A Love Letter to Yoga Teacher Training
First, let me begin by saying I have no ulterior motives for trying to convince you to do Yoga Teacher Training. I am not leading YTT, nor do I get any sort of bonus cash reward if you cite me as a reference on your application. The only extra perk I receive is seeing you at the studio more often (if you are at YM) and getting to geek out over yoga anatomy and other nerdy topics like the position of your thigh bone in parsvokanasana. For me, this is a reward in and of itself (I'm a freak). So, if you are on the fence about signing up, wondering if you have the time, money and resources, I say do it. If you have the passion, the interest and the, ahem, addiction to your yoga practice, again, I say do it. If you don't even think you will teach, I still say do it. Please do not mistake my enthusiasm for being pushy or narrow minded. I KNOW it is a commitment in more ways than one, but aren't all good things that way? It's just that I have seen so many awe-inspiring and wonderful things happen in a YTT that it makes all the other hard stuff worth it. Maybe it's the fact that people who sign up for YTT aren't just brave enough to risk humiliating themselves and totally failing, it's that they often tend to discover that even when/if they did, not one single person dropped dead. I mean it! Not a single one. Usually, us living and breathing folks sit there and cheer you on instead, because, hey man, doing things out of your comfort zone is hard but so important. Here's the best part: At the end, we're all laughing together and breathing sighs of relief because we could be imperfect and well-intentioned humans again who simply gave our best and moved along. It's quite refreshing.
Undecided, YTT is not just good it is great. It gives us grit, reminds us of all we have to offer and most importantly, brings us together. Oh my goodness that is so cheesy but so true. As I get older, I realize how easy it is to fall into routine and become really attached to our perspective and opinions. I also realize that as life becomes more complex and chaotic, that it's easy to stop putting yourself out there and just play it safe. To that, I say, yoga teaches us tools to handle the ugly, messy life changes with as much grace and kindness possible. We are all given the gift of being as badass and resilient as Mel Gibson in every war drama ever, but we often forget. Thank you, Mel. Thank you, YTT for giving us ample space and time to steep in this super necessary life skill. Moving on to logistics. I empathize with the rational person who says spending all that precious time and hard-earned money on YTT is a luxury they cannot afford--even though they reaaaally want to do it. Guys, I get this one. Dropping down all that dough on YTT, sight unseen is scary. Many a weekends in YTT are spent wondering WTF but then we somehow find it in ourselves to get through it and BAM you're a yoga teacher! For all the times I find myself totally in the weeds I find ten more that remind me I am enough and I have everything I need. This I can attribute to my nearly one thousand hours of YTT (Like I said, I'm a freak).
As you may have surmised, my time spent in YTT comprises some of my very best memories. And for good reason: I've watched quiet people find their voice, and loud people learn to listen. I've seen people, tired and exhausted from life and work, drag themselves in and recite anatomy terms from memory. I've seen people suffer horrible injuries and STILL return. And my favorite part (other than how much incredible knowledge is stuffed into our heads), is this little community that starts to form.
Throughout it all, the connective thread is people and I cannot begin to explain how much I cherish the friendships I have made in YTT. To quote a favorite author of mine, "people soften the edges and fill the gap". If you think you can't pull this off, just wait and see. I promise it is so worth it.