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Posts Tagged with: Yoga Teacher Training

“Who am I to be a yoga teacher?”

taylor berman one down dog

When I first signed up for yoga teacher training, I was constantly second-guessing myself. I worried about not being “good enough” at yoga. I mean, I couldn’t even do a headstand yet! Who was I to be a yoga teacher? Why would anyone want to take my yoga class if I couldn’t even do a headstand?

Looking back, I realize I was talking to myself in a way that I would never talk to a friend – or anyone, for that matter!

I think a lot of this self-doubt was coming from my desire to find external validation. There’s a lot of stereotypes swirling around in the yoga world these days and I don’t exactly fit the bill for all of them. Arielle recently wrote a great post along these lines. When people found out I was doing yoga teacher training, they’d almost always say “wow you must be really good” or “wow so you can do headstands and stuff?”

This feedback coming in was fueling a fire of doubt.

I was recently reading a blog post I wrote about one of our early training sessions where we all shared our reasons for being there and also any fears/doubts we had. It was very reassuring to hear that everyone else had similar feelings.

I realized that in order to overcome these feelings of self-doubt, I had to stop searching around me for permission to go after what I want and allow myself to follow my heart. I stopped asking myself if I was “good enough” at yoga to become a teacher and looking outside of myself for the definition of “good.” I started asking myself what it was that really drew me to teacher training in the first place.

I didn’t sign up for teacher training to be “good enough.” I didn’t sign up for teacher training to do a headstand. I didn’t sign up for teacher training to fit into size small yoga pants. And I most certainly didn’t sign up for teacher training to impress others.

Yoga is not about any of that to me. Yoga is a constant process of learning about oneself, looking inward and then using that stability of inner peace to be completely present in the world around us. Yoga is about finding comfort in the uncomfortable places, finding balance between effort and ease, finding joy in the everyday.

Signing up for teacher training was my way of inviting all of this into my life. I wanted to learn and explore ideas. I wanted to grow and challenge myself physically and mentally. I wanted to be a part of a community with others who were on a similar journey.

These days, I’m teaching at One Down Dog 4 times a week and I’m still constantly learning and growing. Every class is different and there is something to learn from every experience. I’m so glad that I signed up for the teacher training because I proved to myself that I can face my fears and that those fears aren’t even real. I get to be a part of a super fun community of yogis. And it just so happens, I did learn to do a headstand – and it’s super fun!

See you on the mat!


When Taylor isn’t teaching yoga, she’s blogging about her adventures as a vegan yogi entrepreneur on her blog and designing/coding websites.

You can connect with her on Instagram and Twitter. Check out Taylor’s class schedule here.


Have you ever considered becoming a yoga teacher?

Do you want to deepen your yoga practice?

Curious about yoga philosophy, ayurveda, pranayama, etc?

One Down Dog Yoga Teacher Training

 

Click here to learn more about the One Down Dog Yoga Teacher Training program.

Come check out one of our Teacher Training Info Sessions every Saturday at 12:30pm at the Silverlake Studio! We’re here to answer all of your questions and chat about what you can expect from the experience.

How Your Favorite Yoga Instructors Blossomed Into the Zenyonces You Love and Adore

alexis novak

We all have our favorite yoga instructors we bow in humility to, those ones who seem to have just the right things to say at the right time when we need it. They appear to live their lives so free and full, and they hold a special space for us (students) to roll out our mats and decompress our ever changing, busy, and at times overwhelming life.

Before I enrolled in yoga teacher training, I always idolized the instructors who would flawlessly roam around the room during class. They would keep me motivated to push further to the edge just by giving a sweet encouraging smile as I would catch their eye in downward facing dog. Although I had considered many times, almost daily, about enrolling in teacher training; I always rationalized why I let the next training deadline roll away by reminding myself that “they” were a specific type of celebrity. They possessed an “awe” factor I never thought I could achieve. I didn’t meditate, I used curse words, and I stayed up until 2 in the morning. I was not what you would call “zen market material”.

