Lessons from the mat
A yoga teacher training is a thrilling lifetime experience that will be remembered forever, says Patricia Ramirez
Yoga teacher training is truly a life changing experience. I’ve heard this from many other individuals who did their YTT and I myself had a transformative experience. If you go into it thinking you’re just going to learn how to do yoga poses, meditate, and teach a class, you’re in for a beautiful surprise. If you think teacher training will only be ‘love, light, and good vibes’, you’re in for a rude awakening. Teacher training requires a willingness to do your shadow work or ‘inner work’.
Whether you are a total newbie or have been practicing for years, yoga training is for people who possess a loving warrior quality that is willing to go deep within themselves, to get uncomfortable, to be disciplined, and to stretch beyond one’s limiting boundaries in order to have breakthroughs that one may have once thought they never could experience on physical, emotional, and spiritual levels. You’ll learn that yoga is a psychology, philosophy, an anatomical study, and a spiritual practice. You will transform in mind, body, and spirit.
One of the best parts of a YTT is the friendships and connections that are built. Meeting like-minded individuals, beautiful souls, and souls who mirror those shadows within you, will teach you so much about yourself and about life. You will learn what it means to build a relationship with your own breath, to develop more sensitivity and awareness to your intuition and energy body, and what it means to find your own ‘centre’ through meditation.
You will learn the importance of what it means to be grounded into your body, to build body awareness, and to find healthy control over your body through the asana practice.
One of the most exciting things during a YTT is the moment you are able to do a pose that you’ve been having trouble with. Overcoming the fear of going into Handstand, perfecting and building the strength of your Chataranga, and learning how to stay calm in Savasana without fidgeting and moving are some of those asana breakthroughs.
We all have our strengths and weaknesses and the various yoga practices will reveal to you where you may be balanced or blocked, whether it be through asana, breathwork, or meditation. Both your mental and physical flexibility, balance, and strength will be tested.
If your heart is drawn toward a YTT, I encourage you to enjoy that experience to the absolute fullest; it goes by fast. There is something so precious about developing one’s yoga journey both as a student and teacher with a group of individuals who are following the same path. Remember to always stay true to you in whatever you learn. Stay open to the many perspectives and hold on to that which resonates. Finding your own truth is at the heart of what makes a YTT as powerful, transformative, and enriching as it is.
Patricia Ramirez is a senior yoga teacher from Atmananda Yoga Sequence (atmananda.com)
First published in November 2009, OM Yoga magazine has become the most popular yoga title in the UK. Available from all major supermarkets, independents and newsstands across the UK. Also available on all digital platforms.