3 Things I've Learned Through Yoga Teacher Training

As I'm nearing the end of completing my yoga teacher training requirements I can look back and reflect on some of the things I've learned in developing my own practice as well as in teaching others. Though there are many nuances to what I've learned here are three things I wanted to reflect on today.

Picture of purple yoga bolsters on top of a yoga mat and yoga blanket
Bodhi Yoga Teacher Training has reminded me that I am always supported!

The first thing I've felt through my time with Syl, the Bodhi Yoga Studio, the people who train with Syl, and those who have practiced with me is I've always felt supported.

Throughout my time I have questioned my abilities feeling like I just didn't know enough to be walking others through a yoga practice. What I have learned is that what feels like common knowledge isn't always known by everyone and even those with advanced practices I've found that sometimes hearing something from me helps confirm what they already know and they feel better in their personal practice.

I have always felt like Syl and the others who have certified with her are another layer of support that I appreciate so much. No question is ever stupid, too beginner, or worthless to ask. I can pop questions in our private Facebook group and get answers from people who are new to teaching and from those who have been teaching and practicing for decades. I chose this training because I knew I would want a depth and breath of resources and I have found that this program has exceeded my expectations in every way.

As I have started practice teaching I have found support in friends and family willing to take time out of their day to practice with me. They have spent time in my space allowing me to develop my skills and practice the things I have been learning. They don't judge me if I forget the next thing in our sequence or when I don't know the answer. I have also loved the opportunity to get to know them better. To understand that you truly can't judge anyone's abilities because everyone is "flexible" in different ways.

Picture of legs over a purple round yoga bolster with feet flat on a green yoga mat
Bodhi Yoga helps me feel and express myself in a way that is grounded and centered.

The second thing I have learned in my practice and in teaching is that yoga continues to help me feel grounded and centered. I have loved that this program gives me both the depth of knowledge and the opportunity to bring that learning into reality. I find that when I practice regularly I feel better and I am better able to manage the chaos in my life. I have learned that when I have been teaching others it helps me grow my confidence and gives me the opportunity to learn different ways to express myself through yoga and to teach people skills they can use in their daily life.

If you've been curious about the Bodhi Yoga style of practice there are a couple of free classes including one 25 minute Beginner Yoga practice. I think you just have to create an account to access the free class and it's totally worth it. I have done this beginner practice as a good morning practice or when I just want something simple and accessible for me.

Picture of feet on tip-toe wearing teal yoga socks on a green yoga mat
Yoga helps me in my journey to finding balance in life

The third thing I have found in my personal practice and teaching is the art of finding balance. I feel the word balance is thrown around a lot as if you can somehow achieve a 50/50 split in your life. You know like 50% work and 50% home, 50% happy and 50% other emotions, or 50% living your best life and 50% slogging through the daily grind... Well... I have learned that that ideal of "balance" is crap. I get that I'm only creeping up on my 40's and that there are people far wiser than I am on this but in my time on this planet I have learned that balance is not about finding a 50/50 split but gaining an understand of what balance looks and feels like for you and knowing when you need to do something to tip the scales back in a way that feels good to you.

What this has looked like for me is acknowledging that I am in a phase of life with small children where working 50, 60, or more hours per week is not something I'm willing to do. I want to spend the free time I have with them and building a strong relationship of trust with them knowing that at some point they won't want to spend every waking moment with me and at that point I can chose to work more hours or focus on more personal stuff. That means that for me balance right now is doing what I can to be home for my family and doing what I need to do for work to ensure I feel good about things. Sure there are some weeks where work calls and I need to do a little more but I balance that in knowing that on some weeks my family will come first and work will wait.

I know that some people are in a season where work is life and they enjoy that and want to spend all their free time focusing on their job. And if you LOVE what you do and find fulfillment and enjoyment in working a ton of hours at work, then that is likely balance for you at this point in your life. There may come another time where you need to slow down but it all balances out. Rarely on a daily basis, but over your lifetime you'll look back and see there were times of work, times for family, and times for your personal growth. It almost never feels balanced on the daily but overtime it all balances out to what you need in your life.

Yoga has helped me recognize this balance because I am a recovering perfectionist and people pleaser. That means I tended to always be out of balance because I was doing everything for everyone else. Don't ask for help, that's weak. Don't extend that deadline, you're not reliable. Don't clarify expectations, do it all. OY! It makes me tired just thinking about it all. I've learned that it's ok to ask for help, to be realistic with your time, and to clarify peoples expectations of you and yours of them. Yoga helps me to remember that these things are ok and that sometimes you need to look at your needs first and arrange your world accordingly.

As a bonus item, the other thing I've loved about practicing yoga is that my kids have shown an interest in yoga too. Sure tree pose and downward facing don't look quite right, yes I get her head is flat on the ground, but the kids have started to mirror what I practice at home and I know that's good for them in the long run. We've even started some basic breathing techniques, thank you Muppet Babies (season 1, episode 12B Animal Kong), that can help them calm down when they're upset (breathe in blue skies, breathe out grey skies). I want to help them develop the skills they'll need to navigate this often crazy and sometimes cruel world so they know they have it within themselves to manage their emotions and live life on their terms.

I would highly recommend the 200-hour Yoga Immersion Teacher Certification program at Bodhi Yoga even if you never intend to teach. (P.S. you can do the entire training from anywhere in the world with a computer and internet connection. The online videos are just as good as what you get in person, though being there is it's own special treat.) It's helped me deepen my personal practice, learn so much about myself, and helped me to understand how I can take something I love and share it with others. Who knows where this yoga journey will take me but for now I have more yoga to teach and a certification to complete!


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