This is a continued series of articles featuring “letters” (ok, emails) between two of our regular contributors, Chuck and Kaitlin. Chuck and Kaitlin both completed their Yoga Teacher Training (YTT) a year ago and shared the experience with Bad Yogi. We’ll just be over here, spyin’ on their emails and getting an awesome insight into their journeys to become yoga teachers. 

Hi, Chuck!

How are you? I can’t believe it’s been a year since we finished our 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training! I certainly can’t! It seems like both yesterday and a really long time ago- does that make any sense? Anyway…. what have you been doing with your certificate? How’s your practice?
It’s funny because since I stopped teacher training, I do a lot less yoga. I think I was a little yoga’d out after. I know part of it was that I had a hard time adjusting to the feeling of being in a very privileged, majority White space for the summer and then going back to my large, very diverse Boston Public School in the fall. It was a hard adjustment for me emotionally to move from one space to the other and, I think, my body was a little yoga’d out. I also wasn’t assigned to teach a yoga class at school this past year, so it fell into my natural schedule a lot less.
However, I have found that when I practice asana my practice is more grounded. I don’t feel like I’m doing yoga to “go to yoga.” I think I am seeking out yoga when I need it, rather than when I’m pressured or scheduled to go. This has made my practice more meaningful when I do go and I feel I am better at correcting myself.
What about you? Let’s catch up!
Be well,
Kaitlin
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Hi Kaitlin, great to hear from you!
Yes, a whole year … and I’m still enjoying the benefits of my yoga teacher training, though maybe not in the way(s) I would have expected! For one thing, I’m not teaching – but I’m totally OK with being one of those people who goes through 200-hour YTT just to deepen their own understanding of yoga.
Another benefit I didn’t see coming was the ability to really hone in on my home practice. So while I’m not getting to the studio as often, I find it’s easy to do some asanas every day … which helps me feel great, physically and mentally.
Funny that you were “yoga’d out” after your training. I’ve stayed close with the six other people in my training class, and I think most of us experienced some kind of a “letdown” after the end of our nine-week session. Part of it was, we’d been spending a lot of time together each week, learning new things, enjoying each other’s company, and then we just … stopped. While it was great to get back to spending more time with my family and other friends, I definitely felt a “void” of sorts.
One thing that did help keep our momentum going, though, was getting in our outside hours. I forget, did your training course have those? We all needed to complete 10 hours of observing teachers, plus 10 hours of doing hands-on adjustments, all at the studio where we trained. I think everyone in our class completed these but me; I did all the observations in the weeks after training, but despite what I’ve written for Bad Yogi previously, I never reached a comfort level with doing hands-on adjustments. So I’m still actually at 190 hours, and not yet certified.
To end on a positive note, my YTT experience gave me the confidence to take part in an additional teacher training session, just this past weekend! But I’ll save that story for next time. What about you? Any plans to supplement your 200-hour certification? And what other emotions have come up for you besides the ones you wrote about?
Best,
Chuck
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Hi Chuck,
I agree with you about going through YTT for my own practice. So funny how that works out 🙂
We didn’t have the outside hour requirement, but I’m curious about that… I feel like since I got yoga’d out, I haven’t done as much yoga study from other teachers as I would like. That might be a nice requirement to set for myself and find myself some mentors. I agree with you about hands-on adjustments- they are really hard and intimidating to me as an introvert!
I got my email from Yoga Alliance yesterday about renewing my membership. I guess I should make some choices in the next few months about where and when to practice teaching and get some continuing education hours. I like being a member of Yoga Alliance because they have great online resources for learning about yoga. I think right now my biggest reaction to being a year out from YTT is that I have imposter syndrome. I think to counter this I need to jump back in a little bit, even maybe just stick my big toe back in, and pretend to be a teacher and fake it until I make it a bit. I’m a real Bad Yogi haha.
Talk soon,
Kaitlin
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Hi Kaitlin,

I agree with you about how it’s important to continue studying and learning from different teachers. As I mentioned, I participated in an additional teacher training session … on stand-up paddleboard yoga! The training was 25 hours spread out over a weekend, so it wasn’t a major time commitment, and it really got me energized. Whether I’ll actually end up teaching SUP yoga remains to be seen, but I learned a lot and absolutely enjoyed the training in the moment.
Prior to the SUP yoga training, participants were asked to write down goals, obstacles, strengths, and weaknesses. One thing I put down for my obstacles was “having imposter syndrome.” During and after my 200-hour YTT, I could imagine students thinking, “Who does this guy think he is, trying to teach yoga? He can’t even do a headstand!”
So I’ve decided to focus on what I CAN do (and what I WANT to do) … the stuff I can’t or don’t want to do I now describe using the sentence, “That’s not in my practice.” Yoga is (and, I think, should be) different things to different people.
Anyway, let’s keep in touch … I’ll want to hear about your practice teaching and any additional yoga training you take on. And of course, next time you’re in the San Diego area, hit me up so we can do some SUP yoga together!
Best,
Chuck
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