If you have been following my journey you know that I only have 3 months left before I start my teacher training!!
3 months ago I wrote a post about how I was planning to prepare for my training and since I am at the halfway point I thought this was a great time to update my status.
I am scheduled to start my Teacher Training in January 2020, I will be doing a 9-month program here in my home town. Honesty, I am kind of second-guessing that choice. I am so excited, I don’t really want to wait for it anymore. There is a more intensive 30-day program that gets you up and running right away. In the program I signed up for, we meet one weekend a month for nine months. I guess I just need to focus on why I chose this program, and be patient. Read my post on why I chose this program here
In the meantime, I created a little plan for my self to get prepared. If you have not read that post click here before you go on to my update on how things are going.
Here we go!
Practice – my goal was to get on my mat every day. Whether it was at home or at my favorite studio I have been pretty disciplined in keeping that promise. I missed 4 days in the last 3 months, 3 for travel and one I had family commitments that took priority. In general, I am happy with that, I never want my practice to become a chore or something I have to check off my list.
On that note, trying to maintain a daily practice as really made confidence in my poses and knowledge about yoga soar! Just being in yoga so much makes it easy to soak it all in. I have even tried to do some poses for one reason or another I resist, like inversions and backbends (I am looking at you Camel Pose) I think its a mind thing for me, and not a lot of confidence in my core strength. My daily practice is slowly but surely changing all that.
Read – I have been reading a lot of material about yoga. I read 3 books on my list, countless blog posts and of course Yoga Journal magazine. I listened to 3 yoga biographies on my Audible, which made getting in some knowledge easy during my drive time. And speaking of listening I am going to count podcasts here, I have found a lot of podcasts that I love as well. So many, in fact, I am planning on a post just on just the yoga podcasts I love.
The amount of reading I am doing along with my daily practice is really immersing me into the entire yoga lifestyle. Since I started prepping for my YTT my knowledge and skill have just exploded and now I understand the yoginis I see who walk around just oozing with that yoga glow.
Eat – Definitely an area I could be better in. Travel and generally being busy got me on this one. I am not saying that I eat bad, I have been mostly vegan for over 10 years. But, I would like to transition to vegan, gluten-free (Not celiac but intolerant) and whole foods. When I get busy I tend to eat quick things. Moving forward I will focus more on prepping ahead for those busy times so I can stick to whole foods.
Mindfulness – I made huge strides here. I am enjoying this process so much it seems easy to really be present in class and to take time to sit outside with the books I am reading instead of sitting in front of Netflix. I used to be more of a multi–tasker, but now if I am talking to my son, I am only doing that. If I am cleaning, I am only cleaning and so on.
I thought I was pretty productive juggling multiple tasks, but really I wasn‘t.
Now that I am focusing on just doing one thing at a time I am prioritizing the important things and everything else can wait or drop off my list entirely.
Another update – I have been the only student signed up for the 2020 Yoga Teacher Training at my studio since they opened up enrollment after the last training started in January 2019.
The 2019 training is graduating two students this month. I knew the 2020 training I would most likley be in a small group. My school’s biggest class since they started doing Yoga Teacher Training only had 12 students. This is actually the reason I chose this school, so I wasnt just a namless person lost in a sea of aspiring yogis. But, just a few weeks ago I talked with my future teacher and she said she had 4 more people reach out to her about the training! I am excited that as we get closer more and more people are reaching out. I think it would be great to have a little group to share and practice with.
I have had a love affair with yoga for over 10 years now. Not ten years all together mind you. Life, work, and just plain laziness have come between me and my yoga here and there. Even still, my mat just always sat there patiently waiting for my return.
Not too long ago I sat down and did a goal setting excersise. Check out my post on it here. And it became clear, for years I have been dreaming about attending Yoga Teacher Training. Always just to set it aside as a someday goal. Someday, when I can bend farther, have more time etc. etc.
But after my goal setting excersise, I had a road map to get there.
They say when the student is ready, the teacher appears! And she did! I am all signed up to start my Yoga Teacher Training January 2020!!
Although I am a pretty chill person by nature, my years of working for a major brand taught me one thing, you can never be too prepared.
Because, of course, I am a yoga nerd like that, I scoured the internet, looking for articles on how to get ready for teacher training. I was wondering how to better prepare myself for all my extra time at the studio, all the books I needed to read and learning Sanskrit! I was most definitely feeling a little overwhelmed and nervous.
