I first fell in love with yoga 14 years ago after I walked out of my first yoga class blissed-out and completely at peace. The next time I fell in love with yoga was during savasana in the first class I taught. After guiding the students to relax, I took my first deep breath of the class and sat at the front of the room watching in awe at their perfect stillness and the delicate movements of their breathing. The most recent time I fell in love with yoga was during the closing ceremonies of the first teacher training I taught. We went around the room and each student had the opportunity to talk about their experience. Each one said they had expected to gain some knowledge, but didn’t realize how much the training would change their lives. Some were brought to tears. Every one of them expressed their gratitude to the group for the experience.
Teacher trainings are more intimate than the regular group classes which creates an almost instant community. The brunt of the information is introduced in the first few weeks of the training, which can be intense. This intensity is extremely valuable and often the crucible for the personal transformations that end up taking place. The trainings not only encourage people to refine their postures, but to refine how they are living their lives. And what’s so magical is that it all seems to happen so indirectly. The training isn’t about personal transformation, but it seems almost inevitable considering the material covered. It’s not a requirement that you want to change your life… but it seems to happen any ways.
This benefit isn’t exclusive to the students. As a trainer, I have been transformed with every training too. I have been confronted and challenged by my ego, my insecurities, my integrity, my compassion, and my ability to hold the space for all of it. I am not a swami or a guru. I am a student too. And with each passing training I have felt humbled and empowered on my path as a teacher.