Yoga Teacher Training: Week 3

I've been a little obsessed with the lotus flower, lately.  It can symbolize new beginnings and it grows strong and beautiful from the murkiest environments.  It rises above the murk to achieve enlightenment.  My yoga teacher training is a new beginning and sometimes I feel like I'm trying to rise above the murk, so the lotus flower spoke to me this week!

In teacher training this week we finished learning the entire C1 sequence and practiced what we learned!  I also observed a C1 class, so quite a bit going on this week.  I’m quickly learning that I need to practice, practice, practice! 


We started every class with posture clinics.  We learned balancing poses and how to teach them through cues and where to stand in the room so we don’t disturb our students’ drishti – focused gaze.  This sounds like a trivial detail, but it happened to me in class this week and I almost toppled over.  The instructor had cued a balancing pose and chose to kneel down at the side of the room, which is acceptable, but she was 2 feet in front of me.  Although she was below my gaze, it was really distracting. 

The round robin sessions were not as intimidating this week, but I didn’t receive any direct feedback due to class time restraints, so I was a little disappointed.  In the first class, our instructors spoke about feedback and that as yoga instructors; they actually crave feedback from students.  Now I understand – I want to know everything!  Am I talking too fast or too slow, is my voice annoying, are my cues clear – you know things of that nature.  

I missed the last class of the week with my group, so I had to make it up at another studio the next day.  Everyone was very welcoming and helpful as I would expect from yogis.  We did one posture clinic, a round robin session and partner teaching.  I was a little nervous because of the unfamiliarity with the group, but it went well.  My partner was a current CorePower instructor for a different class, so she was able to provide some one on one help with the Surrender series which is also used in her class and my weakest series with breath. 

My Takeaways

My biggest takeaway this week was discovering the second half of the C1 sequence was much more involved than the first half.  It’s also very hard to put everything together!  Just when I think I have a series mastered, we round robin on several series and it all gets jumbled in my head again and it’s especially hard to remember when to engage and disengage breaths that don’t go along with posture cues.  However, it will just take practice – so I’m currently looking for guinea pigs that want free yoga from a wannabe teacher!

My observation class was enlightening.  I observed the teacher and paid attention to how the students responded to her posture cues and hands on adjustments.  I noticed when she walked around and when she grounded herself.  When she increased or decreased the volume of the music or the dimness of the lights, it was purposeful.  I found myself hoping that I could be so comfortable in a class someday!

As a student....

One of the benefits of taking a yoga teacher training course is learning the correct way to get into and hold a posture.  I’ve realized along the way that my own practice needs refinement. 

This week I’m focusing on crow’s pose.  I’ve been trying to jump back into high plank from crow’s pose for about a year now and always seem to either wrench my back or just look extremely awkward.  Turns out, I was doing flying frog instead of crow’s pose and have never been high enough to jump back.  I’m pretty excited to finally know what I was doing wrong and practice it all week in class.

My aha moment....

I’m fairly comfortable with venturing outside my comfort zone.  I left a career in business to completely change my life and go to nursing school.  I decided to move to Chicago after visiting a friend and was here within two months.  I like trying new things and taking moderate risks, but sometimes we fall back into being comfortable in life and forget to take risks that might ultimately make us better people. 

I realized this week that yoga teacher training and even this blog represents me venturing out of my comfort zone - something I haven’t done in a while and sorely missed.  I like challenging myself even if that means appearing confident when there are hints of doubt underneath - ok, lots of doubt!  Fake it until you make it, right? 

I’m not sure how good I am at practicing yoga and I know I’m no bestselling author, but is that what’s really important?  I can already tell this teacher training will change my life in some form and for the better.  I’m enjoying every day of the experience and all the new people I’ve met.  I believe we generally regret the things we didn’t do more than the things we did, but breaking through fear is sometimes challenging.  I’m also a nerd and love learning new things, so maybe it’s just that. 

Until next week….