People from all walks of life choose to enroll in yoga teacher training programs. Although some participants are focused primarily on cultivating the necessary skills for becoming an actual yoga teacher, many others simply want to deepen their lives. As with most things in life, there is no “right” reason for attending a yoga teacher training, just endless possibilities for self-growth.
About six years ago, while living in Anchorage, Alaska, I decided I wanted to invest in a yoga teacher training program. So, I began a thorough investigation of the various local studios, their programs, the types of experience their teachers possessed and even the curriculum. I even attended yoga classes held in the actual studio, to glean a better sense of the energy of the space. Eventually, I decided upon a training that met eleven intensive weekends, over the course of the year.
Like many others in my cohort of thirteen people, I had little desire to teach yoga (at least in a traditional sense). In truth, the mere idea of standing in front of a class, with all eyes tightly focused on my every word and gestures, terrified me.
I suspect that my reasons for enrolling, at least at the time, were to deepen my understanding of the philosophy and practice of yoga and to become a more disciplined yogi. I wanted to learn the proper alignment of all my favorite postures and to have a dedicated space, in which I could try, and try again.
Years later, I see that my entire life has been transformed by my teacher training, in ways that continue to amaze me. Like many other women in my training, I was searching for a sense of wholeness, a way to authentically connect with my higher self and with the magnificent creator of my life. Before the training, I had little idea of how to nourish my body, mind and spirit, in any way other than compulsive habits and external success. I wondered also, who I actually was and how to more honestly align my choices with my highest self. And, quieting my mind through meditation and pranayama, was not something that ever seemed possible. To this day, my closest, dearest friends, are women I met in my teacher training program.
Some days I wonder if I should consider teaching yoga, wonder if perhaps, investing so much time and energy warrants a financial return. And then I remember the true gifts of my training. I am able to sit, with compassion and in gratitude, for the strength and confidence I discovered, over the course of that year. I am grateful for the loving husband who shares in my struggles, and for my willingness to receive his love, for my appreciation of my breath and the stunning moments that steal it, and for my unwavering knowing that we are all integral parts of a divine, natural plan.
Although a few of the women in my training did go on to become yoga instructors, others have taken as varied a journey as myself. Two of my close friends (from the training) were dedicated mothers who had taken time away for self-care, through the training. Neither of those women teach an official class, but I am certain that their personal growth has enriched the experience of motherhood. Another woman in my program, who was in her late sixties, enrolled so she could “find her voice.” Another woman, a very close friend of mine, just wanted to study the practice, and she continues to be a student, studying the yamas, principles of Ayurveda and embracing a holistic lifestyle. For each of us, the training offered something individual and sweet. I suspect that, despite your initial intentions, taking a yoga teacher training program will transform your life in the most beautiful of ways as well.
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Yoga teacher training Rishikesh says
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