After practicing yoga on and off for over 15 years and realising how much good yoga brings to my life, I decided to extend my knowledge on the philosophical aspects of yoga along with the physical. Which means developing more knowledge on the asanas (postures) and pranayama (breathing), integrating the cleansing methods (nauli), meditation and let's not forget learning about the history & philosophy of yoga, through Patanjali’s sutras, the Bhagavad Gita and so much more. In order to get the proper tools to do so I decided to join a yoga teacher training course.
So where do I start?
Which course shall I join ?
Yoga has become very popular and a lot of yogis feel the same impuls to fully integrate yoga in their life and there are a lot of courses available in the UK, including Scotland (more suitable for me), that are made to tailor pretty every situations; 200hrs spread over a month in the UK or abroad, 200hrs spread over a year with classes in the weekend in the UK,… depending if you could afford to not work for a month and have an intensive course all week or if you cannot afford to stop working for a month and would prefer having more time to deepen your practice and knowledge…. I definitely was tempted with the idea to spread the course over a year both for money reason as for enabling me to develop my practice more progressively and integrate it in my daily life and routine and build up the right discipline. Like most people I started looking on Internet and found plenty courses and a few of them were matching my criteria. Yet I was not sure which one to go for.
I then decided to ask my dear friend Manu who qualified a few years ago as she went through the same process herself, like many aspiring yoga teachers.... She also put me in touch with the lovely Helen and Demelza from Mudra Yoga in Edinburgh, which course was really appealing and so popular that their class for the year was already fully booked when I contacted them. Manu also mentioned she had hesitated with a course with CYS (Classical Yoga School) which classes are spread over a year and taking place in Edinburgh and Perth on turn and she commented on how lovely the school tutor June Mitchell was. I decided to have a look at their program and saw they were organising open door days. I drove to the beautiful Perthshire to meet up with the other yogis and teachers, where I was welcomed and introduced to the programme. I felt immediately in my element. Was it due to the environment (the Birnam Arts Center) located in Perthshire, my favourite place in Scotland, or to the warmth coming out from June Mitchell, the CYS school director? Probably from both. I spent a lovely time there, shared a delicious vegan lunch with other potential yogis and the teachers ... and my decision was made: I was going to join this course. I was a bit scared at first as I was not sure I had the right level....and started reading and asking around until I got to realise that Yoga is also about acknowledging and accepting things for what they are ... and so I enrolled to the course full of confidence that I would deepen my practice and develop my knowledge on Yoga philosophy.
I started the course the first weekend of September and got my certification on the 28th of July. What a fantastic journey, I met such great human beings among my fellow yogis and inspiring tutors. It was a hard year and I'm not talking here about the learning and homeworks combined with a full time job for which I travelled frequently abroad - yet it was challenging - I'm more referring to my progress in performing the asanas of the Ashtanga primary series. From the very beginning I started to have a sharp pain in the hips when doing forward bends and I had difficulties with postures requiring arms & shoulder strength and I broke a toe three months before the end of the course - you should have seen me trying to do chaturanga with the left foot not touching the floor. This required much more effort from my already week arms and shoulders. I kept going as I was really motivated and I was so much looking forward to the weekend courses. And it is thanks to the course that I found my calling in regards of a future yoga teaching career. As part of one of our assignments we had to think of the type of yoga classes we were aspiring to teach and also to which group. And I found out I'd love to teach yoga to kids - I'll dedicate a future post with more info about it and which kids yoga teacher training I joined.
Throughout the course I also realised that I loved yoga a bit more everyday, that despite any limitations I had for performing certain asanas, I fully embrace yoga by accepting what is for what it is and that I was exactly how I should be. I'm so glad I embarked on a yoga teacher training as it has brought so many realisations,beautiful encounters and so much for my personal development. And I'll keep learning as yoga is part of my life and I'll be a forever student of yoga and of life...