I need to embrace my inner yoga teacher

Photo: class in yoga teacher training
With Ugonma Fontaine leading the way (far left), my classmates make suggestions to resolve common problems of beginners.

Yesterday, in the practice session, I realized that I had been handicapping myself by segregating myself as a “non-teacher trainee” in the Thrive Yoga Teacher Training (YTT) program. With that status, I was withholding myself from the full spectrum of learning activities.

Over the first two weeks, I’ve been swamped by experiential, sensory and mental overload (asana, pranayama and meditation practice, reading, the pace of the classes, physical fatigue, the limited opportunity to absorb the material and experiences, all crammed in an intensive format). I relieved the pressure by tricking myself into filtering out a lot of “teacher training” part. I could go home and chill without feeling guilty about not accepting the full spectrum of assignments.

But by half-heartedly committing to the YTT program, I was depriving myself of a chance to be an open-hearted participant. Susan Bowen and her team are preparing yoga instructors — that’s their strong suit.

Yesterday, while writing about the teaching practice and my frustration, I stumbled on a way to understand the need for a different attitude: “Taking ownership of my yoga practice” is a shift in perspective. It’s the activation of the “inner teacher” that is often mentioned in the literature. I am not a passive recipient of cues. Becoming the antagonist requires taking on the role of instructor, creating and delivering a coherent sequence of yoga asanas (and other activities and conditions) that will lead to a fulfilling practice.

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