Well, as you’ve probably figured out by now, I’m officially a registered yoga teacher! I had planned on taking a break from blogging to work on some things behind the scenes, but you know me, when I get real heated about something, it shows up on the blog 😉
Since I still feel like I need to wrap up my teacher training experience, I’ve decided to share a few things even though the dust is STILL settling for me.
Warning, it’s long 😉
Teacher Training while pregnant
Because I chose the intensive style, the road was definitely a long and tiring one. Going through teacher training while 6 months pregnant was a lot tougher than I anticipated. We had a 2 hour heated practice EVERY SINGLE DAY of the training, then practiced yoga some more to teach and clinic. This amounted to up to 5 hours of yoga a day, which I’m not complaining about, but my body definitely took a beating on some days. On top of all of the exhaustion, the commute to teacher training at a studio an hour away, choosing the intensive style, trying to find sitters for Caleb, not having food available nearby, and missing my family added on even more of a challenge than I was ready for.
But I was so determined to get this training done, I wanted it SO badly that not once did I ever let any of these factors really get me down. And I am so glad I fought through all of the challenges I faced because every worry and hardship was absolutely, without a single doubt in my mind, 100% worth it all. I learned so many incredible things that will stick with me for life, and met so many amazing people that have shined a light on me that will never burn. I gained a whole new perspective on life that makes living even more beautiful and all the more worth striving for.
If you’re pregnant and considering training, don’t let anything stop you. You can get through it, and you will! It’s already an amazing experience but one that is even more incredible knowing that you went through it with your own little yogi 🙂
The 8 limb path
One of the things that really stuck with me from the training was our in depth discussions of the 8 Limb Path. In the Yoga Sutra of Patanjali, the 8 limb path details how to go about perfecting this way of life where the body, breath and mind are connected in order to live your best life. Studying each limb really forced us to dig deep within ourselves and I actually discovered a lot about myself that I thought I already had figured out.
One of my favorite limbs, was the niyama Santosha, which means contentment. Something I never talk about on this blog is how I feel like I should always be doing more with my life but after intensely studying Santosha, I learned that I actually am content with exactly where I’m at right now. I have a wonderful family and home and living as simply as we do is what makes me the happiest. Why add more complications and make myself neurotic over useless shit when I already have everything I love in front of me? Through this in depth study of the 8 limb path, I learned the err of my ways and “being content” is just one of the many paths that helped me understand this.
I also loved that the 8 limb path can be applied to all parts of our daily lives, and wasn’t something as general as “thou shalt not murder”. It was such an interesting concept to study and it’s something that I know will forever be etched in my mind. The 8 limb path makes me want to be a better person to everyone around me, and not just a moral person.
Another one of my favorite parts of training (there’s actually a lot of “favorite parts” haha) is how in depth we studied and broke down poses. However, I will say that this is kind of a double edged sword for me in some ways. Now when I see someone incorrectly performing a certain pose somewhere on social media, I can’t help but cringe and picture their muscles and bones out of alignment and imagine what damage they’re doing to their bodies years from now. And I swear I can hear voices in my head chanting “strength precedes flexibility, strength precedes flexibility…” I know! It’s horrible! I want to appreciate the beauty of the pose but with how much it was ingrained in us to perform poses properly to avoid injury, it’s just plain hard at times. Of course, this could also be my personal trainer background coming into play, haha.
On the positive side, it’s so refreshing to have a deeper understanding on how and why a pose is performed a certain way. I mentioned before that our teachers know their alignment, they know their science, and they went above and beyond to teach us students everything they knew about how the body works. Now I feel so much more confident going into my classes with being able to break down poses for newer students and I’m confident I won’t be responsible for any injuries.
I could not have gone through this training without the amount of support I received from my loved ones. In the first session, I had my family come in all the way from Korea to watch Caleb for me while I was in training. I came home every night to a cooked dinner, clean house, and a healthy baby in bed. It was amazing!
With the next session, I had enlisted the help of a few friends but at the end of the night, the husband had the house vacuumed, mopped, dinner ready, and baby in bed. He really stepped it up and made sure I came home to a spotless house so I wouldn’t have anything else to worry about but my training. I have always thought the world of him, but how hard he worked to keep me happy on top of his already long and stressful work days just reaffirms the fact that I actually do have the greatest husband in the world.
I’m also thankful for the friends I met during training, specifically one who gave me much needed back rubs when my sciatic nerve was being a bitach, and others who made sure I never went hungry, hah. As cheesy as it sounds, the kindness from these yoginis made me all the more motivated to get through the training, so that I can reciprocate that kind of caring nature back into the world.
I have met some inspiring people in my life . I had the brain tumor survivor as a client who worked his way up to triathlons, the Korean immigrant who moved to the US with nothing but the clothes on her back, enlisted in the Army, worked her way through Harvard and later become an Officer and motivational speaker, and most recently, my OB who started having kids in high school, yet managed to put herself through medical school. If there is ever a time where I’m doubting myself, I think of these people and immediately remember to stop whining and get my big girl undies on.
But my point of this is that during my yoga teacher training, I witnessed even more inspiration that moved me to the core. There was a 70 year old woman there, a woman who had lost her husband, and another who just found out a week before the training about her husband’s disease. There were women from all walks of life and they came in every day and gave the training their all, and always with a smile on their face. Their incredible zest and strength inspired me to approach life with an even better attitude and words fail me to express how thankful I am to have had the opportunity to attend this training, and that these women were in the training with me. They have forever touched me more than they’ll ever realize.
I had no idea going into my training just how transformational this experience could be. I knew that it would change my views on relationships and life, but in such a short amount of time, I truly believe that my training has made me an improved version of myself.
Never in a million years did I think I would have the guts to stand in front of a class and tell them what to do with their bodies. I had no problem doing it solo as a personal trainer, but being a yoga teacher doesn’t even compare. It’s a completely different experience. I stand in front of each class with a purpose and am present when I teach. I no longer second guess myself when it comes to calling poses and I no longer struggle with my rhythm or verbiage. That’s not to say that I never will though.
I attribute my new found confidence to my wonderful teacher trainers, the Yax brothers. These guys MAKE teachers. And they make amazing ones. I recognize that I will always be learning and growing as a student and a teacher so I’m not saying I’m amazing. What I am saying though is that they know how to instill confidence in their students and send them back out in the world with a better knowledge and understanding of all the things that makes a yoga class extraordinary. They make teachers that know how to make their students come back for more. Every minute detail from the heat, to the tempo of the music, to the smell of the studio, to how we cue, and to assisting and massages, has been deeply embedded into our minds and now comes like second nature. Even the studio owner who hosted the Yax brothers, who has been through several 200hr and 500hr teacher trainings herself had emphasized that the kind of training we received was rare (we even dove into some 500hr training stuff!). The brothers were so detailed about ensuring we understood how to effectively integrate our knowledge of yoga and teacher intuition perfectly. They lit a fire in us to strive for nothing less than being an incredible teacher, and they gave us the confidence to believe that we really can be just as wonderful as they are.
When it comes to teaching, I can honestly say that I love it. I am 100% absolutely head over heels in love with it. I make the drive to each class with a smile on my face, I’m always so excited when its my day to teach, and I even text the studio owner asking if there are other classes I can pick up. I feel like I’ve found my calling and the place where I’m supposed to be. Of course, there are other things I eventually plan to do along with teaching, but right now being a wife, mom, and a yoga teacher really feels like I’m right where I’m supposed to be.
And I’m ‘content’ with that 😉