I’m a firm believer that there are no “accidents” in life; that everything that occurs does so for one reason or another. I’ll be honest, I didn’t do too much “research” in choosing my yoga teacher training program. I did ask experienced instructors for their recommendations, and I did look at those places online; but when push came to shove, ultimately I selected the location that 1) was Yoga Alliance certified, 2) had the best online resources (i.e., a comprehensive and clear website), and 3) logistically had the most “reasonable” schedule (for me). That being said, I think I was led to an amazing resource in the Yoga Center. This studio has a plethora of varied offerings, including some styles of yoga I have never even heard of before! (One of the styles I’m looking forward to trying is Aerial Yoga – it looks like hard work, but also a *lot* of fun.) And because so many different styles of yoga are offered here, I get to interact with a plethora of instructors, and therefore have a very broad realm of knowledge from which I can draw. For “randomly” choosing a yoga study program, I feel like I am in a great place! (Of course I am; ‘cause everything happens for a reason.)
Today was my first day of the program. The first two hours of today’s session was spent on introductions and orientation – which primarily was a review of the very comprehensive requirements that one must complete to receive certification from this studio. I was handed a spiral booklet that listed out each requirement in detail, complete with dates, times, resources, and a place to note when and where each requirement was completed. (Another thing I am really liking about this studio – they are ORGANIZED! Some yoga studios are very “oh well, come what may, we are yogis, we don’t need to be put together or detailed or reasonable or rational; we are yogis, we can just be flitty and airy-fairy and loosy-goosy and…” The Yoga Center treat their business like, well, a business, which again, I appreciate. Goodness knows I paid them enough money; I do have expectations of professionalism and organization. (I’m a demanding consumer.)
The final two hours of today’s session was a brief review of Yamas and Niyamas. The Yamas and Niyamas are the 10 ethical guidelines of yoga; yamas focus on how one should interact with the external world (things to “not do”), and niyamas focus on how one should interact with one’s internal world (things to “not limit”). There are many similarities between these ethical guidelines and the ethical guidelines of Buddhism, which, “interestingly”, I *just* finished reading about and studying earlier this week! Again, there are no “coincidences” in life; everything does happen for a reason…
One of the major themes/”messages” of today’s first class was a focus on doing what is right for us as an individual; included in that is finding our own “voice”, both as a yoga instructor, and as a human. Basically, each instructor (we had three different ones today) told us to not do anything they said just because they said it, but to explore what they say, and see if their teaching resonates with our experience. If it does, great! We can then integrate it into our own “voice”. And if it doesn’t, great! We now know something that isn’t a part of our path, our “voice”. The focus was very much on moving past/beyond mere “philosophy”, and instead developing an understanding of truth based on first-hand experience with it (or with its opposite, or with its absence).
So. It was a pretty “chunky” first day; and it was all lecture (no movement); and it was a lot to take in all at once; and I’m feeling slightly overwhelmed; and I’m mentally (and interestingly, also physically) pooped. But. I’m also very pleased with the choice I made; and I feel really good about what this program likely has in store for me; and I’m excited to see what I might learn over the course of these next twelve months.
And so it begins.