By Nadine Hogan, RYT
I spent the past ten years falling in and out of love with yoga. Then, about three years ago, my life as I knew it began to crumble and the only thing I could think to do was get to a yoga class. So, I went… and haven’t stopped since.
When I began to really dedicate time to my yoga practice it changed my world completely. If I missed a class I not only felt it in my body, but also in my mind. Yoga became one of the best tools in my survival kit, but it wasn’t just the physical practice. My studio, teachers and fellow students all added to the experience. Each bringing a unique energy that helped me to become stronger and more balanced in every facet of my life.
As much as I began to truly embrace yoga, I never thought I’d become a teacher. I still remember the first day I was asked if I had ever thought of signing up for yoga teacher training. Me? Doing yoga teacher training? Absolutely not!
I had many reasons for not wanting to become a teacher: “I’m not ready”, “I’m not strong enough”, “I’m not good enough”, and “I’m not precise or knowledgeable enough”. All of that self-doubt led me to believe that I was forever a student – I was not yoga teacher material.
My yoga love kept building but it took a full year before I finally started to seriously consider teacher training and ask myself “Why not?” instead of “Why?” “Why wasn’t I yoga teacher material?” “Who is yoga teacher material?” Around this time my understanding of what it meant to do teacher training started to shift. I began to understand that yoga isn’t about perfection – it’s about learning. I didn’t have to master yoga to learn more about yoga.
Hatha Yoga Teacher Training – the idea began to sit better with me. I still felt very young in my yoga years, but perhaps there was something positive in that as well. I was here, it didn’t matter how many hours I put on my mat, what mattered was my attitude. What mattered was how I felt now. I wanted to know more, learn more, read more, and surround myself with others who would encourage that growth as they grew alongside me.
But did I want to teach? I wasn’t even sure of that when I signed up, but it didn’t matter. When my training began I quickly learned that a lot of my fellow teachers-in-training felt exactly like I did. We were all in this together with the common thread being our love of the practice. We were all learning that it meant something different for each of us and there were many different paths to follow – none more right than the other.
When I think back on what kept me from teacher training a few years ago I realize it was my own expectations on myself: a need that I have to be perfect before even beginning. I could not be happier that I stepped outside of my comfort zone and did this training, learning all the while that those moments of self-doubt turn into moments of self-discovery.