Yoga Student Testimonial – Ana
My experience as an Online Yoga Teacher Training Student
My yoga practice began in my first year of college. In the break between the end of finals and traveling back home to my parents’ house for the summer, I signed up for a new student special at the local studio. After an introduction to yoga through my university’s group fitness classes, practicing in a studio was the first time I aspired to become a yoga teacher. That was when I thought, “maybe one day,” and carved a space for it in the back of my mind.
As someone who didn’t move much and was stiff from my inability to relax, yoga was the perfect start to my journey in finding strength and flexibility. At some point each year, I would practice devotedly, thinking I could earn my way to feeling “ready” for yoga teacher training when I could do handstands, arm balances, and splits. That never came, and I didn’t seem to have the funds or availability for teacher training anyway.
I found a yoga community at Wildflowers Yoga, a studio started by a teacher whose classes I’d gone to over the years. She is coincidentally one of the teacher training facilitators at SYI. My relationship with yoga deepened with the support of my teachers, friends, and the students I had the opportunity to share the space with. I started experimenting with various traditions and styles of yoga classes. Expanding my practice outside of vinyasa yoga taught me how to be more intentional with my breath and alignment. It created an internal list of cues to follow in asanas and later reference in my own teaching experiences.
When my friend told me about a yoga scholarship opportunity for teacher training, I was surprised that she thought of me because I didn’t think I deserved it. But why not? I had been practicing for about 10 years at this point, and I was positive that I wanted to be able to share yoga, one of the most positive forces in my life, with others. This wasn’t the time that I would have considered myself to be “ready” for yoga teacher training, but I was excited that it finally came. With the help of the non-profit outreach organization YogaLoka, I completed my immersive online yoga teacher training with SYI from the comforts of my home in Gainesville, Florida.
I am so grateful and inspired by the experience I had during this training. Part of the satisfaction was the progress of my yoga practice, but really, my cohort and the facilitators were a highlight of the experience. Despite being an online class, I felt so connected to this beautiful group of people thanks to the space we held for one another in the training. It was an intense period of learning, embodiment of that knowledge, integration, and self-reflection. By reflecting on my experiences and the teachings of the medicine wheel, I gave myself a place to heal and discover what I have to offer to others. The hours we spent peer teaching were my favorite part of these long, full days of training. I was thankful to be an early student for my fellow teachers, as it was truly a gift to be there as we began to find our unique voices as yoga teachers.
With this training under my belt, I am ready to integrate this experience by teaching others. My goal is to become more comfortable and confident with teaching through free community classes. As I find my own steadiness and ease in guiding others in their practice, I hope that I can help others appreciate the benefits of yoga in their lives. Next year, I plan to join a local 300 hour yoga teacher training to continue developing my knowledge with a new group of like-minded individuals. I have identified some of my personal passions as a teacher, which will guide how I choose to continue my education. I’d like to learn how to teach kids yoga and be part of the movement that is promoting accessible, functional yoga for all bodies. I am so pleased with the foundation I’ve built as a teacher thanks to completing my 200 hour training with School Yoga Institute! I did not know what to expect, but I am so happy with everything that was offered in the training.
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