Teacher Talk: Starting Yoga Teacher Training
Hi, y’all! This is the first in a series of articles featuring “letters” (ok, emails) between two of our regular contributors, Chuck and Kaitlin. Chuck and Kaitlin are both starting yoga teacher training this summer, and they’ll be writing back and forth about the process. We’ll just be over here, spyin’ on their emails and getting an awesome insight into their journeys to become yoga teachers. Enjoy!
Great to meet you in the Bad Yogi Blog Contributors forum! And congratulations on signing up for Yoga Teacher Training (YTT). I’ve also signed up for a 200-hour course – at my “home” yoga studio, Mantra Yoga & Juice (www.discovermantra.com) – and I’m less than a month away from starting.
As you mentioned to me, you and I are a study in contrasts … you’re East Coast, I’m West Coast; you’re female, I’m male … I’ll also point out that you’re young, and I’m not! So why are we both embarking on this same journey this summer?
In my case, I just started doing yoga a year ago. It’s been life-changing for me, as I’ve written elsewhere on this blog. I first became intrigued by the idea of YTT because my teachers all talked about what a “transformative experience” it was (yes, that’s how we talk in California). Because my teachers could see I was an enthusiastic “convert” to yoga, they encouraged me to give YTT a try.
At first I kind of laughed at the idea of me teaching something I had barely scratched the surface of. But my teacher pals also told me, “Going through YTT doesn’t mean you HAVE to teach … it’s a great way to understand yoga better and get deeper into your practice.” That, I could get behind. More recently, it’s dawned on me that it would be cool to share all the benefits of yoga with others … so I’m keeping an open mind about actually teaching classes in the future.
What was your motivation?
Also, how was your decision to do YTT received by your family/friends? My wife and kids (daughters, 14 and 10) were very supportive. My wife knew it would be a three-to-four-day-a-week commitment for nine weeks (and that it wouldn’t be cheap). But she encouraged me to go for it, saying it would be great for my physical/mental/spiritual health, and that learning how to teach anything would be good for my personal and professional growth. Pretty cool, right?
Anyway, I’d be excited to read more about your thoughts/feelings leading up to YTT … and to read about your experiences as you progress through it! So keep me posted!
First, you’re only as young as you feel, right?! Thanks so much for sharing about your motivations for YTT. It definitely sounds like you have a good support system behind you and, it’s interesting, because I’ve heard many of those same things throughout my decision to do YTT. Let me share!
I’ve been doing yoga off and on for about 10 years, but pretty seriously for the past four. Eighteen months ago I injured my back (huge bummer!) and stopped going to studios and developing a home practice while I figured out how best to rehab. However, it was around that same time that I started teaching a Yoga Elective at the high school where I work in Boston. For the past two years, I have taught yoga to 14-20 year olds for 80 minutes a day with a mixture of physical practice and meditation. The feedback I’ve received from teachers and students alike has solidified any feelings I had that yoga is really transformative for pretty much anyone! I know for me yoga helps me with my anxiety a lot more than it helps me develop abs haha.
So, this summer I saw a YTT being held at a studio I’ve never been to (www.coolidgeyoga.com), but taught by a teacher who I very much respect and admire (www.goldieyoga.com). I decided to apply and in my application I talked about how I think yoga is for every body and everybody and I was shocked (!) when I was accepted.
I’m trying to keep a pretty open mind about what this all means. I want to teach yoga, but I want to teach communities that don’t always have access to yoga because of the price or where the studio is located. This sounds like a really complicated, yet worthwhile, problem to address, and I also love my full time job of teaching high school and I’m not giving that up anytime soon (bills, you know?!), so I’m not sure where this journey will take me.
We’re similar in that we’re going into this with an open mind, so that must be good, right? This last month is going to fly by and then our lives will be changed forever! Let’s check back in after week one and see how we’re doing!
Kaitlin is a high school History and ESL teacher in Boston, MA. She first found yoga in college and is earning her 200-hour certification this summer. A huge foodie, Kaitlin and her husband are always exploring new restaurants or cooking (and drinking wine!) at home with their cat, Three.
Featured photo via Bad Yogi community member Brooke Roberts