This weekend’s teacher training session was, first of all, pretty fantastic. I drove home Friday night thinking, Wow, I think I’m really going to love this. N & J are great and teach really well together. There are 12 trainees in the program, and I really like all of them so far – and I’m not just saying that because we’re all friending each other on Facebook and they might read this, I genuinely do like them all. Which isn’t all that big of a surprise when you think about it, because what kind of people are going to choose to drop $2K+ on a yoga teacher training course? People like me, that’s who, people who like things I like and are passionate about things I’m passionate about. We’re all different people, of course, at different points in our lives (some of the other students are younger than me, some older; some have little children or grown children or no children at all), but we have a common bond just by virtue of the fact that this was important enough to each of us that we plunked down our money and chose to be in that room. So, yeah, I do like everybody, and everybody had something interesting to say at some point in the weekend. N & J made the point that, at first, the two of them will be doing most of the talking as we cover the basics, but later on, the trainees will be doing most of the talking. I’m happy to hear all of these people talk.
The class itself of course was really interesting. We spent most of our time in lecture, which surprised me a little (although I’m not sure what I was expecting). Friday night we did introductions (kind of awkward – I think everyone was about as nervous as I was – but by the end of class on Saturday we were all more comfortable and I think we all know one another’s names now). Friday’s lecture covered, first and foremost, requirements for graduation, which are as follows:
- Attendance at the weekend seminars
- Attendance to hatha yoga class at least once per week
- Completion of writing assignments on time each month
- Ability to teach a yoga class by the end of the program.
Very reasonable, I think, but N wanted to emphasize that they’ve had a number of students in the past who might’ve made good yoga teachers but who didn’t complete their requirements and therefore didn’t graduate. Point taken. Friday’s lecture also covered the basics of our yoga tradition and lineage, and what it means to be a “householder” yogi (i.e., we’re not closeted up in an ashram, we live in the world with homes and families and responsibilities). Much of this I had heard in some form before (probably in BKS Iyengar’s Light on Life, which I may have to reread after this program is over), but still, informative. We finished class with a brief yoga practice together, which kicked my butt. (This will be a common theme, at least for a while, because I’m used to vinyasa-style yoga, where you flow through the poses, and N & J are teaching us to teach classical hatha yoga, which emphasizes holding the poses for much longer, which I’m not at all used to and which results in the aforementioned butt-kicking.) N asked us to pay attention to our practice and see where we were and what we learned about ourselves through the practice. I learned that if I practice yoga after 9:00 at night, I fall asleep in sivasana. Probably not quite what she was going for, but good to know nonetheless.