Over 40 people of all experience levels and backgrounds comprise this year’s contingent of students from the Yoga Teacher Training (YTT) program that is run at The Yoga Sanctuary’s College location. We started in September and are now approximately midway through the course that we expect to complete in May 2009. Thereafter, we will be fully certified to teach yoga.
Why did most of us sign up for this program? Recalling the first class back in September–which included chanting and a puja–the answers given were as varied as the participants. From talking to my fellow YTTers throughout the last few months, I’ve deduced that most had commitments to their careers, education and relationships, but were looking for something more out of life.
I can only speak for myself when I mention the compromises that I have constantly been asked to make. The often repeated mantra chanted by society is that to do something creative and interesting with your career, you must give up financial security and play a game of roulette that ends with most people abandoning their dreams unfulfilled.
They say that “The journey of a thousand miles starts with one step.” For most of us, that step was our very first time taking yoga where we fumbled through the postures without really knowing what we were doing. Now we’ve begun a process of refining our technique and bringing new awareness to our practice. It’s not just in what we do in the studio, but in how it’s changed our lives– one step at a time.
The atmosphere of a YTT class is carefree and gentle, so unlike many institutions of learning that I have previously attended. You can often hear laughter and chuckling as our main instructor, Cynthia Funk, tells jokes and stories (“I’m a vegetarian. Except when I eat meat.”). The various assistant teachers bring a quiet sense of confidence to the room and are always there to help us.
Next year, we’ll continue our journey and get a chance to open up a new set of possibilities that come with certification. It’s hard work, but it’s also a year that I can always look back on and smile knowing that I was doing something I enjoyed with people who cared about each other.