Yoga from the Heart Teacher Training Rocked My World
When you begin any sort of learning experience, you naturally expect that you will change and grow. But you usually expect it will be confined to the relatively small subject area you’ve chosen to study.
However, when the subject of study is yoga, that change can be both global AND surprising—I know it was for me when I went through the certification process years ago. Turns out, I’m not the only one who believes that yoga teacher training rocked my world…as I discovered when I sat down for a conversation with Kara Nelson, a young woman currently enrolled in the 200-hour TT program at Yoga from the Heart.
Here’s what we talked about:
Q: What motivated you to enter yoga teacher training in the very beginning? Said differently, what did you hope to gain from the experience?
I was mainly motivated by the notion that I would regain the flexibility I once had. Having a dance background, I used to be the girl who could do splits without problem… and yoga seemed like a way to regain my flexibility, while adding a spiritual element to my life.
Q: Did you gain more flexibility?
I have gained some flexibility back—maybe not to the degree of my dancing days, but yes, I’m now more flexible than before starting my training. My mind and ego are more flexible, too. I believe I’m learning to honor my body and its limitations on any given day, which is a beautiful thing.
Q: Has your advanced yoga training in the TT program had an impact on your life OFF the mat?
Absolutely! I think “off the mat” is where this teacher training has impacted my life MOST. It’s one thing to be at peace with yourself on the mat, but when you go out into the real world, you realize how quickly you forget the lessons your mat has taught you. It takes mindful action to integrate the teachings of yoga into your daily life, and your mat is just the beginning of that integration.
Q: What types of life changes have you noticed?
One thing I’ve developed throughout this teacher training is a greater sense of body awareness. It’s empowering to be able to not only recognize a postural habit within my body, but also have the knowledge to change and reframe that habit for the better.
I’ve also become more cognizant of the continuous stream of thoughts that play in my head, and I’ve realized that most of these thoughts either reside in the past or in the future, and have little relevance to the present moment. Most notable, though, is a shift in way I deal with my own human frailties. Instead of self-shaming, I now try to recognize these parts of me with compassion and the knowledge that I am doing the best I can.
Q: How do you believe going deeper into your yoga practice has affected the way in which you relate to others?
I no longer view the world as something that I can control. It’s both terrifying and freeing, for someone like myself; someone who likes to plan every little detail. I’ve also come to realize that there are very few things in this world worth clinging to. I can either be thankful for the experience or learn from the lesson, but I try not to obsess over the things I can’t change.
Q: Based on your experience, what would you say to someone else wishing to explore meditation and yoga through the TT program?
Do it. Exploration of one’s self is the only thing that will lead to growth, and growth, in turn, will lead to a life of happiness and freedom. You can’t go wrong.
I’d have to agree with Kara’s thoughts on the value of ‘diving deeper’ into the study of yoga.