I stepped out of the studio after Friday night’s training and tears instantly fill my eyes, “What was I doing here? I don’t even really want to be a yoga teacher!” Who knew you could be so anxious and shaky while doing 80+ sun salutations over and over? To say that I was taken off guard by that first session would be an understatement. I blasted the music in my car and tried to pretend this wasn’t my reality. Luckily, JT’s new single, ‘Suit and Tie’ helped drown out my thoughts. Thoughts of how insanely hard it was to turn intentions, commands, poses into actual words. Here’s something they don’t tell you before you get up there and try it for yourself: no matter how many times you repeat the flow over and over to yourself in your head, no matter how many years you’ve been practicing yoga, no matter how well your body can turn to autopilot during class and just move correctly – when you say it out loud you are starting from scratch.
Somehow I woke up Saturday morning with a positive attitude and ready to face the long day ahead. I still had no idea what to expect, but my mind was quickly put to ease when I learned that the hard part (the night before) was over.
The rest of the weekend, I fell into a nice groove. I started to feel more comfortable, volunteering to demonstrate runner’s lunge and then later guiding the class through a couple sun A’s and sun B’s. I was shocked by how much improvement I’d made in such a short period of time and couldn’t believe that I was actually having fun and smiling while standing up in front of the class.
I don’t want to go into specifics of what we did each week during these recap posts, in an effort to keep future trainees ‘surprised’ but I would like to share my general thoughts looking back on the weekend:
- I love that we don’t have a syllabus. Their reasoning for this is so that we are more present in the moment, rather than looking ahead to what’s next. I love this because I learned Friday night I don’t want to know what’s next. I feel like knowing would just lead to more anxiety : )
- I’m so thankful that I chose a studio five minutes away. SERIOUSLY, I highly recommend this. After spending eleven hours in the studio, the last thing I want to do is have a long drive ahead of me.
- We have silent lunch and dinners. At first, I thought this was the worst thing that could have ever happened. Meals/breaks are usually when I get to know people best because it’s in a smaller group setting and we are free to talk about whatever we so chose. After the first weekend though, I have to say I don’t hate it. The silent meals give us a chance to turn inward and reflect, as well as relax without worrying about the pressure of social interaction. It’s kind of an introverts dream come true.. but hopefully we are given other opportunities to mingle.
- The days go by way faster than I expected. I think the fact that we are constantly switching rooms in the studio (to adhere to the classes going on) and that they switch up the teachers as well helps keep the day moving. I love hearing from different teachers because everyone has a unique teaching style and it’s cool to hear advice from a variety of people – it’s also really fun to hear from teachers who I have taken their classes for so long!
- I’m definitely prepared physically for this. This weekend, we did a lot of sun salutations — Friday night was only the beginning. That being said, I was actually craving more yoga by the end of it. I’m so happy with my decision to do 30 in 30 in November because I really think it helped build my stamina!
- This will be great practice for my career as a wedding photographer. Communicating a pose is my biggest weakness in photography by far. I’m really excited to see how yoga teacher training helps me step out of my shell a bit and be more direct and conscience with my cues.
This weekend taught me more than anything: I’m going to be okay. I’m going to get through this and learn a ton in the process. In a lot of ways, training kind of feels like a vacation. I spend the weekend unplugged, breathing, doing yoga, meditating, being silent. I just need to keep thinking of it in that light and I’ll be just fine.