This wasn’t a new idea for me. I’d contemplated learning to teach yoga a few years back, but stopped myself when I remembered the idea of teaching anyone anything scared the living shish kebab out of me.
So I shelved my yoga teacher dreams, and went back to my solo practise.
Fast forward to May 2018, when I was in the Amazon, on a quest to see what I was really made of and what the plant kingdom (in the form of ayahuasca) had to show me.
This is where I had all the stereotypical realisations. I realised that yes, we are all connected. And yes, we are all love. And yes, there is something deeply wrong with living our lives through LCD screens.
I love what I do, really. I love reading, writing, podcasting and helping my community of creative introverts.
But the business I’ve built, in it’s current form, is inherently dependent on communication through my laptop. I occasionally run workshops in person, give talks to any audience who’ll have me, and I love podcasting because it gives me that extra bit of connection, through speech.
But beyond that, it’s all typed words and on-brand imagery. Perfect for the creative introvert in me, but limited in its ability to fulfil the bigger part of me… whatever that is.
All I know is there is some part of me (and you) that can only be nourished through human connection. In actual real life. In a setting conducive to connection, healing and growth.
Along with my discovery that I have a need to fulfil that can’t be met solely through my current service, I had a few more lightbulb moments that led me to taking the YTT plunge:
Surprising discovery #1: I really like teaching people things.
This was not the case when I first considered adding yoga teacher training to my career bow. However, since slowly dipping my toe in the waters of teaching, through The Creative Introvert’s online courses, as well as collaborating with local training businesses in Brighton, I learned that actually… I do really like playing teacher.
I really like getting to share what I’ve learned with fellow eager learners. I like seeing lightbulb moments when someone ‘gets it.’ I like answering questions – the tougher the better.
Could this love for teaching about marketing and podcasting and such, translate to the yoga mat? Well, it makes me curious to find out.
Surprising discovery #2: I really like being with people.
The introverted elephant in the room. Yes, I’ve made a business from ‘being’ an introvert. But does that mean I don’t like being with people? Heck no! It just means I need to manage my energy efficiently and create the right amount of balance between alone time and people time.
I’ve actually gotten quite good at making time for being alone, but I’m finding it harder to get quality time in a group of people who aren’t just there because we all happen to be on a pub on a Friday night. What I learned from my trip to Dreamglade in the Amazon, was that I thrive on smallish, quiet groups of like minds. Fellow seekers, looking to illuminate their worlds and the lives of others. That doesn’t drain my energy, that fills my energy cup right up.
So you might be thinking: “Cat. Why would you need to teach yoga – surely you can just go to more yoga classes if you want that group vibe more?”
In theory… but not in practise. For one, I find it difficult to keep myself accountable when it comes to group classes. It might be that part of me that gets socially anxious tends to give me excuses as to why I should just stay home and practise.
If I’m the teacher… I kind of have to show up.
I’m also quite picky about the way a group is facilitated. Going to classes that aren’t facilitated… to my liking… has only given me more impetus to create my own little group, a space which is tailored to those who do feel a bit socially anxious and struggle in group environments. A space that’s supportive, inclusive and welcoming.
I’m sure there are teachers out there who do that, but it doesn’t stop me from wanting to bring more of that into the world.
Surprising discovery #3: I might actually be able to do this.
That was a shocker. I actually learned this from speaking to the on-site yoga teacher at Dreamglade, the absolutely lovely Jess. She was sweet, encouraging and tremendously grounded. I asked her some questions about YTT, and she gave me some sage advice.
In talking to her more, the possibilities of actually making this a reality started to take flight. I also started to fantasise about what I could do with the teacher training in terms of travelling and having a portable skill that allows me to be of use in a way that doesn’t involve a fast wifi connection.
Jess also reassured me that I didn’t need to be able to kick up into a handstand right this second in order to teach others. I knew this from my teaching as The Creative Introvert – all I had to be was one step ahead to help someone else – but for some reason, I hadn’t applied this to yoga.
Oooh, I thought. I might actually be able to do this.
Surprising discovery #4: It’s actually quite affordable.
When I broke down the cost of training (from about £2000-£3000 for most schools near me) and thought about the time I was getting with my teachers, as well as the options I have afterwards in terms of running classes, workshops, offering online classes, retreats… the numbers started to work out.
No, I don’t think yoga teaching will add significantly to my income, but it’s a bloody nice sounding option. Especially if it means I can spend a bit less time looking at the laptop screen.
And with that – I should probably wrap this one up and get on the mat.
I’ll be starting my YTT200 in September 2018, and it lasts around 5 months – which I love, because I’m skeptical about month-long intensives (I don’t trust myself to learn anything that quickly, but more power to you if you can.)
I’ll be updated this blog with my experience, what I’m learning, what I’m struggling with (which, no doubt there’ll be plenty of!) and I’m more than happy to take any questions you might have, if you’re considering starting yoga teacher training.