This weekend, I’ll be graduating from my yoga teacher training program. We have a short session tonight, followed by a little party at the Thai restaurant next door to the yoga center, and then a full day tomorrow, and then I’m done! Ten months of work and learning and growing. I’m a little sad for it to end: I’ve really gotten to love my classmates, and I’ll miss seeing them all the time. I will also miss having the time set aside specifically to work on my yoga and my spirituality. (And of course I’ll miss the unlimited hatha yoga class pass that comes with the program – I’m going to have to start PAYING to go to yoga classes again!)
But I really feel like I’m ready. I’ve learned so much, and really come so far since I started training in March. I feel like I’ve gotten out of this program what I wanted to get out of it: I have the confidence to teach yoga, first of all, and most of the expertise necessary to do so, and more will come with more teaching experience. I also really wanted to explore the spiritual aspects of yoga and meditation, and this program definitely gave me the time and support I needed to do that. I’d like to look into teaching meditation on its own, actually. I think that, combining both the yoga teaching confidence and the time spent on spirituality, I’ve grown as a person and I feel much more confident and happy and comfortable in myself. That’s the sort of thing I couldn’t expect or predict, but only hope for, at the start of the training.
The ten months of this program felt like forever at times, but looking back, I’m really glad I chose such a long-term training. I’ve talked to friends who’ve had shorter training programs, and it seems like in order to get all the hours in, they have to cram a lot of information into a short amount of time. In my program, I really had a chance to absorb everything I was learning. Now it’s hard for me to separate some of the things I’ve learned or point to specific things that I learned, because it’s all a part of me. I feel like the ten months was transformative in that way: I wasn’t a yoga teacher before, and I am one now, not just because I finished a program but in some indefinable way that has to do with who I am. I’m not saying that teachers who choose short or intensive programs get less of this; I just know that if I’d done a program like that, I would still feel like I had a lot of work to do afterwards. I really wanted that spiritual growth piece in my teacher training, and you just can’t cram that into a short amount of time. (On the other hand, you can’t cram it into ten months either, and I’ll be working on my meditation practice for the rest of my life – but I feel like I have a good firm foundation to build on.)
Overall, I feel really proud of what I’ve accomplished. I’m going to enjoy the heck out of this weekend, and then do some relaxing and unwinding over the holidays, and then see what happens next.