One day, after taking my favorite yoga sculpt class at a studio in Denver, I overheard one of my super strong, collected, and beautiful yoga queen guides on the phone with a significant other, arguing.  She was hollering, spouting profanities, and I could hear the emotion and passionate pain in her voice. A wave of human reality shattered this perfect statue picture I had painted of her in my mind, and I felt connected to her in a way that I hadn’t before. It was so grounding that my stomach jumped like it does when on a roller coaster drop. I thought to myself, “I know what it’s like to take a frustrating phone call in the parking lot at work too! She’s a human!”  Besides wanting to run around the corner, and scoop her up in a hug, and scream, “YOU’RE SO COOL, AND YOU JUST CHANGED MY DAY! AND I LOVE YOU!” – which I didn’t, I also knew immediately that I could no longer hide behind the excuse that I used foul words and lost my temper sometimes as a reason to not take the challenge my soul had been yearning for to enroll in teacher training.

During my training, I was expecting an “ah-ha” moment to happen, I figured one morning I would wake up and automatically feel collected and glide around with a centered essence, the way I watched all my instructors gracefully display. It never happened.  I felt the same.  19 years old, confused, broke, and uninspired and to top it off when I would attempt to guide practice classes I felt like I was bombing every time. (YES, BOMBING! You know that thing that bad stand-up comedians do when they have a terrible joke and an unwatchable performance? It was THAT cringe-worthy) I found myself very overwhelmed and almost wanted to quit!

I was told by everyone in my life that mattered to me that I could not make it financially as a yoga instructor and in my heart of hearts I didn’t even FEEL like a yoga instructor anyways.  I had a sincere sit-down with one of my mentors, the SAME instructor who had taken the phone call outside many moons before, who still to this day does not know I was creeping around the corner and overheard her call her boyfriend “an asshole!”

She gave me some really great advice.

She said, “You don’t learn to ride a bike by watching everyone else ride theirs. You have to get on the bike over and over and over and ride it. You have to fall, and pick up speed, and learn to slow down, and see what it sounds like to put a pop-can on the back of it and feel the wind in your hair when you go too fast. Watch out for others around you, and be cautious of where you lead yourself on your bike and take care of it by bringing it inside at night. Yoga is like a bike. Once you learn to ride your bike, you are able to guide people to ride theirs because you have FELT what it is like to LEARN to ride it not simply because you know the idea of it.”

SO GOOD right!? In that moment it occurred to me that I was coming to class, but I wasn’t fully being a student! I knew the poses, and where to put my foot and hands, but I wasn’t FEELING how my body got there, I wasn’t observing the transitions and how the weight seemed to shift mentally and physically for me throughout class. To keep brevity in this post, I will tell you I kept at it diligently, for years. I made mistakes and received feedback, sometimes drove home in tears because I didn’t feel the class was very good and I fumbled through the entire thing. But, just like my yoga mat never gave up on me, and as the students always continued to show up I got more comfortable in my teaching shoes – er barefeet.

I can now tell you, 6 years down the line, I am still a student. I still fumble, I still make HUMAN mistakes, but NOW what is different for me is that I observe my mistakes and allow myself to experience them to the fullest. I wallow in them so deeply, down to very last sometimes embarrassingly painful detail so I don’t miss any of its fibers. Because then once I have settled into the lesson the mistake manifested for me, I can bring it back to the mat, and help guide someone else through with a map, with a better sense of cautionary eyes, with a compassionate heart, an empathetic mind and a supportive touch.

THAT is how my teachers gave me the words I needed, THAT is how they always seemed calm and in control, they had been where I was on the mat. They had learned to ride the bike, and they had fallen off.  They knew what it was like to scream and cry and stay up late, and their job was to smile their sweet smile and to help me through it, because if they thrived passed the tough stuff, they knew I could too!  As an instructor now, I continue to learn just as much from my student’s persistence and love as I hope to bring them in anatomy and posture knowledge.

I am a forever student of my practice, other instructors, and this beautifully complicated life.  If you have an instructor who you adore, continue to adore them but be mindful that you connect with them so much because you are the same. That thought should make you feel pretty damn cool! For this reason, we end our practice with Namaste: The Divine in me recognizes and honors, the Divine in you. The spirit within me bows to the spirit within you. I greet that place where you and I are one. I honor the place in you which is of love, of truth, of light and of peace. When you are in that place within you, and I am in that place within me, we are one.

