yoga teacher training: teachings from a weekend with the Bhagavad Gita

There are a few reasons why I selected the studio I did for my teacher training (TT). Sure, I’ve always considered Nishkama Yoga to be my “yoga home” so you might think of course I would have wanted to do my TT there. But familiarity and geographical convenience aside, I know I made the right decision based on our body of work.  You might think yoga teacher training’s purpose is to make you a yoga teacher, but you learn so much more than that.

Yes, we learn about the anatomy of the body. My teacher’s background as a medical professional and a scientist shines through each time she pulls out our anatomy textbook. We spent this weekend discussing the muscles of the upper body. The good news: my hyperextended arms have really strong triceps. The better news: I learned a new cue – “slightly flex your bicep in down dog” – that just might change my practice.

Yes, we find ourselves in crazy advanced poses that you didn’t even know existed. It’s funny how you bump up to Wheel pose, just content to be in the full backbend. That’s when your teacher comes over and says to you “get what you came for”. She then suggests you drop to your forearms while placing the crown of your head on the ground while straightening your legs to the back of your mat. Lesson learned: start putting your hair in pigtail braids because coming out of that backbend/headstand combo is no fun on a standard ponytail.

But at its core, teacher training is really about making you a better version of yourself.  When I’m tapped into the philosophical studies of my practice is when I grow the most.  Our guide for this is The Bhagavad Gita.  The Gita, as many lovingly refer to it, is considered to be one of the world’s greatest spiritual tales. It’s the story of Prince Arjuna and the divine Lord Krishna, and is the backbone of our philosophical teachings. This weekend especially was jammed packed with Gita goodness.

My fellow TTs joke that I must have been a scribe in a former life as I’m always writing during our sessions.  Our discussions of the Gita bring up concepts that fill my journal pages:

Too many important lessons for one page to handle.

And when my hand gets tired and my brain gets fuzzy, that’s what my iPhone camera is for.

So yes, I’m excited that after many months, I’ve become a yoga teacher.

I have also become a stronger person – physically and mentally.

I have also become a calmer person, being able to handle my anxiety and other stressful scenarios in a more peaceful fashion.

But ultimately, I have also become a person aware of her actions, doing her best to live in the present moment and appreciating the here and now.

Learning all the physical asana poses in the world can’t come close to the knowledge of learning those abilities.

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8 comments

  1. Jess says:

    Oh girl, I LOVE this — I love it for you and how it’s changed you and calmed you and centered you. And is transforming you into that better version of yourself (you were already very fab before, I might add!). Your joy and confidence and calmness shines through in this post. I LOVE all of this!! And now I REALLY want to come visit you in CLE so I can take a yoga class taught by YOU! xoxo!

  2. Ali says:

    Cool stuff! Thanks for the updates. A Yoga Training is on my bucket list, so I hope to one day get there…. In the meantime thanks for your info!

  3. Christine @ Love, Life, Surf says:

    This is a great post Alicia. I love hearing what you’ve learned through YTT and how it’s about making you a better version of yourself. This makes me so excited about continuing my practice and exploring the possibility of YTT for myself.

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