I remember my very first yoga class – I was working in an office job and once a week a yoga teacher came in to give a lesson during lunchtime. I remember how much I struggled; sweat pouring out of me, tight hamstrings screaming, and a dawning realization that my body strength was nonexistent… But, I was hooked! I just knew that I had to go back to the next class, and I felt like I was floating for the rest of the day. And the teacher was so incredible – her adjustments really helped me understand where my body should be in each asana.
Fast forward 3 years later and my love for yoga has grown and grown, and I have completed a 200 hour teacher training course (TTC). Now I can look back and see the many ways in which it has transformed my asana practice. Here are just some of them:
I have learned how to adjust myself during practice
In learning about the correct alignment for each asana, and how to adjust others, I am now much more aware of where I should be working towards in each asana. Now, during the 5 breaths I spend in each pose, I’m not waiting for a teacher to adjust me – instead I can adjust myself. I’m consciously moving my body towards better alignment with each inhale and exhale.
My practice is safer
Learning about how to safely modify practice for beginners and different body types has made me reflect on my own practice and see that sometimes I was really damaging my body. Now my aim is not to improve my strength and flexibility as quickly as possible, but to safely work at my body’s pace.
My motivation to practice has never been better
There have been some periods in my life where the thought of rolling out my mat every morning seems stressful and unattainable. However, after consistently practicing everyday with a group of likeminded people and feeling the benefits in my mind and body, I’ve never been more excited to practice in the mornings.
I have learned to have patience with myself
After such an intense months training, I can look back and see that there really are some days when taking it easy is better. I have learned that I can’t push myself to new limits and asanas everyday and that’s fine. The most important thing is to show up on my mat and put in the effort that I can, and the rest will follow. Of course, there are days when I want to push myself, and that’s fine too; the important thing is that now I’m working in harmony with my body.
I realised how little I know about yoga
After taking the teacher training course I feel like I have a deeper understanding of my practice. But with yoga, the more I learn, the more I realise I have so much more to learn! It is a truly humbling experience to realise how little you understand.
I am so grateful for all of the support I received during my teacher training from the incredible teachers and students I was surrounded with, and can’t believe how much change I have felt in myself. For those people who are unsure if they wish to teach, but still wish to immerse themselves in their practice more, I would definitely recommend looking into taking a TTC as an option!