Teacher Training Pep Talk: Stepping Into the Unknown
Deciding to take a teacher training is akin to professing your love to the art and practices of yoga that have already given you so much. It’s a marriage rooted in curiosity, creativity, experimentation and togetherness. It’s also a marriage that moves in the world of the unknown, like all unions really. As Rumi so perfectly puts it, “Out beyond the ideas of right and wrong doing, there is a field. I’ll meet you there.” This should be printed on the t-shirt of every 200 hour teacher training in Portland, because ideally a teacher training should be that field.
The 200 hour teacher training is a slim doorway to a lifetime of study. It’s a place where we get a chance to expand our minds and hearts, feel into our practice, into our bodies, and become explorers of Yoga and ourselves without the tethers of right and wrong doing. It’s a time to question what we think we already know about ourselves and the asana, and delve deep into the places within that have yet to be mapped.
Recently, I have been asked by some smart, kind, sparkly eyed students, if they have to be “good” at yoga in order to enter into the Love Hive 200 hour teacher training. It’s a heart breaking question.
The short answer I give is, “no,” because I understand what they mean. They are thinking, “Wait, I love this so much and want to share it with the world, but, I can’t do a flippin' handstand. So how in the world can I ever be a teacher? Now that I think about it, I can’t do so many things, how will I ever be a teacher?”
The more complicated, and richer response to this idea is, “What does being good at yoga look like? And why does that matter to you?” I’m going to write it again for good measure: What does being good at yoga look like? And why does that matter to you?
When I entered into my teacher training, I had many of the same doubts. I couldn’t do a handstand and actually refused to even attempt one most of the time. I could barely touch my toes and I thought everyone who considered pigeon to be a restorative, relaxing shape must be crazy. But, the call to engage with the practices on a deeper level was too strong. I couldn’t ignore it. It kept me up at night. The call was so strong that I was willing to risk being “the worst at yoga.” I was willing to risk leaving my baby boy for long periods of time. And this was my first step into the unknown. I had no idea what the outcome would be, none. I love yoga so much that I have given my life over to her. I love yoga so much that I am willing to step into the mystery over and over again, and yoga has done nothing less than save my life in return.
If only people who believe they are "really good" at yoga entered into teacher trainings, the yoga world would be a cold, sad, and lonely place. Yoga needs all of us.
If you feel the call to teach, listen to that voice. If, when it gets really quiet inside, you feel a pull to study yoga forever and ever, listen up. Listen without the shade of ego blocking the view. Listen without fear controlling the show. Listen with an open heart, free from the ties that bind us to status quo. You will never know everything about yoga, I promise, so let that go and come study with us anyway. The Bhagavad Gita reminds us that students should study and practice without attachment to the fruit of our actions. What a relief. What perfect freedom. How wonderfully difficult.
Yoga is a spiritual technology that was created just for us, as humans, a long, long time ago. It is perfectly designed to lead us from darkness to light, from our survival-minded based lizard brain into our frontal cortex where the seat of compassion and connection live. The study of Yoga is truly for everyone.
Come connect with us here in Portland, Oregon for the Love Hive Teacher Training beginning this autumn. There is an info meeting (not required) this Sunday , May 15th from 5-6pm, sign up here. You will have an opportunity to meet a few of our graduates and ask as many questions as you can think of. All the 200 hour info you could possibly need is right here. Please feel free to email us with any questions firstname.lastname@example.org.