After 5 years of practicing yoga, I still felt as though I had only scratched the surface. I decided I wanted to delve deeper into yoga and so this past September, I started my 200 hour Yoga Teacher Certification. Since yoga came natural to me, I somewhat assumed that teaching it would come naturally to me as well. However, it was not nearly as easy as I anticipated.
I’ve uncovered so much more about yoga after only a few weeks of class. I discovered new poses I had never been taught in a class before, learned about yoga philosophy, and realized teaching is not as easy as it seems. When teaching a class, you have to be mindful of many things. Are you giving clear directions, using Sanskrit throughout instruction, citing the benefits of each pose, and sequencing smoothly? Are you adding personality to your teaching, speaking in a calm voice, and remaining on pace throughout the class? Are you avoiding transitioning between open-hip and closed-hip postures, warming up every muscle in the body, and reminding students to breathe?
These are all questions I had never considered before starting teacher training. When initially trying to teach even a single pose, I found it extremely difficult. There was so much to simultaneously focus on, I didn’t know where to begin. But thankfully, I could commiserate with the rest of the students in the class to prevent myself from feeling discouraged.
After being six sessions in, I have officially taught a short 5-minute sequence. The prior week, we divided into groups, deliberated for a while, then came up with a sequence together. The thought of teaching even just a small part of a yoga class in front of a group of 25 people nerve-wracked me. Nevertheless, I approached the front of the room with confidence when it was my turn to instruct. And sure I might have messed up a few cues, but at least I realized that confidence is half the battle.
I’m eager to learn more about all of the elements of yoga and to continue practice teaching. There is a wealth of information surrounding yoga and there will never be enough time to learn. I hope to teach in college and spread my love of yoga with others. Part 2 to follow in a few months~