“From little things big things grow.” I used to love that song especially when my son was little. If you’ve ever raised a child you know how intense it is at the start. How every second of your time is consumed with feeding, burping, diaper changing and trying to get some bit of rest in somewhere. As the baby grows time has a way of stretching out and a symbiotic relationship unfolds where you take the time you have and use it wisely. Before you know it your baby is a child, teenager and then an adult and BOOM you have all the time in the world. Those childrearing years are a time of in breathing; you take as much air in as you can, learning all the way and then when its all over you breathe out. Some women try to fill the gap by keeping busy but the wise ones stop and go quiet, taking time to reflect and savour the 17 or 18 years of devotion and dedication. There is a pause and a reconciliation and it’s enough.
When someone decides they want to do a yoga teacher training it’s a little like being pregnant. They are incredibly excited about whats about to take birth. They look for a course they feel suits them best and once enrolled do all the necessary things to prepare themselves. Like taking extra classes, reading lots of books, buying all the gear and so on. Once on the course they go for it. Like child rearing there is no time to stop, there are requirements to be fulfilled, asanas to learn, philosophical concepts to be swallowed and all sorts of personal realisation to be had. Whether the course is 4 weeks, 6 weeks or 14 days its seems as if time has swallowed them whole and at the end in the final circle they feel just like that empty nester. Now what?
In most cases a newly graduated teacher forgets to breath out. They forget to stop and integrate what they have learned. In my own life as a teacher I knew the value in stopping and took my time to teach. I started slowly with one class a week. Knowing when to ask a more senior teacher for help if I was confused about a posture. When I was starting out almost 30 years ago there weren’t the opportunities there are now to keep training. We didn’t have weekend intensives, or week long immersions or even advanced trainings in exotic locations.
There’s so much pressure now from accreditation bodies like Yoga Alliance and Yoga Australia to keep upping our credentials. We’ve been conditioned in the last ten years to think that after our first Teacher Training we are under qualified and that unless we do more we won’t know what we are doing. We have made yoga so complicated when actually its the simplest of the simplest. In any yoga class a teacher shares what they know and the student happily follows. A beginner doesn’t expect their teacher to be a fancy high flyer who knows the ins and outs of chakra weaving, tantra breathing and hula twirling. They simple want to be led through a sequence have a nice relaxation and get on with their day. So why do we feel so inadequate as teachers if we don’t have 1008 hrs of training under our belt? And why do we think doing yoga on some island is better then studying with our mentors in our hometown?
Because we have forgotten to pause and take in everything we have learned. We think that self improvement is equal to doing more when actually the whole purpose of learning yoga and doing yoga hopefully leads to the understanding that there is nothing you NEED to do to be your SELF. By no means am I saying don’t do further training, and of course seek out teachers that inspire you and help you grow. The message here is to take your time. Give yourself a year or two to let the little things grow. To see what the real questions are if any. Develop your own practice, be with yourself on the mat without outside stimulation. Practice and practice some more and understand what it means to truly listen and be still. And then when there is no pressure dive deeper.
To find out more about our upcoming Level 1- 350 hr Yoga Alliance and Yoga Australia accredited training visit www.rachelzinmanyoga.com