Student survival guide
5 tips to help you through your course. Damaris Booth shares her experiences from a YTT with triyoga
1. Regularly meet up with your study group
This is my top tip! Myself and two of my peers lived close by and we created a study group which met one Sunday afternoon per month. I will always consider those sessions one of the best aspects of my YTT. We would sit together on the floor, occasionally with tea and cake, and chat through the difficulties we were encountering, where we were at with homework and ask each other for clarification if something was not clear. We explored and shared how the study of the philosophy and the scriptures was challenging our perception of ourselves and others, and we supported each other’s teaching practice by giving positive and constructive feedback. We became really good friends and supported each other’s teaching careers way beyond the end of the course. My study group was a real life-saver; I don’t think I would have made it without it!
2. Cultivate a beginner’s mind
Letting go of all you think you know is the best attitude you can bring to a YTT. Exploring, getting things wrong and getting them right are all part of the process. Given the nature of the course and the material you’ll study, you have an opportunity to grow, not just as a teacher but as a person. This brings inevitable challenges which are best met with curiosity, a willingness to learn and, above all, kindness towards yourself.
3. Don’t judge yourself
You are on a course to learn. If you could already teach you would not be sitting in your YTT. This is the best place to get things wrong, test and try again! Don’t compare yourself to others, each person is unique and will become a unique teacher. In your teaching practice, stop thinking that you are ‘teaching’ students, and start thinking that you are ‘sharing’ what you are learning as well as your own wisdom. ‘Stop teaching, start sharing’ was a real game changer for me.
4. Study regularly to avoid falling back
The triyoga course I attended is not for the fainthearted and took a lot of commitment. I fell back once on my homework and it was a struggle to catch up. After that episode, I really made sure to hand in all homework on time. It’s important for a student to keep the pace so that the content can be absorbed, and also avoids a build-up of material to study and submit. Catching up is no fun!
5. Read the instructions
I remember receiving a lot of panicky messages from peers who weren’t sure about the details of the schedule, or what to do by when. It was all laid out clearly; take the time to read instructions, follow them and plan your time ahead instead of panicking last minute.