I had six excuses for why I hadn’t completed a Yoga Teacher Training. In August of 2018, I overcame these and completed an intensive Kundalini Yoga Teacher Training in New Mexico. Here’s what I learned wasn’t true at all…
I Can’t Hold My Arms Up for 3 Minutes | I Can’t Sit in Lotus
I thought that yoga teachers needed to be masters of every move before they started teaching. Wow was I wrong! I learned that you don’t have to demo the poses for nearly as long as you’re asking students to do them. Starting from the same place as many students (can’t hold my arms up, can’t sit comfortably in easy pose) was actually an advantage. As I learned how to improve my stamina, it was easy to translate that into suggestions for students working on the same thing.
I Don’t Do Things I’m Not Already Great At
Kundalini Yoga Teacher Training was the first training I signed up for that I wasn’t sure I could complete. Up until this point, I had only chosen to learn things I knew I could be world-class in. The first yoga class I taught was the first bad training I’d given in my life. I was mortified but I learned a ton! It turned out that Yoga wasn’t about being perfect. It was about being brave enough to keep trying no matter how far you have to go.
I Don’t Wear White
My first career as stage manager in NYC was an all-black clothing affair. I was proud of my elegant, multi-functional, and very black wardrobe. I was resistant to a lifestyle change that required more laundry expertise. During school I discovered you only *need* white when you’re officially leading a class so you can get through training with one nice white outfit. Second I found buying white clothing from real people was a joy compared to supporting expensive clothes produced in cheap conditions. Lastly, I got better at laundry. I’m shocked at what OXO/OXY cleaners can get out of white these days.
I Don’t Have the Money
The economics of training appeared insane. Not only does it require skipping a month of work but it costs thousands of dollars. And of course at the end of the whole process, yoga teachers rarely make a living wage in the Bay Area. Kundalini Yoga Teacher Training taught me to trust that if I keep up then I’ll be kept up. I arrived at my training with not enough money to buy the gas required to drive home if I didn’t like it. As I meditated a thousand miles away from my friends and family, they were cheering for me. So by the time graduation came around I had a multi-million dollar company sale on the table and friends flying in to pay for the road trip home.
I Don’t Have the Time
I have learned from my wealthiest friends that having control over how you spend your time is the ultimate luxury. My motivation to attend Yoga Teacher Training was altruistic but in the end I was the one who benefited the most. Time will bend when you add this to your schedule. It’s an amazing opportunity to ask for support at home or at work while you do something for yourself. I know you would put in extra effort to help a family member improve their mind, body, and soul so don’t be shy about asking your family for help.
I Don’t Want to Teach
I was shocked in the first opening circle of training where virtually every person said they were here to deepen their own practice. I was externally-impact oriented so the idea of coming to a yoga teacher training for myself had never occured to me. They were right and I was wrong. I spent the most time in training deepening my own practice and setting the foundation of a daily home practice. Teaching turned out to be the best method to improve myself.
Kundalini Yoga Teacher Training in Berkeley Starts January 25th
I got more out of Kundalini Yoga Teacher Training then any other experience of my life (more than Burning Man, Landmark Leadership Forum, Founding Women Grow or talk therapy). So I’m going back just to be in the room with you all. Perhaps the most famous living Kundalini Yoga teacher is coming to the Bay Area in 2019. You can read more about Gurmukh’s herstory online and you can listen to Gurmukh’s Podcast to get a sense of her style. It’s hard to covey her power on just a recording. Just know, I was so impressed with the two days I learned under her that I’m coming back for 28 days with her in Berkeley.
Check out the dates for Kundalini Yoga Teacher Training next year.