Updated: Apr 15, 2020
I hope you're all remaining safe & healthy as we experience this pandemic together. At the beginning of this year I started a 3-part series about how to choose a Yoga Teacher Training that's right for you, and I planned on publishing my last installment of the series in March. Well, as you all know, life here in Nashville experienced a dramatic turn of events starting with a tornado the first week of March and Coronavirus/ COVID-19 arriving the week after.
While we're going to switch gears a little bit from discussing YTT for the person who already teaches, we will talk about a very current phenomena that many of us--myself included--are experiencing yet none of us signed up for: virtual yoga teacher training.
For many of us that were diligently completing our 200- and 300-hr YTT programs, we have all been forced into a weird situation of navigating a brave new world of online programming.
We can all be honest. It's not easy, but we can do it.
For me, I have an interesting perspective of being involved in the situation as a 200-hr yoga teacher trainer and a 300-hr advanced studies YTT student. In my experience thus far, as a YTT teacher at Kali Yuga Yoga's yoga school, we've had to figure out how to transition our Spring 2020 YTT group from a 100% in-person program to a 100% virtual program as quickly & seamlessly as possible, and it has been a race to get training materials online ready.
Back in February when everything was normal, I also registered for four training modules this summer that now I'm not sure will be in-person or virtual or cancelled because of all the uncertainty surrounding public health. My only saving grace is that my Ayurvedic Wellness Counselor program had an online learning component which gives me a sense of familiarity & preparedness for virtual learning courses, plus I attended a few online classes while I was in college.
For those of us that are already yoga teachers and we find ourselves in this strange new situation for our advanced training, I think we might have an easier time making this transition because we already have an established teaching practice to draw from, and we kind of know what to expect as we can draw on our previous YTT experiences.
For those of you that are attending your first 200-hr yoga teacher trainees, I recognize that this is a very hard time to embark on a new journey and I have a lot of empathy and understanding for any frustration you're experiencing. That being said, YOU GOT THIS. YOU CAN DO IT. Yoga teaches us to be flexible, resilient, creative, strong and compassionate--now it the time to start exploring how to put these qualities into practice. Cultivate a positive mindset and keep in mind that your YTT teachers are also in this crazy situation along side their students; offer grace to your teachers as they catch the program from sliding into a free fall and you'll find it's easier to offer yourself grace as you find your footing in your evolving program.
So, that's all for this month. Just some encouragement that you'll make it through it, but, the key is to go through it. As the ancient scriptures of the Bhagvad Gita says in 6.20, Yoga is one's ability to:
see the Self through the self and rests in the Self, rejoicing.
Often times this passage is rephrased as the popular saying "Yoga is journey of the Self, through the self, to the Self." So, yes, go through it and find yourself right there, a newly certified yoga teacher, at the end of this really wild detour.