Lessons from Yoga Teacher Training

What do you get when 12 students and 3 teachers get together for at least 15 hours a day for 9 days straight?

This is what you get:

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They came to learn asana, the postures, their alignment and how to teach these postures to others but they got tears, laughter, joy, sadness, doubts, frustration, hope, break downs, misunderstandings, break throughs, friendships, possibilities, support, transformation, compassion, and love. Yoga is more than stretching, more than perfect alignment, more than a sweaty workout.

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They got connected to each other and to themselves in ways that would not have manifested if I didn’t put them all in a pressure cooker for 9 days. Even though I was the lead teacher, my role and sole purpose is to not show them how badass I am but to show them how badass they are and how inspiring they will be are already as teachers.

I’d have to say this group of students has been the most committed group of trainees I’ve been with who are not afraid to look within and dig out the aspects of themselves that prevent their true light from shining through.

When a group is not afraid to walk the path of svadhyaya, the 4th niyama (observances) of the 8 limbed path of yoga, and dive into the process of studying oneself to gain a better understanding of one’s true Self or Atman, we all grow faster than weeds.

Here are some nuggets worth sharing in no particular order:

  1. Trust the process and stop trying to control everything.
  2. Be your own loudest cheerleader and believe in yourself as much as you believe in the people you cheer on.
  3. Illusions are everywhere such as in movement, alignment, life, success, confidence, etc. Find the Truth not to guilt trip or shame yourself but to help you transcend the bullshit faster.
  4. Many of us are barely surviving. We are a touch deprived society. You need at least 12 hugs a day to thrive, 8 hugs a day to maintain, and 4 hugs a day to survive.
  5. Keep an open heart and an inquisitive mind.There are never absolute answers to any question. The best answer to any question is “it depends.”
  6. Find mentors and teachers who inspire you, who support you, who love you but don’t put them on a high pedestal unless you want your heart broken. They are neither higher or lower than you and at some point they will disappoint you. Remember they are human too and it’s not so much what mistake they made but more about how they handled the mistake they made that will make them your hero.
  7. Listen to the people around you not only with your ears, but with your eyes and with your heart. Hear what they are saying and also what they aren’t saying for the fear of your rejection is strong. We are all vulnerable. Meet everyone with kindness and love.
  8. Consider that the assholes in your life are your best teachers and not all assholes are asses.
  9. To be the best teacher you can be, you must always sit in the seat of a student.
  10. Be willing to flow with the waves of change.
  11. Do your best. Don’t take anything personally. Don’t make assumptions.
  12. It’s ok to ask for help and guidance.
  13. When a broken heart bursts open, it beats louder and stronger than one thought it would and it’s ability to love becomes infinite.
  14. Teach from love.
  15. Teach deeply from love.

Thank you trainees for walking this path with me. I’ve learned a lot more than what’s on this list of 15 and I’m excited to take your class and be your student.

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