One part of yoga, of course, is physical poses. However, yoga is much more than exercise. By holding difficult poses on the mat, people learn how to be calm in uncomfortable situations in life where they might otherwise flee, yield, or fight. Instead of becoming slaves to external situations, people are able to take in the situation and decide how to react with discrimination. By learning to lengthen and calm the breath, people learn to calm the mind and get rid of all the chatter that goes on in the head. They may not make the connection that they transferred the knowledge they learned from yoga to situations in their lives. However, regardless of whether the knowledge is conscious or subconscious, a change occurs within those that regularly practice yoga that helps them to live more calmly and with more awareness of their actions and emotions.
My teacher training with At One Yoga was incredible. I learned so much, but as with any new endeavor, I definitely recognized my weaknesses as well. I went into it thinking I was pretty good at yoga, and found that I often needed to adjust my alignment and fix my posture. I was humbled and my ego went right out the door (which was a good thing). I have been teaching children for years, but when I practiced teaching yoga to a group of adults, I was a complete bundle of nerves. I stumbled over my words and lacked confidence.
I feel like I have grown so much in this last month in both my own practice and my teaching confidence. I have still only scratched the surface and have a long way to go, but I have the satisfaction of leaving a little smarter, a little stronger, a little more flexible, and a lot more enlightened on the ancient practice of yoga.
Besides gaining in depth knowledge about yoga anatomy, pose adjustments, Sanskrit (the language of yoga), yoga philosophy, and different forms of yoga, here are some of the most valuable things I took away from my education:
- “I offer what I have to offer.” When teaching, I have to be true to my own personality, my own talents, and my own limitations. Trying to imitate another teacher and be just like them will not only be fake, but will not attract students to my class. If I find my own niche, then people will be naturally drawn to my class because I am being real.
- I have to accept that I will not be a master teacher at first. This is hard for me with my perfectionist nature, but I have to work on incorporating one thing at a time, and know that I will get better.
- Teaching yoga is about the students, not about me. I should not be worrying if people will like me, if my words are completely fluid, if my poses are perfect, if my music is good, and if I am doing it right.
- One of the most important things I learned is best put by the yogi, T.K.V Desikachar: