When I started my second annual 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training this past January I told all my trainees, “the world does not need more Yoga teachers, just better ones.” And as we wrapped up the intense 10 weekends of training, I am pleasantly happy with the outcome. However, part of me will always be disappointed, and it is not the first time I feel this joy mixed with disappointment.
I have many reasons to be joyous. In under three years I have gotten Aham Yoga up and running mostly on my own. Creating this yoga teacher training was no small feat, especially with a 7-day a week teaching schedule, back-end studio work, self-practice and ongoing study, and another side business that needs my attention to manage and grow. Now don’t get me wrong, I enjoy spending long days teaching and talking about all things Yoga. There is a certain rush to teaching new students how to become yoga teachers – to see the yoga teacher trainees grow and flourish into excited, hungry new yoga teachers ready to take on the world!
My disappointments stem more from within. How do I, in such a short span of time, teach these people everything I have learned about Yoga? How do I teach them that there is so much of randomness in the name of Yoga – that it is hardly even Yoga? How do I teach them that Yoga was not meant to be taught, but was meant to be imbibed into all levels of your being? How can I make them understand that it is not about Yoga poses, but about the philosophy? That Yoga is truly a way of life. That by learning it well, really well, they will find contentment, joy, and freedom on this path. How can I set them up for success? How can I protect them from failure? How I can give them the essence of Yoga with so many distractions pulling them apart each week? How can I teach them that this path is to be walked with humility, devotion, and immense discipline? That the number of social media followers is not justifiable as success? How can I make them understand that whatever happens tomorrow is completely up to them?
When one signs up for a Yoga Teacher Training, one is making many sacrifices. On the surface, you are locked into a very demanding yoga schedule. Giving up the family and social life is not easy for many trainees, especially for those who have children and families at home. Also, we have much lower attention spans nowadays making it harder for people to concentrate for extended periods of time. Add sitting on the floor to the mix and it becomes pretty intense to handle. Our Yoga Teacher Training is focused more on how you would be trained by a classical yoga teacher if you were to study in India, which means that discipline is of utmost importance. The trainees get tough love and need to prove their worth in becoming yoga teachers.
My trainees have done an amazing job this time. They have worked long and hard, and have built their teaching skills, their knowledge of yoga poses and hopefully understood what classical yoga is all about. What they do with Yoga in the future is up to them. I can only pray and hope that they will pass it on currently for years to come.
As for me, I look back on the months gone by. It’s been challenging for me to be at the studio from 7:30am to 6:30pm the entire weekend. I am ready for some down time and plunging back into my Yoga study and practice until the next round of Yoga Teacher Training begin.