One Student’s Story through Teacher Training
Transformation – Holding the Container
Wow!! With a little hindsight, I really see that this weekend was appropriately named. We were pushed to have new and possibly intimidating experiences, and challenged to keep refining our perception of yoga and how we desire to present it to others. Additionally, as the weekend progressed, I became aware once again of this solid group of impressive people that has grown out of our training. It appeared a very natural thing for us to create safe space, hold the container, for one another as each person took turns taking on the teacher role. To me, it seems this ability to create a comfortable environment is paramount for a yoga teacher… it was beautiful to see it evident in our powerful group.
On Friday evening, we came together for a presentation of yoga as medicine (a topic close to my heart). As with any area of study, there is always more that can be investigated and learned, nonetheless, this was a wonderful intro into the possibilities of where the worlds of yoga and therapy intersect. I found my fire lit to begin this work in a more concerted way. I particularly appreciated applying our previous study of the koshas (layers in ourselves) to the therapeutic use of yoga. The kosha system lends a structure to using yoga as medicine. It was an “AHA” moment for me… a realization of how the studies of the koshas could be brought into a day to day use.
Saturday morning was the block of time we had all been anticipating for weeks- time to be videoed while we taught to fellow students. I have always wanted to see what it was like to be a student in my own class and this seemed to be the closest thing to it! (After the video was created, we were assigned to carefully observe and critique our teaching methods/style… humbling and exciting!) Everyone was given the opportunity to teach a 15 minute practice and each got to receive a practice and also evaluate another’s teaching. All in all, even taking into account the anxieties and concerns, it was a good experience. From my point of view, we all did great! It is an impressive group of folks who will each be expressing their desire to share yoga in different, all-needed ways.
On Saturday afternoon, we had another “out of the box” experience… a presentation of teaching yoga to kids from a master… Laura Kronskey- owner of Montana Kids Yoga. I felt for her as she stepped into a room full of worn-down, blank-staring students… remnants from our dramatic morning. As a huge credit to her, she lifted us out of our dullness and a few hours later, we all found ourselves enthusiastically instructing real children in a real class! She gave us a lot of very useable material for teaching kids.
Sunday morning brought an immersion into teaching a prenatal class and experienced a practice geared toward just that. I was excited by a teaching avenue/possibility that I had not previously been drawn to. And, at the very least, the whole morning was made worth it watching the two men in our class manipulate their newly pregnant bodies (strapped on pillows) into poses they had probably never before considered challenging!
Our day was rounded out with an afternoon gentle practice and a discussion about any changes that we have become aware of as a result of this training. We were encouraged to apply the kosha system again as a method to recognize and understand these shifts. For me, though there have been many shifts, one transformation that I am really appreciating right now is an increased sense of what is REAL, or what is important in this life journey. Many of my core beliefs have been strengthened, helping me to increasingly live in alignment with my ideals- prioritizing family, relationships, joy and play. Here again, I realize that personal study and personal practice are vital for this continued stimulation and growth.
In terms of the development of this training as a whole throughout the 9 months, I left this weekend with a great respect for my classmates and my instructors. Overall, I felt a coming together of the group energy. As a unique challenge to our group, one of our own was faced with a life changing medical diagnosis. It has been an honor to share in the power of this group working to support this person through some of the challenges. There seemed to be a new and powerful solidarity ignited in the circle this month, one which I am thrilled to be a part of… such a surreal thought that we will only be meeting as that unique group for one more month…
Karen Stenseth, N.D., CYT