By Jayanthi Gopalakrishnan
The idea of joining a 200-hour yoga teacher training program is something that had been plaguing me for a couple of years — the endless inner dialogues going back and forth about why I should do it, why I shouldn’t do it, where I should do it, can I afford it, will it be worth the investment, and so it goes.
My personal yoga practice had reached a plateau and I had to find out some way to break through that plateau. So when the opportunity of enrolling in the 200-hour teacher training program (TT) at Yoga from the Heart presented itself to me, I naturally considered it. Then it was, of course, a matter of weighing the benefits versus what I had to put into it; some of these were objective whereas others were subjective.
My biggest concern was whether or not I would be able to teach a class. From my observations over the past seven years, I had come to realize that the best yoga teachers are those who give clear and concise instructions, are commanding, yet compassionate. Would I ever be able to teach like them? Maybe not, but perhaps I would at least be able to meet my goal of breaking through that plateau I had reached in my personal practice.
With that in mind, I decided to join the TT program offered at Yoga from the Heart. It’s not exactly the most ambitious or over-achiever driven motivator but it worked. I was at a point where I said to myself, “I’m not going to think about it any more. I’m just going to do it regardless of how much it’s going to cost, how much time I have to put into it, and what the outcome is going to be.” I am now teaching yoga and enjoying it thoroughly. It still baffles me that I can get up in front of people without feeling any tension and feel comfortable teaching a class. I could never have envisioned myself doing this. And that would be the most significant discovery I made about myself in my TT journey.
For that I have to thank my teacher, Lynn Burgess for realizing my potential and encouraging me to go beyond my comfort zone by making me teach a class, by making me assist her with classes in ways I would have never thought I would be able to do.
It was difficult to envision this result during the first half of the program. I didn’t have the confidence to teach and neither did I see myself teaching a class. I think of that first half of the program as an organic or natural growth of myself, which I perhaps didn’t realize. I would read up as much as |I could, especially some of the ancient texts that I could get my hands on, just to understand the deeper meaning of yoga. After all, it was more than breaking through a plateau; it was a journey of self discovery. Would things have been different if I had known what the end result would be? It’s hard to say. Maybe the frustrations and lack of understanding where this was leading to during the first half of the TT program are part of the process, something I had to survive to make it through the entire program. Not only am I teaching yoga, but I have busted through my plateau effortlessly, and am also making headway into the discovery of my inner soul.