If you remember from reading a past post, one of my goals this year was to start on my journey toward becoming a yoga teacher. Due to past exposure, time limitations, etc. I decided to begin that journey with Yoga Fit. Yoga Fit is the type of yoga I have been practicing for the past 11 years and it’s a program that allows you to go at your own pace to work toward your 200-RYT.
So, January 18th after work I headed to San Marcos and checked into my hotel for the weekend. The class was going to be held at the rec center on the Texas State University campus. I wasn’t sure where that was, so after checking in I drove over to make sure I knew where I was going and where I could park and then grabbed some dinner.
I also wasn’t really sure what to expect with the class. I have to say that from my type A personality, that was my one complaint about the class. Other than the email confirming my registration and an email to remind me that I was signed up and that I should be at the rec center at 8am Saturday morning, there was no other communication about the class. Usually when I attend these kind of things, there is at least a sample agenda and they tell you whether breakfast, lunch and snacks will be provided or you are on your own. Nothing from Yoga Fit on that. Nor did they say whether we should come in yoga clothes or not. Since it was a yoga training, one would assume that we would be doing a yoga session, but you never know.
Since my yoga teacher was trained through Yoga Fit, I asked her and knew that I should at least wear my yoga clothes. I also planned to take snacks just in case. Because of the food limitations and pickiness I have, I always like to be prepared.
The other thing I was curious about was how many people would be in the class and what their background would be. Being that the class was taking place on a college campus, I wondered if I would be surround by 20-something year olds getting their kinesiology degree. I figured I would be one of the older ones in the class.
Saturday morning I woke up early, got ready, ate a Lara Bar in case there were no food offerings and headed to the campus. Being a college campus and being that it was around 7:30 when I got there, the only other people there were obviously attending the yoga training as well. I headed into the room where the class would be. There were a few people already there, but not many. The instructor told us to find a spot on the outer edge of the room, so I made my way to what would be my spot for the weekend.
There ended up being over 20 people in the training. When we went around the room and introduced ourselves, I started to feel a little out of place. Some of the people were there to retrain Level I (part of the 200-RYT requirement). Others were there for the first time like me, but it was obvious that I was one of the very few in the room who were not already teaching yoga somewhere. And I was not the oldest in the class.
We started the day with some basic stuff and then did a 2-hour yoga session. This was the longest yoga session I have ever done. It did not seem like a 2-hour class, which was good. There was a lot that I was familiar with, but there were a few poses that I don’t do on a normal basis or that maybe she got us into in a different way that I am use to. I decided that it would do me good to attend some different yoga classes back home to get use to a variety.
After the class we broke for lunch. Which we found out was on our own. And we only had 1 hour for it. Normally that would be fine, but just learning that and not knowing what was close by was a little challenging. I managed to find a Subway, grabbed a veggie sandwich, inhaled it and headed back.
The afternoon was spent breaking down poses with each student in the class reading the cues for the pose and other students modeling the pose. Then we would model the incorrect poses so we would know what to look for in our students.
After a long and mentally challenging day, we were assigned homework and told we would start at 7:30am Sunday morning and would work through lunch so that we could leave a little earlier.
I headed back to the hotel for a bit and then went to grab some dinner and stop at the HEB to grab some food for Sunday’s lunch. Luckily the hotel room had a fridge and I still had an insulated lunch bag in my car from work Friday, so I wasn’t totally limited on what I could pack for Sunday.
After getting back to the room I sat down to do my homework. Basically we were asked to write out cues for getting into 3 poses in a flowing manner. It sounds easy, but when you are writing it out it is much harder than it sounds. Once I was done, it was time to sleep.
I was up again early Sunday to pack and check out before heading to the rec center to start day 2. We had a shorter yoga session in the morning and then we broke down some more poses before breaking into smaller groups to “teach”. This is where our homework came in to play. We had to instruct the other participants in our group through the series of three poses we had written out for homework. Even after practicing yoga for as long as I have, I was nervous to have to instruct someone through the poses in the 2-3 minutes we were given. The first time was the worst, but then it got a little more comfortable, which was the whole point of the exercise.
We wrapped up class, discussing the insurance options and certification requirements and then it was over. I was mentally exhausted and my body hurt from sitting on a hard wood floor all weekend. I drove home and just chilled out.
Since the training, I have been working on completing my 8 hours of community service. This just basically means I have to teach 8 hours of yoga (preferably to people who would not normally be exposed to yoga) for free. The first session I did was for my family. That way if I messed up, no big deal. The hard part for me was getting the timing of it all down – did I have enough poses in the sequence to last an hour or would I be done with the sequence and still have 20 minutes left? would I recognize the song right before meditation so that I could make sure we were on the mat and ready to start meditation at the right time? Ultimately, I didn’t do so bad the first time.
I branched out after that and did a session for six of my fellow triathlete friends. Only one had done yoga before and only a time or two, so a whole class of beginners. They really enjoyed it and I hope to find more opportunities to help them.
From there I was trying to decide whom to teach to. I originally thought I’d do my community service hours for a group of soccer players my son trains with, and I still want to, but that just hasn’t worked out yet. What I discovered in the meantime was that a high school classmate of mine is bipolar. I know that yoga can help people with mental disorders, so I asked if he had ever tried yoga. He said he had not but would be willing. So, we set up a time and off I went. He said he enjoyed it and would like to continue, so I see my community service hours coming from there. I hope that I am able to help him, even if only a little bit.
The next step in all of this is to complete my community service hours and then decide what I want to do as far as teaching. I’m not sure a gym would hire me since I’m not 200-RYT trained, but I don’t really have a “place” where I can teach one-on-one sessions, so this will be an issue. Hopefully I’ll figure something out. I am also hoping to attend the Level 2 training at the end of June and continue down the path of learning and knowledge.