Yoga Teacher Training - Days 18-23
I apologize that this has been delayed - this blog post ended up being much more difficult to write than my first two. Not because we did tons and tons of things over the last bit of training and it was taking longer, but because I wasn't quite sure how to put the last few days of training, and my experience/emotions about it, into words. I'm still not 100% sure I can do it justice, but I want to give it my best shot.
My last 5 days of yoga teacher training felt like they went by faster than one regular day at home does. Talk about in the blink of an eye. I blinked, and it was over, and I was a yoga teacher! Day 18 started a new phase of our training, the last phase. Practicing our Nauli, pranayama and meditation on our own to start the day. This meant 30 minutes of meditation, which of course terrified me to no end seeing as how I could barely get through 10 minutes most days. Everything was definitely a struggle, sitting still for that long and trying to keep my focus, but I made it through the 30 minutes. We had our usual MPS and had our break. Since we'd finished asana clinic by now, our afternoon started with group teaching, where we were split into groups of 4 and MPS was also split into 4 parts. So one person would start, and we'd rotate in an out until the last person was teaching and they'd also close the class. This was our first time teaching more than one pose to more than just one person, so it was exciting to see the differences in teaching multiple people vs just one. I taught basically the whole seated sequence and closed out the class. The hardest part (as it was when I taught my meditation) was doing the OM at the end of the class! I don't know why that part is so terrifying for me, but for some reason, hearing the sound of my voice chanting OM, for just that .01 second before others have joined, is like nails on a chalkboard to me. On our last free day, a friend and I woke up super early and rode bikes up to the very top of the island to watch the sunrise. This was actually my first, and only, sunrise of my month on the island. I figured I'd be way too tired later in the day if I went on a day with practice, but I'm glad I got to see at least one. There were more people up early to watch than I expected, which was a nice surprise actually. The rest of the free day was rather calm - naps, massages and food!
Our last week started the same way as Friday had - with our solo practice in the morning. I still struggled through meditation, and realized that once I got home, if I was going to continue a meditation practice, I needed to go back down to 10 minutes for the time being! We had our last true class together that morning, which was Rocket 1, which I happen to love. Our teacher put on "I Think Of You" before the practice started and gave a little speech, having us think back to the first time we practice together in the shala, and how much we had gone through together the past three weeks. I won't lie, I had tears in my eyes by the time we actually started practicing (and I can't listen to that song now without thinking of that speech and practice!). That should have been a clue as to how emotional I'd be the next few days! I think that ended up being one of my best practices the whole time I was at YTT.
I won't go into too much detail about the last couple of things we did, but some of them included a sequencing workshop where we practiced sequencing our own classes (so be warned, if you come to my first class - it's probably going to be that hip opening class I planned out, because I love it!), a shavasana workshop where we got adjusted in shavasana for 12 straight minutes (aka complete BLISS) and more practice teaching to get us ready for the exam. The last two days before our exam were very chill, short days which was really nice since we had been going hard for so long. It was a good rest before the final exam and our final day as a group together.
I also don't want to give away any details about the final exam or graduation in case someone reading eventually does their training with All Yoga, but I will say that graduation from YTT was easily one of the happiest days of my life. I felt like I had overcome so much in my time at training, physically, mentally and emotionally, and this was a culmination of all of that hard work paying off. When I started yoga last year, I didn't really have plans to become a yoga teacher. I really just wanted to work on my handstands. But I realized how much my teachers meant to me - how much they taught me about yoga and myself - and I eventually realized that I want to be able to bring yoga into others lives like my teachers brought yoga into my life. To teach people that yoga isn't only a physical practice, but a mental and emotional practice as well.
I've never worked so hard in one month in my entire life - not as a cheerleader, not as a gymnast - never. There were some days I thought I wouldn't be able to make it another day in training. I was exhausted and I just wanted a rest. But the other students, my teachers, family, and everyone I've met on Instagram were always supporting me through the journey of teacher training and made sure that even if I had a bad day, I'd show up to the shala the next.
Now that I've been back for almost two weeks, I've slowly readjusted to life back at home. It was hard at the beginning (if you follow me on IG, I am sure you know this!). I cried on my way to my first day back at work. I'm still not sure why - I was actually excited to see my coworkers and tell them all about training! But it just felt strange being back. I wasn't quite sure how to live in a world where I wasn't doing yoga all day everyday anymore. I'm still working through it, trying to figure out exactly HOW training changed me. I know it did, but I'm still not sure how. I may never really understand how it changed me, or maybe I'll see a friend and they'll tell me! But to those that said YTT would be a life-changing experience - you were absolutely, 100% right!
Lastly, I just want to say, if you are thinking about doing a yoga teacher training, I would recommend it 110%. Even if you aren't thinking about becoming a teacher. YTT is an amazing experience that is extremely useful for your self-practice as well. Yes, I learned how to teach a yoga class, but I learned the importance of a self-practice as well, which I think is valuable information for everyone who has a yoga practice. Also, if you guys have any questions for me about my YTT that I didn't answer here, or anything at all (immersive program vs spread out program, traveling vs staying close to home, how to choose a program), please feel free to send me an email or direct message on Instagram! I am happy to answer any questions you may have :)
I hope you guys have enjoyed learning a little bit more about my experience at yoga teacher training, and to my All Yoga Bali Feb 2018 family - I love you guys with ALL my heart!