When I signed up for the YogaWorks Intensive Teacher Training with Chrissy Carter, I knew it was going to be like a bootcamp, but I had no idea how much work was really involved. Four weeks of a 200 hour teacher training, as opposed to a five month period (which is what many do) appealed to me, because like most New Yorkers, I like checking things off of my list and moving forward. Thanks anxiety. My intentions going into the training were to put yoga first, but of course still keep up my full time freelance career (pitching, writing, pitching, TV appearance), blog and health coaching homework (I graduate IIN in March). With those expectations set for myself, I came home three nights this week full of tears.
I love the training. I'm in awe of Chrissy and her assistant, Nicole Mitsch, intrigued by anatomy, in love with the Yoga Sutras (reminds me of my days as an English major), optimistic about learning (what I can of) Sanskrit, and passionate about learning the proper alignment of the postures as well as sequencing techniques. That being said, anatomy, philosophy, Sanskrit and alignment are a lot to take on all at once, especially when it's all completely foreign to me. And after nine hour classes every day, the reading and written assignments take up my entire night. My brain feels scrambled!
As you can imagine, yes, I'm overwhelmed. By day three I knew something had to change if I was going to survive and hopefully thrive in this program and I asked myself, "What's important to me now?" (I address this in my New Years blog post). With the teacher training being a priority, I gave myself permission to put a month long 'Out of Office' on my email. Seriously. I haven't done anything like that in my six year freelance career, but have to hope that the beauty industry will be excited for me and respect my time. An instant sense of relief came over me and I was able to look at Day 4 with a new perspective – I chose to do this, because it is going to enhance my life and my career, all else can wait. And just by that simple action, allowed myself to dive in and begin enjoying the journey, which has been completely transformational so far. It also helps that my husband Joe has been incredibly supportive and even has dinner waiting for me when I get home.
Besides being passionate about the information I'm learning (because I do hope to teach in the future), I am so lucky to have Chrissy and Nicole as teachers and to be in the group of 19 that I ended up in. Chrissy's teaching technique leaves me with no doubt in my mind that I'm in the right place and am going to be able to do this. For example, we do "posture labs" where someone will hold a pose and she'll place bones over their body so we can visualize things like the rotation of the thigh or tilt of the pelvis. She also uses painters tape to act as muscles, making anatomy for yoga easy to comprehend. Not only will I be able to practice intelligently now, but I'll also be able to teach with meaning. Learning how to understand the reasons behind the postures and sequences is something I greatly appreciate. All of the information is literally engrained in us on so many different levels, that I think it's fair to say we all know we can get this.
The community of the classroom is supportive, non-judgemental and fun. I've already made some new friends who are full of positive energy and eager to learn. After this week, I also have a new found respect for yoga teachers. It's a strict science and class preparation takes more work than you can ever imagine. So guess who can't wait for week two? To be continued...