It's Fall and a great time to start something new. I've always loved this time of year. As a kid I loved summer. I was athletic and summer vacation meant playing on a soccer team, hot summer nights playing kick-the-can with all the kids in our neighborhood after dark, bike rides....you get the picture. Freedom to play around and get lost with friends for months. But I always welcomed the end of summer too. I liked the structure that came with a new school year and the change in season, the opportunity to learn something new.
Since YG opened 6 years ago (6 years!) I have been getting asked when was I going to teach trainings. And, truth be told, initially I had no plan for 200 or 300 hour teacher trainings. I knew I wanted to teach teachers and that I would eventually have a training program to do just that, but I wasn't sure what those training programs would look like. I needed to take some time as a new studio owner to get really clear on what was I teaching and how it was specific to my way of practicing and teaching.
So, for the first 2 winters I taught 6 week programs and just called them "Advanced Teacher Trainings". I just started to play around with how I was building classes around shapes and actions and tying them in with themes. I started to keep track of what I was using from the different systems of yoga I had been trained and certified in. What worked for me and what didn't. And it was great. I started to gain confidence around why I was choosing to teach the way I was, and just let it kind of take shape on it's own.
With that, a couple years into YG, students from our lovely community started asking (and then were very persistent, thank you Miss Calley Bliss and Pete Cairns) about getting certified through a YG TTing program. I was clear when I initially opened YG I didn't want to start training programs just to get people certified and credentialed. I wanted to be able to teach teachers to REALLY teach. To know how to work with students individually while in a group setting without stopping the rest of the class, for example. In particular I wanted to steer teachers away from teaching pose, pose, pose and teach them how to understand the ACTIONS of each pose in order to create the SHAPE. I wanted to do this through talking about linear vs cyclical learning and the importance of allowing ourselves to be vulnerable in order to learn something new. Understanding ALIGNMENT became the emphasis of my training and what I saw missing in many teachers understanding of the practice the most. I also wanted to teach teachers how to use metaphor in a clear and concise way that tied in with the physical practice.
By fall 2015 I felt clear and ready to teach teachers. I spent that fall getting organized, writing curriculum and setting up the behind-the-scenes materials necessary to start my my 200 Hour TT program in winter 2016 (thank you again, Calley Bliss). I titled it UNDERSTANDING ALIGNMENT THROUGH ACTION and we spent 3 months geeking out on that. It was a lot of work and so much fun. More fun than I had imagined and I kind of fell in love with teaching teachers. With every training taught I've had this great opportunity to build it and change it and make it better for the next time.
And I kind of thought that would be it. I would train teachers and they would become a big part of the studio and community at YG and they would continue to learn and grow through that. I saw the 200 Hour TT as foundational and was clear to let my teachers know that it was really the beginning of what is a life-long study. I had kept a running tab of what we didn't have time for in the 200 Hour each time I taught it and started to organize materials for additional trainings for certified instructors. I got clear on how additional training would pick up on where the 200 Hour left off. I wanted to have more time to teach the basics, how to teach with clarity and organize a class with intention. My certified teachers were asking for more.
This fall I started my first 300 Hour TT. I've titled it CLEAR AND VIBRANT VOICE and cannot wait to spend Wednesday nights for the next year with this great crew of yogis who are curious, and confident and understand how this process works and can't wait to learn more. I'm so thankful for each of the teachers and students who have jumped in to learn from me and spend time at YG to take their teaching and practice up. It's not kick-the-can or soccer but I love it just as much. It's all the freedom and structure we got as kids playing around together on summer nights with the excitement of learning something new when a new school year began.