Do what you do my friends, and do it well. BIG LOVE, BIG HAIR, BIG FEELINGS. Alexis out.

Yoga Teacher Training Graduates: Maureen Copeland

maureen copeland yoga teacher training

I’ll never forget the day I was approached at the sunset junction farmers market by a girl handing out fliers for a new yoga studio. It was about 2 years ago; I had just moved back to LA from Santa Barbara. I was looking for a new studio to call home to my yoga practice. Little did I know what was in store for me.

I have been practicing yoga since I was a teenager. But I have never had a strong and consistent practice until I found One Down Dog. I instantly connected with the power vinyasa flow and the message about keeping it real at One Down Dog. I felt like I could just be myself and not try to be some yoga-ized version of me.

When Jessica decided to offer the first teacher training something inside of me said, “do it”! I had toyed with the idea of yoga teacher training before. I had just gone back to school for my BSN so I wasn’t sure how I was going to work full-time, go to school full-time and do yoga teacher training. Even though it seemed impossible and a little crazy, I knew that my mission is to serve others through nursing, yoga and Buddhism. So I listened to my heart and signed up for the training.

I wasn’t sure what exactly would happen after I finished the training. I didn’t see myself teaching classes per se, more like incorporating yoga into nursing somehow. But during teacher training I started to discover that I liked teaching; I found it equally terrifying and exhilarating. The most important thing I learned in teacher training was to find confidence in my own voice and myself. This is still a work in progress for me.

I currently teach two classes a week: 6:30am Flow on Monday and 5:45pm Sweat on Friday. I have learned so much from teaching yoga. Not only have I deepened my own practice, I have also discovered the joy of practicing for others, my students.
It’s really a creative endeavor for me to come up with new flows and playlists every week. My goal for every class is to guide my students on a yoga journey and leave them feeling grounded, centered, and a little more joyful.

I am so grateful to Jessica for being such an amazing teacher and creating an awesome space where we as a community can explore our dreams.

How Yoga Teacher Training Changed My Life

Hallie yoga teacher trainingHallie yoga teacher training

Yoga teacher training was a life changing experience – sounds dramatic, but it’s true!

I tried yoga for the first time in college but didn’t practice regularly until about 4 years ago. I enjoyed yoga because it was a way to de-stress and help ease the pain from working behind a computer all day. It never crossed my mind that I would want to be a yoga teacher until I went to One Down Dog. I met a few teachers and they all loved teaching, I had never “loved” any job!

A few months passed and a teacher mentioned to me that Jessica was going to lead One Down Dog’s first yoga teacher training at the end of the summer. I was working 10+ hour days at the time, miserable in my job, and I thought I would never be able to juggle that kind of commitment with my current day job. Maybe when I got a new job and had better hours I could entertain the idea of signing up. I have friends who have completed yoga teacher trainings at other studios and they always say, “It changed my life!” or “It was the most amazing experience!” I realized I needed a change and it was never going to be the “right” time. I could keep putting it off, or I could sign up and try something new. So I did it!

Before I started teacher training, I felt stuck in my job. I would wake up every day and dread going to work. I had always been a driven person, I always knew what I wanted, but here I was, complacent and clueless about what my next steps would be professionally.

In teacher training, we learned about goal setting, something I had always done, but at this point in my life I wasn’t chasing any career goals. Early on in our training, we were introduced to the Sanskrit word bhavana, meaning yogic contemplation and visioning. We set lofty goals for ourselves and I wrote down what I wanted to be doing for a living and what I dreamed of. A week before training ended, I landed the job I envisioned at the start of training. You could say it was a coincidence but I don’t think so. If it wasn’t for training and my new way of thinking, I never would have scored an interview for the position. Training has also helped me further my practice. I am stronger than I have ever been, inside and out. I would recommend teacher training to anyone who is curious, wants a change or wants a challenge.

The experience is difference for everyone, so what will your experience be?

Get more info about teaching training here