Joy’s Yoga Teacher Training Diary
Whilst studying with Yogafurie Academy Yoga Teacher Training, you write your own personal practice diary as you progress through the course.
Joy, a graduate from Yogafurie Academy 200 Hour, a Hot Yoga Teacher with us and now our Teacher Training Coordinator has kindly volunteered her Teacher Training diary to offer a unique insight into a Teacher Trainee’s progression throughout the course!
A fantastic article as part of our Teacher Trainee Stories! Another way for you to really learn what to expect whilst on your Yoga Teacher Training journey.
Yoga has been a part of my life now in some form or another and at varying frequencies for about 12 years. I didn’t pretend to understand it or need to be particularly good at it, I simply enjoyed the physical practice and the 1 hour of thinking about nothing else.
Maybe a couple of years ago now I started to want to push my progression a bit further so challenged myself to start attending classes more regularly. In terms of my physical practice I noticed a significant change in my strength and flexibility, and along the way started to learn a bit more about yoga. I’ve never had a regular home practice, have tried at times but not really felt like I know what I’m doing. This is something I hope to develop through the 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training course.
Starting Yoga Teacher Training
I had been thinking about it for a year or so, again wanting to progress further in my practice and take on a new challenge. Not certain that I wanted to teach but interested in exploring it and maybe open up some new opportunities. I took a long time thinking about it, partly because it is a big commitment but mainly if I’m honest, anxiety about discovering I didn’t fit the bill. I wouldn’t consider myself a typical yogi; never being entirely comfortable with the more spiritual side and don’t think I’ve ever had an inner hippie. Maybe I’ll find her on the way…
Jan 2018 – weekend 1
Morning of day 1, nervous about what was to come, meeting 12 new people and just the unknown in general, but actually quite looking forward to finding out. After an early start, going straight into practice for the first class of the day was actually a relief because, I can do that bit! Bonded with the other Yoga teacher trainees in the changing rooms over how nervous we all were and over breakfast started to find that although there was a wide range of people from different backgrounds we were all pretty similar.
The first weekend of my 200 hour course was intense but really interesting. I already feel like I have a better understanding of Yoga and knowing its origins makes me more aware of the purpose of the physical practice. Some theoretical concepts were heavy work but certainly got me thinking and already noticing the difference in my mindset in classes. It gets you thinking about your belief system but not in a way which challenges you to change, just revisiting what you believe and being able to decide what you want to take and what to leave from what is being taught.
I had challenged myself to embrace some of the “weirder” bits and actually enjoyed learning about them. The physiology has always been the main point of interest for me and I enjoyed learning a bit more about my own body, thinking about particular muscles & postures and learning about respiration. Having some of these new areas to focus on has been interesting in classes since as I’m thinking more about developing each posture rather than going through the motions.
Feeling engaged and excited to learn more and see how this thing works out.
Now 2 Yoga Teacher Training weekends in and getting more familiar and confident with the various subjects. In classes I’m more aware of not only developing my own ability in each posture but observing the impact of movements on other parts of my body. Trying to remember more of the Sanskrit but struggling with this as well as remembering names of muscle etc when reading.
Started a home Yoga practice! But still working on how to make it routine.
With a busy few weeks lately it’s been hard to incorporate reading & study time so looking forward to the next weekend to give me another kick start. When I have been reading I’ve been working my way through Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras which I’ve found more interesting and easier to understand than I expected. It has been interesting to think of Yoga more in terms of the physical practice being about preparation for a bigger goal rather than being a goal in itself.
Feel like I’ve relaxed into my teaching style a bit more now with a few attempts under my belt; quite enjoyed the last 2 times now the nerves have reduced and I feel less like I’m standing in front of people talking about something I know nothing about. Perhaps it’s because I know a bit more, partly being less concerned with doing it perfectly & embracing my awkward but light-hearted style. Can’t be anyone but myself it turns out…
Home practice has been lost but now we have to put together our own class plans this might be a good way to get back into it.
Finished reading Patanjali. Basically once we achieve Samadhi we’ll realise none of this exists anyway. I can get on board with that.
In the last couple of months the course has become part of my routine; the reading, classes, and enjoying the course weekends.
Started to deliver my own classes to friends. Will save the details of that for my reflective assignment but writing and delivering them has improved my understanding of physical practice greatly. It’s helped push me more into a home practice, as I need to do it in order to know what I am delivering works. On the other hand my home practice is primarily about preparation for my classes and I need to find a balance between it being both work and personal practice. Alongside the study and life in general getting busy it’s getting more challenging. But interesting!!
It’s been a super busy couple of months, non-yoga related and for a while life had to take priority over my Yoga Teacher Training. I’ve kept up teaching which I’m really enjoying but home practice and attendance at classes had to give a little in order to meet the presentation, exam and reflective assignment deadlines. Now that’s done and dusted and another trainee weekend under my belt I’m ready to get stuck in again. Home practice is improving, definitely more confident in how to practice alone and string poses together.
The build towards the end and the last month free of other assignments has meant I can have full immersion in developing my own practice and knowledge. Enjoying the reading, and have developed an (almost) daily practice. With a full time job I think it will always be difficult to incorporate daily practice around life but I’m enjoying taking a bit of time each day to work on myself in one way or another. Physically I’m feeling stronger, and I miss asana practice if I haven’t done at least a little each day. I’ve continued teaching my group and really enjoying sharing what I’m learning with others; seeing them enjoy it too. Nerves are building towards the final exam and teaching assessment but there’s been plenty of time to prepare this month.
So the Yoga Teacher Training exam and teaching assessment came and went in a flash. It was great to share the combination of excitement and terror with the other trainees, my Sangha. Feeling proud watching my fellow students running their own class, each with their own unique style that they’ve developed as the year had gone on, and feeling their support as I did mine. Strangely the teaching assessment for me was immense fun, the nerves dissipated into concentration as soon as the class kicked off. Giving a verbal cue and watching everyone make a minor adjustment for the better was hugely satisfying.
As for the exam, there’s no denying it was tough and detailed, pretty much as you’d expect from our teacher, Ed! But we got through it and it was at that point we realised how much we’d learnt. As complex as the content is, we felt it had finally all come together in the last month.
Overall I’m sad it’s over and will miss the total absorption of the course for a weekend a month, as well as the other trainees, but we will definitely remain a part of one another’s lives. The journey will really start now as I need to find my own way through yoga, and working harder to maintain my own practice without the pressure of course expectations to motivate me. Everyone on the course has been asking each other what the key thing we’ve taken away from the course has been. I find it hard to answer questions like this but I think for me it has been understanding and acceptance, of my style as a teacher, but on a much deeper level an understanding of my “Self”.
We would love for you to join us at Yogafurie Academy for your transformational journey with Yoga Teacher Training in Bristol! Take a look at the links provided here. Get in touch, and if you want to know more before you commit, check out our Yoga Teacher Trainee stories. Honest and true insights into the experiences of our graduates.