If you are reading this article you fall into one of two different groups. One, you are signed up for YTT (Yoga teacher Training) like me and you want to prepare, or two you are thinking (or dreaming, just like I did) of signing up and want more information.
Well, the internet did not fail me. I found tons of information on how to prepare, but like I said, I am a nerd like that so I asked my yoga teachers, and talked to a few friends who have been through YTT for good measure.
I have 6 months to go before I attend my first day of Teacher training. This is what I will be focusing on to get ready for my big day.
Practice, practice, practice
Hands down, the thing I most often heard during my research was that the best thing you can do to prepare for your yoga teacher course is to keep up with your own practice!
When making my goal for the next 6 months I tried to keep in mind the physical demands of a full day of yoga, and what asanas I personally felt I needed to work more on. I feel with this goal I needed to be pretty familiar with the most common poses before training. Proper alignment and because I tend to be competitive, (i know, I am working on it) really nailing them.
GOAL – practice 6 days a week, and have one day of rest.
The second to the biggest recommendation I got from my friends who have went through training was to start getting familiar with some yoga lingo. You probably know more then you think already if you hit up a class regularly. Often in YTT you will receive a recommended book list to support you through this learning journey. Things I personally want to work on – key concepts, the Sanskrit names of the poses, chakras, philosophy and the all-important 8 limbs of yoga. Here is the reading list that I put together for myself.
The Yoga Mind by Rina Jukabowicz – I am reading this now, LOVE it!
Teaching Yoga by Mark Stephens – on every list I looked up
Meditations from the Mat by Rolf Gates – I read this one a while ago and it had some great information in it. There is an entry to read every day, so all the information does not get too overwhelming
The Yoga Anatomy Coloring Book by Kelly Solloway – fun way to learn anatomy!
For my Yoga Teacher Training they do not encourage you to eat any specific way but focus on healthy choices. A lot of YTT’s suggest a plant-based diet. I already eat plant based, so mostly I am focusing on cleaning up any junk that creeps into my day to day diet.
I have been told that Yoga teacher training is an intense time for you and your body and most that I have talked to encourage a plant-based, nutrient dense diet because it leaves the body energized with vitality and more resilient to unwanted symptoms like illness and disease.
Goal – Since I already live a plant based life, not much prep here. But I am focused on nixing the cheetos and eating only whole organic foods, drinking lots of water and limiting my wine.
Just be where your feet are
It’s hard to switch off from the busy world around us, especially if you’re a mom or you have a busy job. To get the most from your training the best advice I received was to be present on your mat. It can be tempting to think that you are being selfish, that you don’t deserve this, or you should be getting something else done. This is not the case.
Plan your time so that you can fully immerse yourself during your training and know that everything in the outside world will be okay.
Goal – getting the house clean and ridiculously organized! I am making sure my bills are on auto pay and any little things like that are set up as much as humanly possible so I can keep my focus on being present for my training. This has been my dream for years and I want to treasure every second and soak up as much knowledge as possible with limited distractions.
What is the reason for attending this yoga teacher training?Whether you are intending on teaching or just want to stregnthen your own practice, time and again I read this from my research. There are a plenty of reasons why you may consider a yoga teacher training and I’m sure you have your own. It’s a good idea to become clearly attuned with this intention for you to reflect on it during your training.
Goal- I know I want to teach. In my former career I had the opportunity to teach professionals and I miss that connection. I have every intention of sharing my yoga as much as possible. That said, I believe that reaching your goals is easier if you break them down to specifics. For me that means figuring out how much I want to teach, where I want to teach, and what do I want my specialties to be.
Prepare to be transformed!
One last thing. Another biggie from my research was this all knowing glow that people who have gone through YTT all have.
I am prepared to share my experinces, all the ups and downs with you on this site. I can’t wait to share this journey, be pushed out of my comfort zone and become a real yoga instructor.
Summer has arrived! There is nothing I love more then a lazy sun filled summer weekend spent cuddling up on the couch with my puppy Olive, a warm cup of tea and an amazing book. Below are some of my favorite health and wellness books.
Do Your Om Thing Bending Yoga Tradition to fit your own life
by Rebecca Pacheco
I loved this book. A little bit humor, a little bit yoga philosophy, Even if you do not have a yoga practice I guarantee you will get a lot out of the amazing lessons the author weaves through out this book. So inspiring! As soon as I finished, I started to think about reading it again.
