Weekend 6 – Yoga Teacher Training

We are officially halfway through! The most amazing part about that is that I almost dropped out last week. Our homework included a number of time consuming written assignments on top of a LOT of reading. I knew I had a busy month of work travel ahead so I jumped right into it. In fact, I was determined to finish all of my homework within the first week after our last session so I could spend some extra time memorizing the Sanskrit names for the postures and studying anatomy. Best laid plans, as they say…

I got very frustrated/overwhelmed by the class sequencing assignment and wasn’t able to finish up early as planned. I ended up having to cram in all my written assignments the few days before our next weekend session and even took a pass on one of them. Thankfully, we are allowed to miss two but they CANNOT be the sequencing assignments – which are, of course, the hardest! I guess this makes sense because we are being trained to develop a class according to the YogaWorks methodology – so if we can’t actually DO that, we probably shouldn’t graduate. Unfortunately, the sequencing assignments require us to develop a Component Part Chart first and then identify poses that will help lead the students to the peak pose of the class – a couple of backends to help prep the students for Salamba Sarvangasana (Shoulderstand), as an example. I say “unfortunately” not because it’s silly to do – it’s just VERY time consuming. I have a whole new respect for YogaWorks certified teachers after learning what they do to prep a class!

The other assignments I turned in came back COVERED in green and I was totally deflated. (Our Instructor uses green instead of red ink; I assume it’s more yoga friendly.) She offered me the opportunity to redo my homework but I had already spent hours on what I turned in and was overwhelmed by the thought of carving out that time again. I have not had any time off from work since a couple of days in October and I am simply burnt out! When my alarm went off on Saturday morning, I debated not going to class – which I knew would mean that I’d be dropping out. I had peeked at the next set of homework and it had even MORE written assignments to turn in. I finally had a weeklong (and much needed!) vacation booked in February and I did not want to have to be doing homework on it when I really needed to honor my burnt out self and relax. But at the very last second, I got ready and packed my lunch and decided to let the universe make the decision for me. I would see how I felt at the end of that day’s session and then make the call. And surprise, surprise – it was a great class. As soon as I walked in and saw everyone smiling at me, I felt so much better. We started with philosophy and I was totally engaged. Then we had a great physical practice and I felt fairly strong despite having a couple of cocktails the night before.

I realized that I was just freaking out. I knew I would feel less overwhelmed after taking an actual vacation and throwing everything away that I had invested so far in this was silly. At my request, Kate pulled me aside to have a chat and I told her that I was already all set; I knew what I had to do. She gave me a hug and assured me that I’m doing really well – despite all the GREEN. When I got home, my BF gave me a yoga mat bag as a gift and I realized what an amazing difference it makes to feel supported. When I saw the smiling faces of my fellow students – my community – I immediately came down from the ledge. And then Kate was so reassuring throughout the entire weekend, which I started to realize that all of us needed (not just me). And then the icing on the cake: how lucky am I to have a BF who understands all the work I’m putting into this – and even buys me thoughtful gifts in support of what I’m doing.

Sometimes you truly just need to take a breath.

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