This post was written by our teacher trainee and wellness blogger, Kendall who has just completed her first week of our self-paced online Yoga Teacher Training. We hope that her insights will give you a feel for the course and what it might involve. If you would like to discuss the course in more detail with us, we'd love to hear from you! Set up a discovery call, or learn more about our online YTT
And just like that, week one of my online Yoga Teacher Training is complete! I can't believe it's only been one week. The amount that I have learned, grown, and done in the first part of this course honestly makes it feel like it has been much longer.
Nonetheless, here I am, a quarter of the way through my Yoga Teacher Training with BeWell. Ready to share my ups and downs with you all!
Read on to find out how it differs from my expectations, things that I have found hard, things that I have thoroughly enjoyed and just an overall view on how this past week has been.
Was it what I expected?
Thinking about it now, I don’t really know what I expected. I knew it would be full-on and quite intense, but it has definitely been more overwhelming than I was expecting, but in a good way. I feel I have been truly engulfed by the course, well and truly thrown into the deep end.
I mean this in the way that there is so much information that I never knew before. I've found myself reading up and learning more about areas of yoga that I never even knew existed. I find that I need to read something a few times or look into it a bit more before it fully sinks it.
Learning something new: a process
So far the course has been a process of growth, where I am learning more about both yoga and myself.
I have noticed in this first week that I am more aware of certain doubts or worries about my own ability. These are some of them:
Trying to remember everything
It is tricky to remember everything that I have learnt in the past week. From meditation styles to postures, it is a lot to take in. I frustrate myself further by telling myself I should know it all off by heart now. The one thing I do need to remember is that it takes time and by putting the lessons into practice I will slowly become more and more familiar with them.
Feeling like a beginner
There have been moments where I question myself about becoming a teacher. I started yoga over 3 years ago now and here I am, one week in, feeling like a complete and absolute beginner.
When things don’t click straight away
I'm one of those people that just expects to learn something and it clicks. I really don’t know why because that is never the case. More so, I need to learn something, go away and let it sink in, then put it into practice for a while before I'm even close to getting it. This course has emphasised that. Especially when it comes to things like meditation. I can read about and understand different styles, but actually doing them is a whole other battle.
At the end of each week, I have a one-to-one with Miriam, my mentor. We use this time to go through the week, any assignments and my teaching practise videos. I don't know why but I was super nervous about my first one, of course I know, nobody is going to be perfect one week in but the doubt started kicking in.
It was so useful to me and really helped me overcome these feelings by learning that a lot of these thoughts are exactly that: thoughts. Even though I know it really, I was relieved to hear that I'm not the only one that feels this way and that what I had been doing, my videos etc. were all on the right track. I finished my one-to-one feeling like a new, confident teacher trainee ready and raring to get into week 2!
Things I have noticed an improvement in
Along with the struggles, there have been a few great personal positives I have discovered this week:
An increase in my productivity
The main thing I have noticed since starting the course is the change to my productivity. I feel like a new person. Now, I'm quite a productive person anyway, most of the time, but of course, over the last few months of lockdown, I didn’t have much work or much to do at all and so it got really easy to just do nothing. I would even say I enjoyed it! However, I found that a few days into the course, I was so motivated. I was creating to-do lists, I was waking up earlier, I felt refreshed!
Whether that is to do with the meditation, daily practice, daily breathing exercises or just the course on a whole, I'm not sure. But it feels so good! I will definitely keep certain aspects of the routine in my life once the course is finished.
I feel more confident. And only ever so slightly. But part of the first week is to practise teaching on people at home. Something that I dreaded. I know, how would I be a teacher? That's what I was thinking! I think I just overthink things and let my mind take over when I’m feeling anxious. Fast forward to the end of week 1, I was barely bothered by it. Nobody is perfect when they first start, nobody knows it all and especially not me. I had to bring myself to accept this and once I did, it was fun.
Ability to still the mind
Before you get the wrong idea, I have NOT learnt how to still my mind. It still goes crazy the majority of the time. I have, however, noticed little points of stillness, points of presence in my mind. Even if it is just for a moment here and there, I welcome it and look forward to spending more time being present.
In preparation for week two
Reflecting on the week has helped me pinpoint things I want to spend more time focusing on for week two.
The main thing I want to take into week two with me is the openness to embrace any new styles, techniques or methods that I will come across. I want to leave behind any judgement of how I should be and just be vulnerable to feeling out of my depth. At least, I will try.
I was so excited to start my YTT, having wanted to do it for a while now to dive further into my practise. I was also really nervous about it. I still feel both excited and nervous for the weeks to come but feel much more open and aware of what to expect now.
I always imagined going abroad to do my YTT and getting the entire community experience from it and so was a little apprehensive of what it would be like online. I have realised that an online course has actually suited me much more. Considering work and life, if I had waited to take time off to do a course, I may never have done it, whereas doing it online has given me the freedom to work around it, in my own time.
Learning online has been great, I can go back over things that I want to understand better and I can take it at my own pace. It is structured so clearly that I know exactly what I am doing each day and it all links in. For example, if I learn about a specific method or pose one day, the next day we would put that into practise. I'm sure you can imagine, it has its challenges too. BeWell offer two different options for their online Yoga Teacher Training: a self paced course, and a guided course. In the guided course, you join a group and get 4+ hours of daily guidance and interaction with trainers and an online teaching and a learning experience mirroring an in-person yoga teacher training experience. In the self-paced online Yoga Teacher Training you have full access to pre-recorded theory sessions, written assignments, daily meditation, pranayama, journalling, and pre-recorded video practise. You also get live one-to-one sessions each week. Trying to stay motivated and on top of it all and not having people on the course with you to chat with and discuss things you've learnt is one challenge of the self-paced option. So far though, this hasn't been a problem for me and the main benefit is that it offers much more flexibility.
Ultimately, it has all been very empowering...To feel completely out of my depth, to be right at the start of this journey with all the tools in place to take my practice deeper than ever before.
Feeling like a complete beginner has been scary and I have doubted myself daily. But, I'm learning to be open and accepting to the experience, knowing it will help me progress and become the teacher I should be.