I’ve been wanting to enroll in a yoga teacher training program for a while now. When I was laid off from my job and moved to the Philadelphia area in summer 2006, I deposited my severance check into a savings account and mentally reserved it to pay for my teacher training. I hadn’t looked into programs yet, but I knew that I wanted to do it. So… what took so long?
Life, mostly. I moved to Philly; I found a job; I moved into a new apartment. Then I fell in love with a guy who lived in California and spent the next two years traveling, planning trips, and recovering from jet lag. At the end of 2008, we got engaged. Then he moved cross-country; we got a bigger apartment, planned our wedding, then our honeymoon. It’s amazing how much time all that stuff can take up. I was practicing yoga all along, at home, at the gym, and at studios in the area, but didn’t have the time to invest in another big project.
When my now-husband F started looking for jobs in Philly in fall 2008, I started researching teacher training programs and found some good options in our area, like Yoga on Main in Manayunk, where my friend Lucia did her training. Then F got here, and having him actually around all the time was a big change, plus we had to find a larger apartment. I started researching again in summer 2009 after we moved to our current home. That’s when I saw that Jennifer Schelter, a teacher I really admire, was going to be doing a teacher training… in the neighborhood I’d just moved away from. We’d moved from one side of Philly to the suburbs on the other side, and from our new home, it would take me close to an hour to get to Jennifer’s studio. I couldn’t commit to a commute like that, not while planning my wedding too. I knew that when I did my training, I wanted to be truly able to devote my time and energy to it, not just to squeeze it in. So the timing just wasn’t right.
F and I got married in June 2010 and had an amazing honeymoon in Belize in November. We came home to all the usual holiday activity, but after Christmas, he encouraged me to start looking at teacher trainings again. And, as my friend Kristina often accuses me, I don’t seem to be happy without a project. So I started looking, and about an hour later I clicked on East Eagle’s website. They were having their teacher training again this year, and in fact would be hosting an information session in one week! Perfect timing. I went to the session, practiced at the studio a few times, dragged F along for his expert opinion, and consulted with some other yogis I know in the area. I heard, observed, and experienced nothing but good things, and East Eagle’s approach to teacher training really clicked with me.
They set up their program over a series of ten months so that students will have time to absorb what they’re learning – different from trainings that take a fast-paced approach, where you drop everything else for a month and just do yoga. Those programs have many benefits, of course, but I imagine it’d be a challenge to really retain everything you learn. I had considered finding an intensive program and taking a leave of absence from my job – part of me wanted to just get the teacher training over with! But East Eagle’s approach really appeals to me, and they’ve structured their program so that it’s reasonable to accomplish it during your normal life. I’ll be there one weekend a month, Friday and Saturday, from March through December. Once a month is do-able, and I’ll still have Sundays for, you know, life stuff like errands and laundry. I’ll also have to attend yoga class at least once a week (complimentary yoga? I’m there) and read books (hang around this blog for a little while and you’ll see the great enthusiasm with which I’ll tackle that particular requirement).
I also like East Eagle’s approach to yoga itself. They don’t want to teach me just a series of poses – they’re most interested in where yoga leads us, the spiritual benefits of meditation. And that’s something I want to explore too. So the timing is right and both the course schedule and content fits with my lifestyle. This training really seems like the right fit for me. And it starts this weekend, so we’ll soon find out if all my hypotheses are on the mark!