I’ve had an itch to become a yoga instructor for years, and recently took the plunge toward my 200-hour teacher training certification.
My time practicing yoga hasn’t been too long. I started in college, attending classes with my mother at a local medical center. While I enjoyed it, it always felt really slow to me, not enough of a “workout” and simply put, a little boring. I’d been really active as a kid, participating in high intensity sports like soccer, tennis, and long-distance running, and the idea of an hour devoted to “stretching” and “breathing” when one could be out in the sunshine and working up a sweat didn’t sound like my idea of a good time.
What changed was a spontaneous Groupon purchase in my first year out of college living in Chicago. I needed an alternate method of working out, as my go-to distance runs were hindered by an IT band injury that wouldn’t go away (and not for a lack of trying). The Groupon was for an unlimited month of Bikram classes—an (intensely) heated version of yoga. I figured the heat would at least make me feel like I was pushing my body, plus the Chicago winter was in full force and the boasted 105 degree temperatures of the studio seemed like the closest I’d come to being somewhat warm.
What happened in the next month was pretty transformative for me, but mostly from a physical stand-point. The heat—mixed with the repetitive and restorative postures—rapidly healed my IT band injury. I could run long distances again, with no pain. Wow, I remember thinking, maybe this stretching stuff is legit?
For the next year, I continued practicing—on and off—coming into a practice that was a mix of a physically intense workout and also a space to decompress and let go of stress and anxiety. A constant nagging in me longed to take my practice deeper, to give back to it in some way. Fast forward to the end of this past summer. The pace of my new job finally felt manageable, and with a little more time on my hands, I decided to go for it. With support and encouragement from a few of the best females in my life, I took the plunge: I signed up for Power Yoga Teacher Training with Corepower Yoga.
Before going on, let me first say that this was and is, a definite privilege. Training to become a yoga instructor is not an inexpensive endeavor, and it also takes a significant amount of time. While I had a little money saved, it was definitely a financial investment, and one that I will never, ever, take for granted. Additionally, I view it as a continuing education, and as I eventually hope to teach others, I needed to invest in the training to reach that goal.
Corepower is a power vinyasa training. For those of you unfamiliar with yoga, power vinyasa is a more physically intense version of yoga, combining asanas (postures) with pranayama (the breath), to create a workout that is both physically intense yet mindful. I was drawn to their training as they are highly reputable (with studios all over the U.S.), and the style of yoga they teach is accessible to all populations of participants.
I’ve finally completed the 200-hour training and what I feel now is more than a physical transformation. I feel a comprehensive shift in my mind and body that can be broken down into four key areas.
The 15 young women in my yoga teacher training are absolute beacons of light, and the community that we brought together in our 8-weeks together was pretty bad-ass. My community in Chicago prior to the training was mostly established around college friends, and participating in something outside of that bubble exposed me to a different crew of amazing people that I may not have otherwise met. The training taught and reinforced that vulnerability is a-ok, in fact it’s needed to grow and flourish into a better version of yourself.
Two weeks into practicing yoga intensely each day, I didn’t experience physical exhaustion, but rather a mental stability and clarity that I hadn't anticipated. While my body was a bit sore, I noticed a boost in mental clarity and focus. My job requires a ton of mental agility, and practicing my vinyasa each day before work kicked my brain into gear. Inversely, the repetitive practice helped me slow down at the end of a demanding day.
One of the biggest assignments we’re asked to complete for our training was a journal documenting our experience. This documentation helped me reflect on my own journey, both on my yoga mat and off. It helped me prioritize a few areas of my life I want to work on, and where to focus my energy. The journal was supplemented by a personal mantra and intention that we all set at the beginning of the training. The mantra came in handy when things got stressful or overwhelming, and helped me find resiliency and encouragement.
I’ve always considered myself physically fit and healthy, but never, ever, have I considered myself physically strong. Practicing a physically intense sequence nearly every day definitely builds muscle. Postures I’d previously found difficult or impossible now just seem, well fun. Additionally, practicing yoga can help you feel mentally strong, which carries over to your physical strength and endurance as well.
Want to learn more? Email us at team@herworldover or visit Corepower's site to learn more about teacher training.
*Note: Photo credit to Freerange.