Past reflections from a YTT student
Before I started my yoga teacher training course, I really didn’t know what to expect.
I’d read over the schedule and the description, but there were plenty of gaps that couldn’t be filled.
What would my fellow students be like? Why would they be doing the course? Would I be the least proficient? How would my body cope with so much yoga? How would it feel to be at BodyMindLife for a whole month, ‘cut off’ from the outside world?
There were so many unanswerable questions.
“When choosing to embark on this journey, remember that all you can do is your best”
BodyMindLife offers one of the most respected and established Vinyasa training programs in the world.
With some of the best yoga teachers from across Australia and overseas, they’ve created a life-changing course that will take your practice to the next level and give you a foundation of knowledge and skills to teach with confidence and poise.
They draw from the classical teachings of Hatha Yoga, Iyengar, Ashtanga and Taoist (Yin/Yang), blending this traditional information with Eastern and Western science, and a modern understanding of the human body and consciousness.
I learned the ancient art of yoga in its different forms, from asana and alignment techniques through to pranayama and meditation, and was guided on a transformational journey that inspired, challenged and empowered me on the mat and beyond.
– 100% accredited by Yoga Alliance and Yoga Australia –
BodyMindLife has beautiful, dedicated training studios that have been designed for natural light, healing and a sense of calm (Surry Hills, Sydney). It felt like home.
They also have a ‘Yogi Lounge’ with hot herbal tea to connect and recharge on your own or with your classmates before and after lessons.
Anatomy and Physiology
Inspired by the basic and functional workings of the human form.
I learned how to understand different student bodies, and how muscles and joints work in yoga in practical lessons.
Yoga is a complete system of well-being. I build an understanding of how the practice affects my physical and energetic body, including the musculoskeletal system, nervous system, circulatory system and respiratory system.
Philosophy, Ethics and Lifestyle
I discovered the roots of yoga and its evolution in the Western world, and how to practice yoga in our lives today far beyond the mat for a life of health, happiness and purpose.
From sequencing, demonstrating and adjusting to language, cueing and vocal projection, I uncovered a range of teaching styles and techniques to guide students on how to move their bodies. I also learnt from one of the world’s leading opera singers and find our own authentic voice.
Integrative Practice and Teaching
Learning by doing. By teaching my fellow students, I had plenty of invaluable opportunities to practice as I learned in a safe, encouraging learning environment and hone my teaching skills with advice and personalised feedback.
Asana, Pranayama and Meditation Techniques
I dived into the classical alignment of fundamental yoga poses, and gained an in-depth understanding of the classical yogic techniques to advance my own practice.
A day in the life of a yoga teacher
7:00am – 9:00am – Yoga practice
9:00am – 10:00am – Break
10:00am – 1:00pm – Guest talks, workshops and theoretical lessons
1:00pm – 2:00pm – Break
2:00pm – 5:00pm -Breakdown of asana techniques and teaching
In addition to daily practice and lessons, expect evening journaling, reading and practical homework.
We had the weekend off (Saturday and Sunday).
How much experience do you need?
The teacher training is open to all levels of yogis, you don’t need to be able to do a handstand. They recommend a minimum of six months to one year of regular Vinyasa practice in preparation for the course.
How did I feel?
The big one. It was certainly intense, and I experienced a roller-coaster of emotions over the month. Some days I was euphoric, felling immensely connected to my body, nature and the world around me. Other days, I felt frustrated and lost, on the brink of, or in, tears throughout the day. One thing was for sure, the way I felt on the mat mirrored how I felt off the mat. If I struggled and got frustrated in my practice, the likelihood was I would struggle in my thoughts and actions too. Some of the yoga sessions, for example when we worked on the hips, left me feeling emotional for the rest of day. Interesting because it’s said we hold a lot of pent up emotion in our hip area.
I had days when I disliked the course and days when I wished it would never end. As it progressed, I felt my moods swings balance out a little as I started to observe and respond, rather than react as things came up. Even in these moments of struggle, I appreciated that it was part of the journey. I always knew it was what I needed.
Most important about ‘the feeling’ part of the course is that the effects have lasted well beyond it. I started the course truly believing that I was doing it to deepen my own practice. As the course progressed, my confidence grew and I realised, with the encouragement of my teachers, that I had what it takes to be a yoga teacher. That transformation has changed my life. I love teaching, I’m hungry to know more and I look forward to my upcoming lessons. It’s set me on a new, healthier and happy path in life. I nearly didn’t do the teacher training, thinking that I didn’t have the time or ability. Matthew encouraged me to go for it as it’s one of the best moves I’ve ever made.
- Set an intention
Just as you might at the beginning of the class, set an intention, remember why you practise yoga and why you may want to teach it. This intention and solid foundation to start from is useful to come back to if things get a little tough or overwhelming at times.
- Do it yourself
Study and learn for yourself, whether you want to teach afterwards or not, you’ll really get the most out of your teacher training course by absorbing the teachings and imbibing them. It’s only after fully embodying something that we can share it from an authentic and pure place.
- Embrace the not-knowing
There may be words, postures, subjects or whole days that you don’t understand. Guess what? It’s okay. Think of this as exploration, be curious, make mistakes, become confused and ask for help. Knowing that you don’t know is absolutely perfect and it does wonders for the ego. If you do feel confused, ask your teachers, mentors or peers for advice and you’ll end up learning a whole lot more than if you pretend to know it all from the beginning.
- Invest in tissues
There’s going to be a lot of crying. Whether they’re your tears or someone else’s, crying is often a big part of yoga teacher training. Self-development is a huge aspect, it’s important to let go of your baggage before standing up in front of a group of people and telling them to let go of theirs.
- Look after yourself
Yoga teacher training courses are very much a mixture of physical practice and plenty of sitting. When you’re bringing your body from a sitting position to a yoga posture, be mindful and kind, injuries on a training course may occur if you think you ‘need’ to be able to do a certain posture in order to be a teacher.
- Bumpy ride
One moment you’ll feel on top of the world, you love yoga and can’t wait to learn more, and the next moment you may not be able to look at another yoga mat. Let this happen and take regular breaks.
- This is only the beginning
Teaching yoga is not about simply showing up, throwing some shapes, drinking coconut water and then taking the rest of the day off to shop for some new yoga pants, sorry.
Remember your intention, teach from your heart, share what you know and continue to grow.
Study and self-reflection are essential parts of teaching yoga, when you graduate from your first yoga teacher training course, you’ll likely realise that this is only the beginning of a lifelong journey. There’s no limit to where it could take you, and it’s all a practice.
The YTT course tested my limits at times, physically and mentally, brought up emotions I had not experienced before and ultimately made me stronger, giving me a sense of invincibility and accomplishment. It is amazing how much we all achieved in such a short period of time, walking in as yoga students of various levels and walking out as teachers, ready to take our individual yoga journeys forward. This of course wouldn’t have happened without the support and encouragement of our teachers at BodyMindLife and the hard work that went into designing and executing this course.
Big thanks to everyone at the studio, new friends I made and all the supportive people around. You mean the world to me.
Become a yoga teacher with us! BodyMindLife runs full-time and part-time 200 hour teacher trainings, and 50 hour modules. See here for more details.