all.
Yoga is the journey of the self, through the self, to the self.
~ The Bhagavad Gita
Throughout the week, we would go through so much processing of our internal clutter. We would chip away at the surface to reveal what we had buried so deep, and we would confront it in a supported space. Sometimes we would crack open. The fears would rise up from the belly, into the chest and become a lump in our throat before we confronted it. And then followed the uncontrollable laughter from our liberated self. These processes would culminate in bold and brave farewell to that which held us back and we would ignite our new-found self-belief.
Before we moved on to our teaching practice, I acknowledged the women standing around me. Each of them exactly the right women that needed to be standing there as a mirror to each of us. I felt so much gratitude in that moment. The personal journey was more than I imagined. I never expect to overcome so much self-doubt and to come into a place of total self-acceptance. It was integral to the teacher training to be able to teach from our truth.
Teaching from Your Truth
Remember my intention when I started this training? To find the connection of yoga within me so that I can share this with those around me. I still carry this intention with me and I love that. But by the end of the second week intensive, I had developed a greater understanding of the importance of teaching your truth. I understood that your own personal experience is where you truly teach from.
Imitation may be inevitable at first as we find our own rhythm and styles, but it’s important to teach from the heart. When we teach from our truth, we connect more deeply with our community and we have all the tools within us to serve others in a genuine and compassionate way.
I reflected on Sam’s words to me at the open day; “It’s about bringing everything you know from your experience that is your gift”. And everything that we had processed in the second week of intensive training would help us to find that truth. Some of us found our truth in motherhood, sisterhood, working with children or within sports anatomy. Others found truth in self-care, honouring fierce femininity and working with younger adults facing mental health challenges.
If you’re interested in the kinds of processing we did, you should spend some time with Samantha Sirgun. The energy shifting of Kundalini Yoga and the journalling to purge the fears and ideas are just the tips of the iceberg here. I honestly don’t think I could have had such breakthroughs from journalling or alone.
Something else that came up for me was feelings of anxiety that I hadn’t properly dealt with in the past. I had a private session with Celia to develop a self-compassion practice and incorporate Loving Kindness Meditation into my daily practice. This has aided in a very personal transformation that again, I don’t think I could have achieved otherwise.
Develop your Knowledge, Deepen your Practice
I’ve absolutely loved the training from YIMI. It is broad enough that I felt informed about different styles and practices, tradition, and philosophy. But it also offered the opportunity to go deeper if one so desired. It encouraged exploring ancient texts and looking into western medicine’s application of yoga. There was a perfect balance of traditional yoga and western medical science. And what really resonated with me was being taught by teachers who had an individual approach, that there is no ‘one size fits all’ for asana. This is what makes yoga accessible.
And this training is all just the beginning. It’s a lifelong journey of developing your knowledge and deepening your practice of yoga so that you are equipped with more techniques and tools to help others in their practice.
So watch this space. I’m continually developing my yoga teacher training and bringing my flavour of teaching to the Brisbane community soon. For now, let me introduce you to some of the YIMI 200hr YTT graduates for 2017.
Big love and best wishes to the ladies continuing with the 350hr YTT and to those going on to specialised teacher training. Namaste.