I considered not sending this note in this way. The doubts abound:
“What if they don’t understand the program?”
“What if I’m not explaining how it can benefit them?”
“What if I didn’t include enough about how I teach asana differently?”
What if… what if… what if….
But then, I received and read my teacher trainees’ weekly reflections. And for, oh, roughly the 24th time (because this was their 24th weekly reflection), I sat so very still in awe of these humans exploring Being.
I couldn’t hold them back from a world deeply in need of their innate gifts.
So, come along fear and doubt. I can hold your hands and we’ll go ahead together.
Some of you will read what follows and go, “Oh… how interesting. I want to know more.”
Some of you will slide over the words with scanning eyes and close the email and move quickly onward into your day of plenty.
Some of you will lodge it as a needling thought. But it will go to sleep in part of your brain. Waiting for another time. Perhaps a latter prod from me. Or from another part of your world.
Yet it will be there tucked away. Waiting for you. Once you are ready to return and to give it your loving attention.
Now it is time to share what I wish to share. And for you to receive as you need to receive.
Over four years of training to become a Yoga Therapist, I fell in love with my body and its quirks and blips. I fell in love with the handful of roots that grow my infinite thoughts. I fell in love with the upspring of emotions that color my Being.
All of them. Every single one is worth loving. Every single one is worth honoring.
Because each of them is part of Whole me.
Which is also why I was pulled to create my own 200 hour teacher training. I saw that most introductory teacher trainings were about the poses. And some are about the history and philosophy. And some are about both.
But very few – none that I knew of – were about the Being and the hard, hard, hard practical work of loving your whole self in yoga – a state of union – between the body’s objective sensations, the mind’s thoughts and emotions, and the weave that brings them all together.
In September, I launched my teacher training. Along with my dear friend and co-teacher, Susan Jackson, RYT500, we’ve watched four beautiful humans meet themselves in a Whole new way. I am immensely proud of these individuals for their dedicated work. They have the typical 180 in-person hours of training that are required by Yoga Alliance (and thus will all be certified 200 hour Registered Yoga Teachers at the completion of the program), but they also have over 140 additional non-contact hours of home based work that they are doing.
In this home work (and hopefully home play) of self-reflection, learning biomechanics (how joints are moving to create the poses), feeling what they feel on the mat and beyond, taking classes, observing classes, and teaching classes, they go WAY above and beyond what I’ve seen required in any other 200 hour program.
We have two individuals that were already certified as yoga teachers but wanted to learn more AND differently. As did our first time 200 hour trainees. The class spans three generations – an invaluable gift of varying insights and curiosities. They have current experience with grandchildren, empty nesters, and small children. They have work (and life) experience in corporate, public policy, education, and bodywork. They knit. They sew. They hike. They sit and drink chai.
And then there is the stuff that makes me pause right now and smile a knowing smile.
They are silly. They are introspective. They are scared. They are happy. They are sad. They are fearful. They are nervous. They are courageous. They are tough. They are resilient. They are smart. They are curious. They are compassionate. They are. They are. They are.
(Oh, did I mention that they are GREAT dancers?)
It is not a romantic ride of a teacher training. It is bumpy and curvy and even grinding at times because they are doing new work. And new work takes skill as well as attention in order to transform into familiarwork.
But man, the view can be spectacular from that drive. Spectacular when the landscape of the moment opens to your eye. When stillness meets you in the midst of loud. When understanding settles in beyond the chaos of your anger. When surrender greets you somewhere behind the darkness of your solitude.
My heart swells with the hard and beautiful work these individuals are doing to understand how their bodies move biomechanically, what is and what is not real within those bodies, and how their thoughts and emotions intertwine in that dance.
And the fact that they will get to share their wholeness with others as teachers afterward? Well, that was just an audible exhale of giddiness from the center of my chest. (To which my son sitting beside me questioned, “Are you okay?!”)
Only 6 months into their 12 month training, these yoga teachers already know how to see themselves and others with softer eyes, how to be with a class and not just stand in front of a class, how to think about poses and body movement in an analytical way, and how to feel what they feel and let it authentically infuse their teaching. And they still have 6 months to go.
They are amazing.
And more so, they are learning day by day how amazing they actually are.
I’d like to invite you to consider coming along for the scenic hike of our next class which will run from March 2020 – February 2021. If you’ve ever read the children’s book “Going on a Bear Hunt,” this year long program may feel most similar to that: swishy meadows, splashy rivers, thick mud, dark forests, swirling snowstorms… and sunshine. Such radiant sunshine.
My chosen way of training teachers is different than the “normal”, there is no doubt. My chosen way takes courage and fortitude. It takes persistence and curiosity. It takes a leap of faith straight into the center of you. And in doing so, you have the opportunity to arrive at a place where your impact of Being with your life and all those whom you touch – students and beyond – can be drastically different.
I do hope you’ll consider coming with us next year.
Please email me to request program information and to setup a phone chat to talk about next steps for you in the application process. Depending upon your experience with me, the steps of the process will look different. I’m looking forward to meeting this next group, to sharing what I have to offer, and to learning all they have to teach me.
I would love to talk with you if you are ready, Rachel@
Take good care,