The Completion of One Student’s Story through Teacher Training
Integration – Living in Balance
We have arrived at the bittersweet ending! There are so many mixed emotions as we move to the completion of this portion of our journeys. No more assigned homestudy – YEAH! No more assigned homestudy – YIKES!!
We began Friday with a gathering in which classmates shared their most immediate plans. While not all 16 students who completed the training intended to teach, those that did almost all seemed to have an opportunity lined up to begin sharing yoga quite immediately… pretty impressive. We then engaged in a rotating hands-on practice to continue to hone our abilities to adjust students. There have been a number of practices geared toward hands-on adjustments, and I have practiced as well in other trainings. I still derived benefit from this sharing- new ideas and reminders, and generally, it just felt fun and flowing and beneficial. The evening closed with a final practice of Yoga Nidra – a form of guided meditative self inquiry from our co-teacher Susan Tate.
As the weekend progressed, I became aware of a growing sense of simultaneous apprehension and anticipation with the awareness that the training was drawing to a close. With conscious breath, I began to be able to hold these two opposing emotions at the very same time… (moms out there might be able to relate- experiencing both the deep love of your children occasionally with the simultaneous feelings that you are being driven crazy to your very core!!) Saturday brought another long practice with more hands-on opportunity. Woven throughout this weekend were also windows of time reviewing and quizzing our knowledge covering all that we have been exposed to from the beginning. Our afternoon was final student presentations, which was entertaining, surprising and once again, demonstrated the talented, creative individuals that came to this training. For this assignment, we were guided to create a 10 minute presentation on any yoga related topic. We followed a specific model aimed at drawing in the audience and creating an informative and engaging presentation. It was good practice in distilling down what you want to say into a short time. The topics ranged from energy practices, pranayama, yoga therapy, love and healing and the creative element in yoga.
Our last day was very fluid in nature, beginning with more discussion on the use of therapeutic yoga as well as teaching methods for a variety of common situations that can occur in classes. Our afternoon was the pinnacle of several assignments that we had been developing through the previous 2-3 months of homestudy. There had been many exercises to stimulate our thinking about what kind of teacher we want to be, where we want to teach and what sort of business do we want to make out of sharing the practice of yoga. The culmination was describing our BIG DREAM.
Listening to classmates in the last couple of hours of our training describing their aspirations and ideas was truly inspirational. Unexpectedly, I found myself becoming very emotional… I really didn’t think that I would be the one to end this whole thing in tears!! As I listened to others share their dreams for the future, I felt so very confident that they would realize those dreams. And yet, I found it hard to feel the same way about my dreams. Several other classmates later shared a similar experience. Why are we so hard on ourselves? Ironically, it is my practice and study of yoga that, with increasing frequency, whittles away all of the doubt and fear. It puts me in a place of personal power and faith such that I can move to my big dream, share yoga and connection and health on a much larger scale than I am now. Of course, all of the while, staying rooted my practice and to family, joy, and play. The closing of the weekend was simple and special as we each received individual words of encouragement from our teachers. Nice.
If you have read my early blogs about this training, you know that much of my initial motivation to take part in this training was to get that illusive piece of paper (200 hour certified) that marked me as someone who could confidently teach the practice of yoga. Obviously, it has become so much more than that. I see now the value and even necessity of a training program that is rigorous and extended. Previously I had thought that I could engage my study on my own, but I feel now the necessity for a teacher, for the challenges that can only come from an outside source, for the accountability, for relationship and interaction with others on the same path, and, simply for the structure that provides numerous ways to approach and investigate the many facets of a yoga practice.
Thank you teachers, classmates, readers…Namaste.
Karen Stenseth, N.D., CYT