Through the Looking Glass - My Journey into Teacher Training

After reaching the halfway point of my journey into yoga teacher training, I finally have a week off. Life has been hectic as of lately (in the best of ways), but I am grateful to finally have this break. It feels good to live my everyday life as I currently know it and reflect upon my experiences with a calmer mindset. Looking back on the first part of my experience, I find it hard to comprehend just how much has changed in my life. I still very much feel like the same person I was before I started teacher training - this experience hasn’t changed who I am, but what my life is becoming. I may have taken a lot away from my journey thus far, but I know that there is still a lot left for me to learn. 


So what has teacher training taught me so far? More about yoga than I could ever expect to know - how to move your body in the most non harmful way, about the history and philosophy of yoga, how to communicate effectively with others, and how to find the courage to surmount fear. I’ve spent most of my free time outside of training just trying to catch up on researching physical anatomy and writing out sequences. Sometimes it feels as if I’m back in school wanting to procrastinate on homework and forget my responsibilities because I am constantly exhausted. Deep down inside I know I cannot slack off on the things I feel most passionately about. Teaching yoga isn’t as glamorous or carefree as it might appear to others - it requires planning out classes and learning how to use anatomical language in order to keep your students from harming their bodies during practice. It takes more than just being strong in your own practice to teach yoga. One must take on the obligation to learn as much as they can in order to be the best teacher that they can possibly be.


This journey hasn’t been all bliss. Committing to teacher training is not easy - in fact, it can be quite the sacrifice. I’ve struggled with making it work financially while simultaneously balancing between two time-consuming jobs. The idea of having free time, an active social life, and sleeping in seems like an idea of the distant past. Teacher training is not just taxing on one’s finances, sleep, and time - it can also be trying on personal relationships. Training requires a lot of time inside and outside of the studio spent practicing, planning classes, and doing further research - so much so that it can become difficult to keep personal relationships balanced. When I find myself missing my loved ones at home, I try to draw strength from my fellow trainees that are making similar (if not bigger) sacrifices. I think about the people with children that drive to train in Dallas from faraway places like Oklahoma and Tyler. It’s hard to watch these people I have grown to care about get emotional at the end of the weekend because they miss their families or because the stress is overwhelming. I hope that they know that their strength inspires me to keep going on at times when I feel like it’s all too much to handle. 


Remember why you are here. At the end of the day, it’s all for the bigger goal of helping others find strength and composure in their bodies and minds. The fact that I am even here and able to do this is enough to make the sacrifice worth the reward.  If we all began training when we had absolutely nothing going on in our lives, we wouldn’t get the same thing out of this journey without hardship and struggle along the way. In a way I am grateful to be where I am in my life, even if it means overcoming adversity along the way. At the end of the day all of the stress and sleep lost pays off in bigger ways - suddenly opportunities to teach are presenting themselves and I realize how much closer to this dream I actually am. 


For this I am grateful, but also slightly afraid. Isn’t going out into the world to teach what it’s all about? Then why am I so afraid? I didn’t enroll in this program just to expand my knowledge of yoga, but to share what I have learned with others. So where does fear fit into that equation? In all honesty it doesn’t. My crippling fear of public speaking has nothing to do with my goal and should therefore not hinder me from it.  Expanding my practice through teacher training has changed the way I respond to fear and has given me the courage and motivation to overcome it for the cause of something bigger than myself.


I’m excited for what the rest of this journey has in store for me. I look forward to teaching classes in the very near future and sharing what I have learned about yoga with others. Teacher training has taught me that when you pursue your passions in life, the rest of it seems to come together as a cohesive whole. I would recommend enrolling in a yoga teacher training program to anyone interested. You might just end up learning a lot about yoga and your own physical body, communicating with others, overcoming fears, and growing the confidence to pursue your dreams.


- Priscilla Martinez