I Have Attained a Sense of Clarity and Purpose – by Rebecca Foster- -
It would be easy to look back and say that my yoga teacher training journey began on 16th February 2018 at 8:00am, sitting on a bolster in the Wings studio and nervously chatting to the yogi next to me (at that point, I was terrified that I wouldn’t make any friends on the course.) But the more I think about it, the more the lines begin to blur as to when this chapter of teaching yoga started. Was it when I interviewed with Ari and Elina six months before the course? Was it when I went on that yoga retreat? Or was it the first time I stepped onto the mat and thought wow… this feels pretty great.
I’d practiced yoga for about five years before the teacher training. After a couple of years of regular practice, I started to realise that the more time I spent on the mat, the better I felt – mentally and physically. I was having a pretty horrible time at work a few years back, when suddenly this crazy thought came to me – what if I just give all of this up and become a yoga teacher?
It took a few years for that seed to grow, and during that time I discovered Lumi. I was immediately drawn to the amazing community feel the studio has, where there’s a friendly face waiting every time you walk through the door. Curiosity led me to a teacher training taster afternoon at the studio, and after hearing Ari and Elina talk about the kinds of topics and activities we’d be covering during the course – everything from yoga philosophy to practical teaching practice – my decision was cemented. It was the biggest YES I have ever experienced.
Fast-forward 18 months, and the teacher training is just beginning. I went into the course with a lot of anxiety that my practice wasn’t strong enough. I can’t do a headstand. I can’t shoot back from a crow to a low plank. I inwardly groan every time the teacher says we’re going into eagle. There’s a whole load of stories I realised I was telling myself about not being good enough. This was all compounded by worry that everyone on the course would be stronger/more flexible/better than me and that I would spend the next six weeks wishing for it to be over – I couldn’t have been more wrong.
On this journey, I have discovered that being a yoga teacher has nothing to do with your physical ability. It’s about connection with the students and the energy in the room. After all, the class is about them – not you. If you can connect with other yogis as they work it all out on the mat, that’s where the magic is.
I also learnt that yoga happens on the mat just as much as it does off the mat – this little nugget I picked up from our yoga philosophy sessions with Pete Cherry. I learnt that the physical practice of yoga is a small part of an enormous whole, and that there were so many more enriching topics to learn about that could (and have been) taking my practice to a whole other level. Selfless service to others is just as much yoga as a downward dog – or at least, that’s how the practice has now evolved in my life.
Gratitude was another key theme of the teacher training, and we started each day by going around the group of trainees and saying out loud one thing that we were grateful for. Sometimes it was the fact that we’d been able to make it to the studio on time – despite the snow. Other times, there were much bigger realisations. However, I think one thing we were all grateful for was the fact that we were surrounded by an amazingly warm bunch of fellow trainees. In fact, the fellow yogis on my course provided the best support network I could have wished for. With all the personal inquiry you’re doing, there are times when the training can get pretty emotional. It’s incredible how quickly you start to lean on the people around you as you each go on your YTT journeys.
There are tonnes more things I could talk about here – the regular practice (sometimes multiple hours per day), personal inquiry, journaling, advanced asana workshops, daily meditation – sometimes we even danced around the studio for fun after our practice teaching sessions.
Perhaps the highlight for me was right after the Lumi Love class I had led with three fellow yogis in the Roots studio. I don’t remember ever being on such a high. I realised that the training had helped me to re-discover my voice, and that sharing a yoga practice with every person in the room was just… mind blowing, actually. (Of course, there were many other practice teaching sessions that involved some serious face-palm moments).
Reflecting back, a month after I have finished my training, the biggest thing I have taken away from the experience is the knowledge that I can be who I want to be. I have attained a sense of clarity and purpose. After meditation one day, we’d been listening to a podcast. One particular phrase just stuck with me – ‘You can be the artist of your own life.’ What a realisation.
In this life, I choose to be a yoga teacher – and it’s the Lumi YTT that’s given me the confidence (plus a fabulous backpack of gems and jewels) to do just that.
Interested in becoming a Yoga Teacher yourself? The next Yoga Teacher Training starts 9th November 2018. Find out more here.
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