Last night I said goodbye to 20 yoga students and hello to 20 new yoga teachers. This is always so very bitter sweet for me. Our teacher training graduation ceremony had lots of laughter and a few tears. When we started this journey together 10 months ago, each person had different hopes, dreams and aspirations. Over the course of those 10 months, we shared both times of joy and times of heartbreak: one marriage, some illnesses, several new jobs, lots of personal revelations. One student even moved out of state and is completing the training remotely. Two students decided along the way that this wasn’t the right path for them. But we all came together as a community, and the support and kindness I have seen in each of these individuals is a gift I won’t soon forget.
People often ask me what my favorite part of teaching yoga is, and I always say without hesitation that it’s leading this program. I teach yoga because I want to make a positive difference in the world, and nowhere is that difference more evident than in the growth and learning I see in my teacher training students.
Because we’re together so long, we see each other through career changes, births, deaths, marriages and divorces. And we learn to navigate these life changes with greater grace by using the yoga tools we will then share out in the world with others. I often think I learn at least as much from my students as they do from me.
This year I’ve seen students achieve many goals. Most learned more about asana and other tools of yoga, of course. But in a way, that’s the least of it. Some have learned to find their own voice. Others have gained confidence, and some have deepened their connection to their own spiritual path. Most have learned an incredible amount about themselves. I wish I could say these transformations happened because I’m such a great teacher. But in reality, the learning happens simply because these ancient tools are so very powerful.
The highlight for me is seeing these new teachers out in the world instructing others and spreading the message of yoga in their own communities. Each of these graduates has been out in the world teaching already. And they say it is both more challenging and more enjoyable than they ever imagined.
I asked a student recently if he was looking forward to finally be done. He said “Yes, but in reality, I’m really just about to begin!”
So true, my friend. So true.
Namaste. The teacher in me honors the teacher in you.
More information about Whole Life Yoga’s teacher training program can be found at our web site: Yoga Teacher Training at Whole Life Yoga.