by Timmie Wanechko
…Or, “How I Accidentally Became a Yoga Teacher”.
When I took my YogaWorks Teacher Training back in 2009, I had never taken a Yoga class before.
That’s not to say that I had never done Yoga before… I was a dedicated practitioner for many years, ever since I bought my first Yoga book at the tender age of eleven. For most of my teenage years, I practiced at home, and then in University, I got majorly unfit and lost all of my flexibility and fitness.
As a solo practitioner, never even owning a proper mat and just practicing in my bedroom, I knew one thing: Yoga made me feel good. It allowed me to feel good about my body, and it gave me a non-competitive avenue in which to explore creative movement.
But, that was it. My physical alignment was all out of whack, and I was making things too difficult for myself by using my muscles in a less-than-intelligent manner. I figured all of this out REAL QUICK, about 10 minutes into our first practice as Yoga Teacher Trainees.
That first class was a sweet disaster. I was huffing and puffing, and I had no idea what our teacher was trying to tell me to do, nor did I understand the cryptic ways she was describing the poses: what the eff was a “Vira Two”?!
I almost quit. I was THISCLOSE. I was in way over my head, and I had every legitimate reason to quit. Heck, we could barely afford the tuition, even with a scholarship for 50% off the price (more on that later).
But, obviously, I didn’t quit. I tucked my tail (pun intended!), allowed myself to be a complete beginner in a room full of advanced Yogis, and well, sucked it up!
Needless to say, I learned. I applied what I learned. I experienced the results of said application. I learned some more. And repeated…
And 7 years later, I’m still teaching Yoga! Crazy, crazy, crazy.
Teaching Yoga paved the way for me becoming a certified group fitness instructor, which led me to become a Zumba instructor, then a dance fitness instructor with specialities, then a nutrition coach, then a Reiki Master Teacher and Crystal Healer… I would NOT be where I am today, if I didn’t take that chance 7 years ago.
And to think that teaching Yoga/fitness was supposed to be my “hobby” job while I focused on my nursing career! Who’d have thought that this hobby job – now my career – would be the one thing that would be there for me, in spite of nursing layoffs, the economy, moves, children, etc. NOT ME, that’s for sure.
I want to impress something upon you: IT WAS DIFFICULT.
Doing that Yoga Teacher Training felt almost WRONG, that’s how difficult it was. Don’t get me wrong, I certainly enjoyed it! The people were amazing, I totally soaked up the education and the practices, but I was SO BEHIND compared to everyone else. I was always at the back of the room because I didn’t want people to see just how weak I was, compared to them.
I got better, thankfully. But it took major helpings of humble pie and grit and sweat and lots of almost-tears.
But at the end of those 9 long months, I had a completely new body, new attitude, and new SOUL. I had made lifelong friends (even our kids are friends!), I had a new career avenue, and I had put my foot in the door of my dream industry. In short, I was totally, utterly, radically CHANGED for the better.
And the money? It figured itself out. See, I got offered the scholarship because I had initially said no to the training because of financial constraints, and the studio owner (thank you, Renee!) offered me the scholarship because it hadn’t been assigned yet. Even with the 50% discount it was still a stretch, and I totally expected my hubs to decline. Surprisingly, his response was, “Well, it sounds like you’ve already made up your mind so you may as well go ahead and do it!”. WHA?!! Divine intervention, as far as I’m concerned
So. Whenever I’m in a situation where I’m dying to do something, but I feel totally out of my element and JUST NOT READY, I think back to that moment when I decided to enrol in the Yoga Teacher Training program.
Sometimes, it’s just not right. But most of the time? If you’ve got that yearning, and that passion, and that deep, deep desire? EXPECT IT TO BE DIFFICULT.
Expect it to be a stretch.
Expect to feel totally and completely unprepared.
You are. You’ve just ventured into amazing new territory OUTSIDE your comfort zone, where all the magic happens
If you’re on the fence about something, take this as a sign.
Go for it, Lightworker!