Success through Stillness: Mediation made Simple
By Russel Simmons
Buy this book right now. It will change your life. I simply can not recommend it more. I watched Russel Simmons on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday. He talked about Mediation and this book, before the show was over I was already downloading it. I read it on vacation in one sitting. Russel Simmons breaks meditation down into easy bite size morsels, stripping away any misconceptions, he makes it so simple to work into your daily routine. But the book is way more then a “how to”. Russel Simmons talks about his life, his success, and you even get a little yoga info too. Buy it, you will be glad you did.
The Kind Diet A Simple guide to Feeling Great Loosing Weight and Saving the Planet
by Alicia Silverstone
I read this book a while ago, and still take time to flip through it again and again. It just never gets old. The Kind Diet is filled with stories, tips, tricks, recipes, and reasons why you should make a change to live cleaner and greener. I have made about half of the recipes and they were all delicious!
Yoga Girl by Rachel Brathen
First off this book is gorgeous! The pictures are mesmerizing. Yoga girl is part coffee table book, biography, yoga guide and has a few delicious recipes to boot! I just just started reading this book, and I can already tell I will be keeping it handy for a quick inspiration.
What are your favorite books on Health and Wellness?
Are you constantly giving your child things to keep them busy at the doctors office? in the check out line? in the car, or basically waiting for any thing?
Do you download games on your phone, or buy them portable video games so every thing goes smoothly? Well Mom and Dad you need Yoga in your child’s life, like immediately.
I bring my children to Yoga with me as much as I can. Mine are older, but now that I see the benefits Yoga has on their lives I wish I had started them earlier.
I on own journey through (and to) Yoga I originally thought of it as just that, My journey. I went off on my own to do my home practice, or to a near by studio by myself, for a little me time. The benefits of practicing Yoga for me, are life altering. Through my practice, I kept on seeing ways it could help my children in their life as well.
Breath – When your child is stressed they yell and scream, they throw spaghetti a crossed the room , jk, Their breathing is stressed too. They breath quicker and more shallow. Pranyayama teaches us to slow down, breath deeper through our nose, and calm down. Yoga has also been found to help kids deal better with anxiety.
Strength – Practicing Asanas help make them more aware of their bodies, how to move with intention. These postures make them more flexible and strong, which helps prevent them from future injuries.
Quiet the mind – In yoga we learn how to practice Stillness. This helps them listen, and make good decisions. Poses like Savasana will teach them how to take a mental break. Calm down and get centered, and learn patience.
Take care of your self – Yoga teaches us to take care of our selves, your bodies our mind, and our spirit. Its for everybody and every body. No matter what size or shape you are, Yoga will help build your child’s self esteem.
Sleep –We see it all the time in magazines, books, and TV, No one is getting enough sleep, even our kids. Yoga can help shift the mind from lifes daily stresses, doing a few night time poses can help your child relax, unwind, and get more zzz’s
Focus – Moving through each Asana, one at a time, paying attention to their bodies, listening for instructions, all of this focuses the mind, and helps children focus off the mat as well.
How should you get your child started?
There are tons of videos and books that specialize in teaching Children, and can help you start a home practice for your child. All of the studios I frequent either have a children, or family class as well. Just visit or call up your local studio and ask!
Have you tried Yoga with your children? Let me know in the comments!
Busy work schedule, kids, dinner, laundry. All of these things can keep you from the gym or yoga studio. Starting a home practice might just be the answer you have been looking for to keep your practice going. Here are my tips on how to start a home practice.
Pick a place you will not be disturbed. This may be a extra room, maybe the living room before every one wakes up, or when they all go about their business after dinner. Believe it or not, I know one person who has a large master bathroom and unrolls her yoga mat there.
Stick with it. Trying to fit your yoga practice in where ever you can is good, but making a time and sticking with it is better. Even if you only have time for child’s pose, trust me, it helps.
Start your session with a plan. If you are an experienced Yogi you might have a series of asanas memorized or you can do poses from memory that your body craves. If you are a beginner, bring you iPad or get a DVD to help. There are also tons of books, and free yoga classes on line, even decks of cards with asanas to make it easier for you.
Turn your phone off! This is your time, take it for your self.
Most importantly, Have fun. Starting a home practice does not have to be intimidating, have fun with it!