Why I almost didn’t become a yoga teacher…

Before I did my 200 hr Yoga Teacher Training I had at least five good reasons why I thought I couldn’t do it.

It wasn’t convenient…

The training I wanted to go to was a month long intensive in Costa Rica to study with Gabrielle Raiz. I was currently living in New Zealand, planning a move to the UK and it was scheduled at the same time as my brother’s wedding back in Canada. Even though I didn’t know how I was going to do it, I made a leap of faith and filled in my application form and paid my deposit.

Several months before the training, my brother and his fiance called off their wedding. At the same time, my entry visa to the UK was approved, so we moved across the world, got married and applied for the spousal visa. Even though everything was now in place, I still didn’t know if I’d even have a passport to fly because it was currently in the UKBA’s possession with only a guess as to when I’d get it back. Thankfully, it arrived the week before the start of the course.

It was expensive…

Because I had spent a lot of money on applying for a UK visa, I literally only had $500 for the deposit when I paid it and wasn’t sure how I was going to pay for the rest of it. But I had faith that something would work out.

And it did. I made a video application for a scholarship and was awarded a $1000 prize towards my tuition. My house in New Zealand sold quickly and I had enough to cover the rest of the tuition, accommodation and my flights for the training.

I couldn’t do impressive looking poses…

Before I moved to the UK, I had participated in the training for the Bikram yoga competitions in New Zealand and was surrounded by people who could do very impressive poses.

They could literally bend over backwards and then hold onto their ankles. Or stand on their hands and rest their feet on their heads. Or balance on their fingertips and float their legs out behind them.

My most impressive pose was standing balancing head to knee. I worked hard to be able to do it and this was the entry point, the very first pose you had to do to enter the competition.

I didn’t think I had been doing yoga long enough...

Although I had dabbled in yoga many years before, I hadn’t really taken it seriously until I started doing Bikram yoga in 2010. When I put my application in, I had only been doing hot yoga classes regularly for eleven months and yin yoga at home for six months. Then I moved to the UK and the closest hot yoga studio was at least an hour’s drive away.

I tried out a variety of styles of yoga in Sheffield and settled on Ashtanga Yoga at the Yoga Shala on London Rd. I enjoyed the structure of the practice, but quickly realised that even though I had been doing Bikram yoga for a year, that did not prepare me for 50+ vinyasas per class. I really disliked downward facing dog and spent much of the first couple of months cursing in my head and not feeling particularly yogic.

I had two young daughters…

We had just moved to the UK and I was concerned to leave them in a new country with a new family. Not only that, but whilst my youngest was settled in school, there wasn’t a place for my oldest so I was homeschooling her until we could get her in. It was a lot of work because I created assignments and projects that she could work on whilst I was away and I cut my lunch breaks short so I could skype with them daily during their evening back in the UK.

Yet I had to do it...

In short, like having kids, there is never a perfect time to do your teacher training. There is only now. There are always bills to pay, children to look after, other things you could be doing with your time. There will always be people who can do the poses better and have done yoga for longer.

There's a quote by Judith Lasater that I like, she says 'Yoga's not about touching your toes, it's about what you learn on the way down.' Whether that may be two seconds, two months or two years. You may not feel ready, and that’s ok. I certainly didn’t. I felt sick throughout the whole flight. Yet, I knew I had to do it. Deep down I knew it was a path I needed to take and that if I didn’t, then I’d regret it.

If this is how you feel, and you’ll know it if you do, then email me (koreen@hotyogasheffield.co.uk) to figure out how we can make it work for you.

Ready for a life change?

Janine Leagh, Hot Yogi Australia YOGA Senior facilitator, says you don't need to want to be a yoga teacher to do a yoga teacher training course, but it just might change your life. 

When I started my Yoga Teacher Training, I wasn't interested in being a yoga teacher, I already had a well paid, full time job but had been dabbling with yoga for quite a few years by myself.

Some of my friends would ask if they could join in, until there were a few of us that almost constituted a class.

Being a fitness fanatic, I loved a strong dynamic style of yoga asana but I undertook the training because I wanted to get a deeper look into the philosophy and the roots of yoga.

I've always had an interest in figuring out what I deemed my 'messed up head' and had studied psychology and many self help modalities, but it was the Yoga studies that really took me by the hand and led me down the path of truth.

It was a game changer for me.

That was in 1999 and I haven't stopped since, it is a way of life for me now.