As part of their teacher training, we ask our trainees to write a blog post sharing their thoughts on their experience, or a favourite topic that comes up during the course. Liz is now half-way through her teacher training journey, and shares her reflections on the journey so far. Thank you Liz!
I’m coming up to my tenth module of nineteen and around the half way point in my training so I felt this was a good time to look back and reflect on what I’ve learnt so far.
I had wanted to do yoga teacher training for a couple of years, but I also knew that I wanted to have a baby soon. A look at most teacher training courses on offer made it seem that the two things couldn’t possibly be compatible. Yoga teacher training often means a lot of time away from home, either weekends in London or intensive blocks in pretty much any location you can think of. I was so happy and excited when Anne and Harriet told me about the Yoga Quota training. The flexibility of being able to take modules at different times, to make up things I had missed and train in Oxford were perfect for me.
I signed up very soon after having my daughter. It seemed like a bit of a crazy idea when I was spending most of my day on the sofa breastfeeding and eating biscuits! With support and encouragement from my husband and Harriet I was persuaded that it could work. YQ arranged for me to bring my husband and daughter on the first retreat so I could feed in the training breaks. I had worried that it would seem really strange to have brought my family along, but everyone welcomed us with open arms and James and Evie soon felt like part of the Yoga gang.
Since that first retreat I’ve learnt so much and had many ‘a-ha’ moments which have shifted my perception of myself, my body and the yoga practice. The three which have had the biggest impact are these:
Yoga is for absolutely everyone.
My favourite topic so far has been chair Yoga, a practice which can make Yoga accessible for lots of different people. There are also plenty of other options - using a wall, props, seated or lying meditation and more. Several people have told me they aren’t flexible enough to do yoga but there really are options for everyone. Before starting the training I was anxious about where my own practice was and thought I couldn’t possibly put myself out there as a potential teacher because I couldn’t do a headstand. As soon as I met the other trainees and started to discuss elements of the course with them and Harriet I began to realise that the impressive ‘instagram’ Yoga is just one of many many options available. The beautiful postures you see well known yogis doing are wonderful for focus and the effect on the body. But chair Yoga can also deliver these benefits. YQ works with many different groups of vulnerable people and adapts the practice accordingly. I’m really excited to support this fantastic cause and get involved with some of the charity classes in the future.
Yoga doesn’t have to be an hour long physical practice.
It can mean stopping to notice what your breath is doing and taking a few deep breaths whilst putting the washing away; a five minute meditation; or a short walk whilst really noticing your surroundings. All still achievable when life gets hectic!
The training is just the beginning.
I have been guilty of putting teachers on a pedestal (something Harriet quickly warned us against) and assuming they know everything about postures, anatomy and so on. Now I see that training is just the start of a journey which will hopefully be lifelong. There is always more to read, learn, discuss and try out. I have gone away from each training day with notes on things to experiment with in my physical practice, read and even watch on Netflix! I’m looking forward to continuing to develop my own practice and sharing my new knowledge.