I’ve been leading teacher training programs for more than a decade, and it never ceases to amaze me how much people transform during the process. In the beginning, everyone is excited to get to know each other and learn all about the yoga that they love so much. And, they do! You learn anatomy for yoga, how the poses work, the best way to help students in adjustments, and all about the philosophical underpinnings of yoga. It is an incredible learning experience, and people absorb so much because they are so passionate about the practice.
Go Beyond the Postures and Let the Yoga Do its Job
At some point along the way, though, the yoga starts to do its job, which is to create transformation. Yoga is meant to change us from the inside out; to shift the way we look at and participate in the world. It’s much more than just a practice designed to align our physical body, it has the potential to align our heart and mind as well. When students learn that yoga is a state of mind, and that the practice of yoga gives us access to this mind state, they often dive deeply into the inner workings of the yoga practice. They move beyond the postures (asanas) to try looking at life through a new lens. For example, when students learn to meditate in their teacher training, they often realize that the effects of the practice are further reaching than their meditation cushion. Their colleagues and friends notice how much less stressed out they are and how much easier it is for them to overcome challenges.
Be Ready to Find Your True Path
However, sometimes people also do major “course-corrections” in their life through their yoga teacher training, too. As a sailing term, we course-correct when the wind has blown us a bit off track and we need to turn the sails to get going in the right direction. The deeper practices of yoga show us where we have gotten off track, and how we might redirect ourselves in order to follow our true path. I’ve seen students gather the strength to quit their jobs, move house, or change relationships through the power of yoga. It suddenly becomes crystal clear that the things they had been suffering with for years prevent them from aligning themselves with their life purpose. Yoga practice and the support of the teacher training shows them that suffering is optional, and indeed, they are powerful enough to choose for themselves their path to healthy living.
Become a Master...of Your Own Life
Ultimately, those who successfully complete a yoga teacher training are able to guide people through a sun salutation, but a training experience is so much more than that. It is an opportunity to re-examine what is most important to you and develop the courage to live in accord with that. Yoga is an amazing thing; it stretches your hamstrings, but it also bends your mind. In addition to mastering the poses and breathing through a vinyasa, you learn how to master your life.
By Alanna Kaivalya
Alanna believes Yoga is for everyone and each student can develop the self-empowerment needed to embark on a personal journey to meaningful transformation. On this principle she founded The Kaivalya Yoga Method, a fresh take on yoga emphasizing the individual path while honoring tradition. Teaching students since 2001, teachers since 2003, Alanna has written and developed teacher trainings worldwide for top studios and independently. In January she debuted a comprehensive 200hr-online teacher training with YogaDownload. She holds a Ph.D. in Mythological Studies with an Emphasis in Depth Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute, has authored numerous articles and two books: Myths of the Asanas, an accessible practitioner’s guide to stories behind beloved poses; Sacred Sound, a yoga “hymnal,” illustrating the role of chant and mantra in modern practice. Look for her third book, Yoga Beyond the Mat, in Autumn 2016.She lives in New York City with Roxy the Wonderdog.
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