So I’m three weeks into my yoga teacher training with Yoga Rhythms and wow, what a three weeks it’s been. I feel like I’ve been in a yogic bubble since the first part of the training ended, in a good way! The new philosophies, perspectives and practices I am learning have already enriched my life so much and I know this is only the beginning.
However, I’d be lying if I said it’s been easy – especially incorporating the extra study and practice into daily routines. Like many, I’m doing this alongside a full time job and various other commitments and I’ve definitely felt the pressure when it comes to fitting it all in, and especially in maintaining the headspace needed to progress in yoga.
After I was gladly reunited with my classmates for the next block of teacher training on Saturday, we got chatting about how we’ve all been finding it and it turns out, quelle surprise, I’m not alone in feeling the challenge of integrating yoga into an already busy life. It was reassuring to hear that others feel the same way, and also great because we shared ideas on things to help. So, here are my top tips:
1 – Daily meditation, without compromise
If someone had of told me that the key to a successful yoga teacher training course was daily meditation before I started, I would have been puzzled, if not doubtful. However, I can hand on heart say that I am so glad I took on Jo’s (Yoga Rhythms founder and course leader) advice to make sure that as a minimum commitment, I meditated at least once daily. Meditation gives you the space & clarity to process everything else. As I’ll come on to mention, fitting new daily practices in can be a challenge so I always meditate first thing in the morning. That way, I have a fresh mind and limited distractions which make it easier to focus.
2 – Advance plan time for study & practice
Course schedules vary, but more often than not there’s a lot of learning and practice required in a short period of time. The sheer volume of information can be overwhelming and although you don’t need to know everything verbatim to pass the course, you’ll want to understand as much as possible to ensure you’re well equipped to teach confidently at the end of it. So, if you already have a busy life, I’d recommend working out a schedule and planning time for study and practice in advance. It may sounds like a draconian approach, and maybe it’s not right for everyone, but time has a nifty habit of slipping away and if you’re like me and sometimes overambitious with what you commit to then advance planning will really help, even if it means you realise early that you need to cut back on other plans.
3 – Don’t forget time to rest
Following on from my last point, the increase in yoga practice can put all sorts of demands on the body and mind. You are likely to feel sore after a lot of deep stretching, and you may even find that like me, as your body starts to relax through meditation and daily practice you stop functioning on adrenaline so much. Although this sounds great, it can also mean you’re temporarily susceptible bugs etc as your immune system finds its feet after being propped up by adrenalin for so long. It’s nothing to be scared of and it will lead to a much better well-being, but it means you need to take good care of yourself: physically, mentally and in every other way! Know your limits and pay attention to your body.
Oh, and last but not least – enjoy and cherish every second. Remember you’re doing what you love and this will be life changing!