We're in the home stretch, folks. Just two weeks left of teacher training, and I'll be a bonafied, certified yoga teacher, ready and willing to serve your yoga needs. I think I hear my future students flocking in the distance...
Just kidding. I'm beginning to feel overwhelmed with the uncertainty of it all. I'm not sure what the plan of action is once training is over. To my dismay, we've been given little guidance on the process of actually entering the business of yoga: finding a job, auditioning, teaching privates, taxes, payments, insurance, earnings... the nasty little details. At this point, I'm thinking I'll just start visiting studios in town, drop in for classes, check out the situation, and try to network a little. I'll need to print some business cards and make a website. I'll also need to buy some mats. And props. But I'm getting ahead of myself here.
Teacher training is yet ongoing, and for the past couple of weeks has consisted of nothing but tough studio classes and teaching drills. We've begun teaching brief meditations, but other than that, it's pretty much asana all the time. This coming weekend I'm looking forward to more drills, honing my teaching voice, and Sunday we're having our energy workshop. Chakras: their locations, significance, purpose, etc... I'm looking forward to this, as well. Then the weekend after that is our last. We'll be giving presentations all weekend. Each person gets 20-30 minutes to lead a condensed class to the trainers, trainees, and studio staff. I feel well prepared. I've been teaching at least a few 90 minutes classes every week to my first and best student (the boyfriend) in addition to the work we do in training sessions. My only concern now is how to condense it all down to a full body class in 30 minutes without feeling rushed. I'm sure I'll think of something.
During the first few weeks of training we eliminated certain foods from our diets for a week at a time. We cut out dairy, sugar, gluten, and corn individually, then eliminated all of these together for a couple of weeks. The purpose of this nutritional experimentation was to force us to think about the foods we normally eat, how much we eat, and why we eat. We learned how these foods affect our bodies, whether or not they work for us, and if they do, how best to use them in our diets.
I learned that I don't need as much cheese or bread as I thought I did, and I learned that as long as I don't regularly or continually consume foods with high sugar content, I can use them for quick energy when I need them. Even though we've been given free reign with foods now, I have tried with varying success to maintain these shifts in my diet with an attitude toward moderation. Bread has slowly but surely crept back into my daily diet, but I maintain that I'm still eating less of it than I used to. My cheese intake has been cut back considerably, and I'm more mindful of where my sugars are coming from. Our ongoing nutritional challenge has been to drink one gallon of water per day. While I have not reached that goal every day, I have been drinking quite a bit of water, and the difference is noticeable in my skin tone and overall feeling of wellness. All in all, I really enjoyed these nutritional challenges and found them to be rather illuminating. I never expected this type of change from teacher training. It's been a pleasant surprise.
Another good habit I've developed through teacher training is my morning routine. For the first several weeks we all followed the same routine of movements, but a few weeks ago we were told to modify the routine, customize it to our own needs. Mine consists of some tai chi to warm the body and awaken the breath, some qi gong, stretches, surya A, a 5 minute headstand, some brief pranyama and 20 minutes of seated meditation. The whole things takes about 45 minutes, and boy does it wake me up! I love it. The sequence sends me floating smoothly and happily into my day. I intend to keep up the practice after training ends.