Posts tagged yoga teacher
Why I Stopped Giving Assists in Yoga, Even Though I Love Them The Most

My love language is touch. It is how I express caring and how I most readily feel loved.  When practicing yoga in a class, being assisted is always one of my favorite parts. For most of the 6 years that I have been teaching, I’ve assumed that everyone wanted to be assisted, never asking preference at the beginning of classes. The honest reason, despite The Four Agreements teaching us to not make assumptions, is because I had just never given it any thought. Now with that being said, I do know that many of my students have expressed appreciation for assists and adjustments that I have given them, but still to generalize is an assumption. As of about a month ago, I decided to stop assisting in my classes, for a variety of reasons.

Most basically, when I learned about The 5 Love Languages, it deepened my realization of how we can all be a little different from one another. Some people just don’t like to be touched. Also, although I believe I am tuned in enough to another person so as to not cause pain or injury, I know that there are many instructors who are not and I also know that I could be completely wrong about the assessment I just made of myself, and would not want to cause pain to others.

On a deeper level, the rise of the #metoo movement brought a deeper awareness of this issue of trauma. According to NSVRC one in six men and one and three women have or will have experienced so form of sexual violence in their lifetime. Although many students have expressed gratitude for assists, some are just kind. By being kind, they may have not mentioned if I had somehow triggered an old trauma, and just kept that part to themselves. It is even possible that I have had students stop coming to my class or worse stop practicing yoga altogether for that reason.

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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. 

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My YTT Story - Courtney

Before I found myself signing up for my teacher training, I was repeating over and over how I did not want to teach yoga, only practice. Despite saying that, I sought out a teacher training and signed up. Looking back, I am not even sure when or how I changed my mind. 

When I entered into teacher training, I was unsure of myself or what the experience would be like. During my YTT,  I was challenged in ways I didn’t expect to be, leading me to becoming a person I didn’t expect that I could become. Yes, I learned about the body and I learned about the postures but I also learned yoga philosophy, which guided me to follow my bliss and to learn what I needed to, whatever that was, to find myself again. By graduation, I uncovered my "self" - the part of me that I had buried down deep inside while I was busy being the person I thought everyone else wanted me to be.

My yoga teacher training set a fire inside of me.

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