This photo is clearly not from teacher training; it was taken by my friend Vanessa on a trip to Fraser Island a few years ago.
I started yoga teacher training this weekend and it was awesome. It was also scary and overwhelming, but mostly it was awesome. It all started bright and early Saturday morning with 34 students and 3 teachers chanting and meditating for a while. I don't know about everyone else, but I certainly felt nervous. I was quickly put at ease by our wonderful teachers though, who talked about what a great gift it is that we are able to do this and how wonderful it is that we are all devoted enough to give up our weekends for the next 3 months. Yes, from now until June I will be at yoga school all day every Saturday and Sunday. But I don't mind, I know how lucky am I to be doing this.
Over this first weekend we talked about our best and worst experiences in yoga classes, we had a crash course in Sanskrit, and we practiced lots of yoga. We also spent time getting to know each other, which was one of the best parts. Although we're mostly all strangers (I have one friend), I can tell we all have so much in common and I can't wait to get to know everyone better. The scariest part of the weekend happened yesterday when we were given a sequence and had 5 minutes to teach it to our fellow students. Even though there were no real expectations of us, I was petrified. I felt like I had no idea what I was doing, but I got through my sequence and had mostly positive feedback. Teaching for 5 minutes made me realize how much thought and effort goes into teaching, and it's given me a whole new appreciation for all of the yoga teachers I have ever had. I remember when I was following the lovely Nina's teacher training journey, she wrote about practice teaching: "I felt like I was trying to juggle, on one foot, while singing a song, while counting backwards" (from this post). That pretty much sums up what my 5 minutes felt like, but it also felt good and I was proud that I did it.
It was a brilliant weekend, and I'm looking forward to everything that they throw at us over the next 3 months. I have a feeling that I am going to learn a whole lot, and in the meantime, I have to get started on my homework...