Yoga Teacher Training Day 1

TRAINEE’S LOG: September 19, 2015

I signed up for my 200-Hour Yoga Teacher Training at Thrive Yoga in mid-July. I wasn’t really sure then and still I’m not quite sure now what to expect from this training if I’m honest.

Yes, I went to the information session and yes, I’ve spoken to several very satisfied graduates of the training but I’m still struggling to put my arms around what exactly I’m getting myself into. I don’t know what I don’t know.

The only thing I can say for sure is that the experience will be “life-changing” – as this was by far the most frequently-used descriptor provided to me by many past grads during my investigations which was always stated with a bright, glowy, not-at-all-devious smile so I remain cautiously optimistic.

IMG_7086I arrived at the studio this morning and, like most of my fellow trainees, I probably had a look of equals parts excitement and panic on my face. But before long we were in small groups, mixing and mingling, and soon only the excitement part remained.

The day was filled with interesting lectures to introduce us to yoga generally and the concept that yoga is, simply put, the experience of the present moment. We were introduced to the component parts of yoga practice: asana, pranayama, pratayhara, concentration, meditation, philosophy, and chanting before breaking for lunch.

Most interestingly, we learned the significant effect the internal vibrations which occur while chanting “OM” or “AUM” have been shown to have on the human brain – even doing a few rounds of “AUM” to feel the vibrations for ourselves.

Then, we dove right into the ins and out of teaching and cuing a few poses and one short and simple sequence. I grossly underestimated how difficult that is – newfound respect for every yoga teacher I’ve ever known.

Since I don’t automatically know my right from my left (don’t judge me), I didn’t get as jammed up on the mirroring piece…well, no more than I usually get jammed up when I’m talking in terms of right and left. Mirroring is when you say “right” to get the class to go to their right but since you’re facing them you’ve got to tell them “right” but – here’s where it gets tricky – you as the teacher have to go to your left. Sounds confusing, doesn’t it? Well, it is. For those who can easily differentiate left from right (unlike myself), I imagine it’s bit like you’ve stepped into Bizarro World where up is down and down is up. i’m hopeful with practice – and perhaps an “L” and “R” written in Sharpie on the corners of my mat – we’ll all improve in this area.

The last session of the day was full of discussion about what to expect from the training itself, the administrative guidelines for the training, certification requirements, and the complete training schedule. I gotta say it’s an impressive list of topics to cover – thoroughly intrigued.

The day was truly a whirlwind – didn’t feel at like 7 hours had passed. By the end of the day, there seemed to be an unspoken recognition that we trainees were all in this boat together and that was just fine with us.IMG_7087

Any residual jazzed-up feelings in the room dissipated when Susan (quite brilliantly) ended the day with a guided mediation, leaving us all feeling mellow as we left for our homes to – no doubt – answer a bunch of questions from the inquiring minds who’d been waiting for us to return home (at least that’s what happened for me).

All in all, a pretty great day – my initial optimism remains intact and perhaps has even grown a bit stronger. New friendships are already beginning to form and I’m eager to see what this journey has in store for all of us.

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