With Yoga Bhoga Teacher Training beginning in a of couple weeks I am reminded of my own journey into teaching yoga. In many ways, I think teaching yoga is an extremely difficult job but I also believe it to the be the best job in the world. And a job I had no intention of ever doing. Never, not in even when I was to attending yoga class 6 days a week, did I fathom the idea that one day I would guide others through their own practice. I felt to teach yoga you had to be able to do every pose and know everything about yoga philosophy and tradition. This, I have learned is impossible since learning the full yogic system can take lifetimes.
I started my asana, or physical yoga, practice in 2000. I practiced yoga off and on and, honestly, was quite bored by the practice. Being a runner I liked moving, sweating, keeping my mind busy with an ever-changing scenario. In 2006, I decided to try yoga again. The teacher’s words and style resonated with me and each week I took a spot in front of a large window with a view of a tree. During all the seasons, I used this tree as my drishti, my focus point. The tree became a representation of my yoga practice -- a rooted connection to the deeper layers of myself. I followed this teacher to another yoga studio where, for years, yoga asana became a 6-day a week practice.
One day this teacher announced she was moving out of the area and would be teaching her last yoga teacher training at the studio. At the time, I had a job that every two months would require me to have a very unpredictable schedule. Anytime in the past I entertained the idea of taking night classes my schedule would change. Yet, this teacher training had nothing to stop me: it fit into my erratic work schedule; being a studio cleaner the discount made the training possible; AND it was the last chance to learn from a woman who I admired and who helped me admire myself. Although, there was no way I was going to teach, I signed up solely to learn more about this ancient practice that helped me find my center.
Although, I did not have a clear idea about what I was doing, I jumped into teacher training with both feet. I loved learning about chakras, anatomy, and philosophy; I cringed during practice teaching self-conscious being heard or seen by others. Like the yoga itself, each day I was forced to let go of my ego, make mistakes, and meet myself exactly where I was and not where I wanted to be. I confronted myself in new and exciting ways supported by the philosophy, theory, and community of yoga.
Teacher training taught me the basics, it gave me courage to reclaim my personal authority over my own life. For the few years I have been teaching, I have attended many additional trainings; read countless books and articles; and experimented within my own body different postures, pranayama, and meditation techniques. Yet, despite what I have learned on my path since I graduated from teacher training, I continually return to the foundations of my learning, of my path, and of my heart.