yoga teacher training

Beginning Again

Have I told you that I started taking guitar lessons a few months ago? I get a little chuckle every week when I show up to my lesson and I’m sitting in the waiting room with all the other moms… who are waiting with their children. I seem to be the only adult taking beginner lessons, at least on Thursdays at 5:00 p.m., and really, I think that’s kind of cool. I got the idea to take guitar lessons when I was wrapping up my #handstand365 challenge earlier this year. Learning something so seemingly frivolous as standing on my hands (at the age of 39!) allowed me a beautiful opportunity to learn a lot about myself because there were absolutely no expectations. Every day I just showed up to my mat (or wherever) and tried.

And so when #handstand365 was done, I yearned to be a beginner at something, again. I debated whether to begin guitar or skateboard lessons. Guitar won, so maybe I'll learn to skateboard next year.

In today's newsletter I want to tell you about some other new beginners who have recently touched my heart.

Right now we’re in the middle of our January 2015 Teacher Training Program. After sitting through over a hundred hours of lecture and practicum in the classroom setting, our Teacher Trainees are required to Observe and Assist one of the lead faculty members in their classes, and they’re also required to teach a free Community Class under the supervision of a lead faculty member.

Jan teaching

That means that over the past several weeks I’ve had the opportunity to work one-on-one with the Trainees as they Observe and Assist my classes and as I observe and support their teaching in the Community Classes.

And I must say, I am so honored and humbled to be working with this outstanding group of Teacher Trainees. They are a brave and intelligent group of women. They hail from different countries. They have or have had diverse and successful careers. They are raising or have raised families. They’ve had vast life experiences. And now they’ve chosen to become beginners again.

They’re learning to become yoga teachers not because they want to learn how to put their feet behind their heads, but because through their personal yoga practices they each have experienced a unique and profound set of benefits, and they want to know how to share yoga, how to share the benefits of yoga. And not only do they want to share the benefits of yoga, they want to know how to share the benefits of yoga with anybody and everybody who is interested.

When this accomplished group of women graduates as yoga teachers, they’ll be sharing yoga with their parents and with their children, with their personal training clients, with their therapeutic massage clients, with their Oncology patients, in a CrossFit gym, with children in schools, with the elderly in senior centers, with their friends, and possibly even at The Yoga Room, if they’re interested.

And every single one of them will be sharing the deeper knowledge of yoga they gained in teacher training with themselves, to continue to deepen their own personal practice.

I’m thrilled every time one of the Teacher Trainees comes to observe one of my classes. I watch them to see what they’re seeing. I notice when they come across an interesting detail and jot an idea in their notebook. I pull them in to show them how to modify a posture or how to assist a someone in a pose.

And I love, love, love it when they have questions or share observations with me after the class. Their questions and observations allow me to see their unique perspective. It shows me that they’re not just memorizing the information we teach - they’re synthesizing it and making it their own, which is what will make them outstanding teachers.

I’m so honored that they’ve chosen to be beginners again, with us.

Have you ever wanted to be a beginner again? What's the last new thing you tried? What's the next thing you desire to learn? Want my vote? Go for it! Being a beginner rocks!

XO, Zelinda


5 Ways Yoga Teacher Training will Change Your Life

Registering for yoga teacher training is a huge decision that will likely change your life in many ways. As you go through training you'll experience incredible changes in your body and your life. Here are my top five ways teacher training can change your life: 1. You start to realize there are habits and stressors in your life that don't serve your best interests. Things that cause unnecessary drama may start to feel heavy and exhausting. Teacher training is a very empowering process. You'll start to prioritize your time and energy and understand that it is ok to let go of some of these things. Saying no to drama is saying yes to your mental and emotional well being.

Emily Assist2. You'll start to notice things about your body you never noticed before. Even better, you'll experience a new appreciation and acceptance of your body and what it can do. Yoga helps us connect with our strengths and to recognize our limitations. Teacher training helps you see the power and ability you truly have. It also helps you to learn not just to respect limitations but to use them as a tool to increase your knowledge about working with and helping others.

3. You will form lasting friendships with like-minded people. You will spend a great deal of time with your fellow teacher trainees. Shared experiences that are deep and personal will bond you. A shared interest in yoga and similar career paths will help you to maintain these friendships even once graduation has passed. These friends are people you can turn to for support and who will cheer you on as you build your new career.

4. You will become much more present to your life and the people in it. Training will teach you about the practices of yoga that draw people into the here and now. You will find these techniques will carry over to your daily life. As a teacher you will understand about breathing through challenges and how to tune out distractions and tune into the moment.

5. You will step into a career that allows you to have a positive impact on people's lives. Think about how you feel about your favorite yoga teacher and then think how amazing it would be to play that role in someone's life. Helping people get more connected, find physical relief and be happier is the most rewarding job I can imagine. Going to work hasn't felt like "work" since I became a yoga teacher.

Emily 2014Warm regards, Emily 200 Hour Teacher Training Director