My YTT Story - BJ
There were two very different reasons that led me to yoga teacher training. The first was in my eyes, a selfish one. Knowing myself, I figured yoga might just be a phase in my life. I thought if I became a teacher, yoga would always be a part of my life. The second reason I became a yoga teacher was to give the gift of yoga to others. Through my yoga journey, I had already grown in many countless ways, and I wanted to share that with others. I also thought that I might finally convince some of my friends to try yoga only by being the teacher (most of my friends have yet to take my class).
Taking the leap to sign up for a teacher training was not a choice made without fear, but that’s what it was, a leap. Motivating me was a quote that I saw daily on my cousin’s refrigerator when I lived with him for a couple years. The magnet read: “leap and the net will appear.” This quote had a real impact on my courage in situations such as this, so I lept.
The start of my first teacher training weekend, I was filled with butterflies and doubt. I thought to myself: “Where did I get the audacity to think that I could be a yoga teacher?”, “How could I ever be as good as so and so?”, “Who am I kidding?” By the end of the first weekend of training, however, I knew I was right where I was supposed to be. My practice deepened more than I could have imagined, but I still couldn’t actually imagine myself as a yoga teacher.
I was quiet and even meek at times. Although I would sometimes project an air of confidence, I was anything but that. I felt full of doubt, and although that doubt did not disappear in the first weekend, I surrendered to the process and allowed changes to come up for me. If I had stopped after weekend one, I would still be grateful for the lessons learned and the bonds made, but I kept going back each weekend. I have been teaching for six years now.
Although much of the details of my teacher training are a blur, thinking back on my experience, I recognize teacher training as the single most pivotal point in my life.
I cultivated a love for myself that I was lacking. I learned to trust myself. I stopped looking at yoga teachers as these “perfect” beings who had it all figured out. I learned to trust my heart and intuition. Although I still do not have it all figured out, I found the compassion for myself to move beyond my insecurities and trust myself and my journey (most of the time).
I know some people worry about the idea of yoga teachers and teacher training schools becoming so oversaturated that teachers won’t have a place to make a living off yoga. With that mindset, you won’t.
Yoga is not merely a physical practice; the physical practice is one form of yoga in which we are able to study. The word “yoga” means union. A “yoga teacher” is always teaching. Even if you never lead a class, the grace in which you live and learn is our way of teaching. I am a yoga teacher even when I am not in the studio: in my personal life and also when I am out on the road, as a driving instructor. The lessons of yoga are immensely translatable to the new driver. I teach presence. I teach forgiveness.
I teach love, no matter where I am.