One year ago, tomorrow, I finished my Yoga Teacher Training 200 hour program with Prajna Yoga. I’d been teaching group classes in Maryland for about a month and private classes for a while before then plus my apprenticeship at Mala Yoga 4 years earlier, but this was my rubber stamp. I was official. To say I was thrilled would be an understatement. The path to RYT-200 was not easy for me (is it easy for anyone?) and there were a lot of tears along the way. I was terrified to even embark on the 200 hour journey, worried that my “atypical” yoga body and out of control expectations were a recipe for failure. Instead, my “atypical” yoga body has become more of an asset than I ever dreamed possible and my expectations were met and more.
My dad teased me that I was more excited to have my certification than I was for my bachelor’s or master’s degrees and in some ways he’s right. Though yoga teacher training took less time and a lot less money, the outcome seemed much more uncertain to me. Perhaps it’s because my family values academics so highly, but it never occurred to me that I wouldn’t go to college and eventually graduate school and that I wouldn’t be more or less successful in the end (naive certainly, and probably a bit entitled – I admit that). Teacher training was a very different story. I’ve always thought that my family and friends were a little perplexed (supportive, but perplexed) at the idea that I would become a yoga teacher – it certainly wasn’t expected. Success never seemed guaranteed at all.
A year later, being a yoga teacher is a core aspect of my identity. And I have the privilege of knowing a lot of people who are in various stages of the yoga teacher training journey themselves. I want to hug all of them and tell them that it’s worth it – oh it’s so worth it. I’ve learned so much about myself, about the practice and about others. I will never look back and say – why did I do that? I did it for me and for my students and I will continue to do whatever I can to share this amazing practice in the most genuine way possible.
P.S. My number one tip for yoga teacher training is…make friends with the massage therapists! They are lifesavers when someone goes out of whack with your body at an annoying time. And if you are a massage therapist doing teacher training, well, don’t let us abuse you too much! Or at least make us bring you treats or something! 🙂