By Vanessa Thomas, Power Nectar Yoga Manager and Instructor
When I started practicing yoga back in July 2013 I never thought I’d one day become a yoga teacher. Yoga started as a personal outlet for me to overcome stress, anxiety, and depression. I loved the challenge it presented me and how I felt after spending hours on my mat. What first started as physical practice striving to accomplish fun arm balances and inversions ended up teaching me so much more. It was on my mat where I learned to get still and overcome the constant overwhelming thoughts in my head and get into my body.
In late 2016 I started to feel the nudge of wanting to share this practice with others but I just didn’t feel ready. It was always a “one day I might teach” sort of thing in conversation because I felt as if I wasn’t advanced enough to teach anyone else.
After many conversations with yoga teachers about my concerns, I learned that you don’t have to be this perfect yogi who feels completely ready in order to complete the yoga teacher training program. There are so many individuals out there whose practice truly began the moment they enrolled in YTT. I’ll never forget one conversation in particular where my friend said: “If you feel the nudge to want to do it then you’re ready to take the leap.”
So I took the leap. I enrolled in the spring of 2017 filled with so many emotions from excitement to nervousness for this next chapter in my journey. As I began on this path just expecting to learn how to teach yoga classes, I later would learn that I’d grow so much in my personal journey as well. Here are a few ways yoga teacher training changed my life.
A large portion of the content within yoga teacher training is pose breakdown. Here, we break down each individual yoga posture and discuss alignment as well as ways to modify and amplify. Taking the necessary time to learn how to safely achieve these poses in my own practice was amazing. Here is where my asana practice transformed. I was able to push myself past mental limits in order to go deeper while applying the philosophy I learned along the way. This ultimately allowed me to connect a lot of the missing links that went beyond the physical asana practice. Keeping up with my own personal practice while learning to teach also allowed me to remain committed to my own self-care and the reason why I started practicing in the first place.
One of my favorite parts about yoga teacher training is that I learned so much about myself. There is a great deal of introspection within the training which was unexpected but something I grew to truly love. The time for discussion and applying the yogic philosophy allowed me to go inward and really examine who I was and what I wanted out of life. It was here where I was able to release a lot of blockages that were rooted in fear and pushed me to go after what I want and need in my life.
Lastly, I learned how to safely and effectively teach a variety of yoga classes. In the training, you gain all of the hard and soft skills that are needed to teach. You are given so many tools and allowed many times to apply them in practice teaching for each module. At the end of the training you have the knowledge to get out there and share this beautiful ancient practice with the world.
If you’re feeling the nudge to take the leap into yoga teacher training I say just do it! Embark on this transformative journey whether you desire to teach one day or just want to deepen your yoga practice! Nectar Yoga Studios’ 12th 200 hr Yoga Teacher Training Class begins on March 13, 2020. Sign up before Feb 13 to save with special early bird pricing inclusive of all required textbooks. Visit our website to learn more and email all of your YTT questions to email@example.com.