Taking yoga teacher training

Yoga is a category for posts on this blog, and most posts with that category are also about meditation, such as experimenting with seated poses for meditation and doing Sun Salutations before sitting in the early morning to wake myself up more. (Isn’t it all about waking up?)

I thought I would post about taking yoga teacher training.

I’ve wanted to do this for a long time, having practiced yoga regularly for 12 years (plus the time I taught myself yoga from a book 28 years ago – notice how honesty adds complexity).

I researched yoga teacher training programs here in Austin and elsewhere. I was serious about getting the money together and saving up time off from work  for studying elsewhere if that’s what I decided on. I figured it would cost about $3 grand and take about three or four solid weeks.

And then something happened I hadn’t dreamed of. My primary yoga teacher for the past 5 years, Eleanor Harris, offered to train me as a yoga teacher.  I’ve taken Iyengar-based yoga classes with her at lunch a couple of times a week. I’ve substituted for her without training, just by virtue of planning to take the training and having more years of experience than the other students.

I know Eleanor is good. Besides teaching yoga, she also does shiatsu, massage, reiki, Pilates, and has had some training in acupuncture and cranio-sacral therapy. She knows the body and its energies really well, knows how to move energy from dis-ease into ease and health, and she knows yoga really well from studying with many senior teachers.

She also has qualities that don’t come across on paper very well, like kindness and patience, that are desirable in a yoga teacher.

She got it all squared away with Yoga Alliance, and we began in early June. Besides myself, there are two other students.

It’s a joy for me to learn yoga this way, from someone I’ve already studied with for a considerable length of time. I like the flexibility (no yoga pun intended) of learning this way. If something comes up for any of us (because we all have lives outside of yoga), we work around it. No big deal. We track our hours and activities.

I’m not sure a studio training a dozen or so students at a time could offer this.

I’m learning to teach from observing, helping students gradually transform into yogis with strong and flexible bodies, deeper awareness of self, and a healthier flow of energy. Learning adjustments, how to teach beginners and mixed-level classes, diagnostic poses, linking, sequencing – there’s more to it than I knew.

I’ll be substituting for Eleanor three times in July and am  looking forward to doing that with new skills. Later I’ll be teaching a four-week beginner series. I’ll post more about this when the time comes.

Mostly I want you to know I’m fulfilling a dream. You can too.

2 thoughts on “Taking yoga teacher training

  1. wow, this is great…….I am in week 3 of training at Dharma Yoga…..will be fun to compare notes when we next are together. I am subbing a little bit too, teaching this afternoon in fact at Austin Zen Center….

  2. Thanks for reading and commenting, William! Dharma’s program was my favorite local studio training program. I drop in there from time to time, especially for workshops. I’d love to hear more about it!

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