Sunday I finished my second 100 hour teacher training with Ryan Bailey. It was an incredible experience, from start to finish, each day was dynamic and had all kinds of lessons about everything from emotional intelligence, to public speaking skills, to asana practice, anatomy, the hero’s journey, and much more. The name of the training was the Yoga Lab, an idea Ryan had for training people how to teach yoga. The idea was to cover things that aren’t normally taught in teacher trainings, like presentation skills, how to be yourself while teaching, and how to think on your feet. It was more of a life training than a yoga teacher training, and Ryan deserves a ton of credit for what he is creating. Bob Bradley was a part of the training as well and pulled in many of his leadership techniques and skills in lots of situations. The main thing I walked away from the training with is the ability to step into a yoga class and be myself.
This might sound simple, but it’s not. Presenting to people is difficult, having the attention of a group of people is nerve-racking to anyone without experience. Remembering a sequence, keeping calm while inflecting your voice, being present to assist students, and giving personal attention to individuals while controlling the whole group are just a few of the skills you need to be able to bring your self into a yoga room. Ryan’s ability to open us up to being vulnerable and open in our dialogue was incredible; I feel like I am in touch with aspects of myself that I didn’t even know existed. At the end of the training, I told a story that I’ve never told anyone else in my life. The things we learned will stay with me for the rest of my life.
It’s interesting to notice progress. One of the biggest things that we worked on was removing fill words from dialogue. We spent time paying attention and building awareness around words such as: Um, so, like, now, really, and other words that simply fill up space. Silence in a yoga class is important, especially from the teacher’s dialogue. It takes time to let things settle and sink in. This was another huge lesson from the training. I could talk about the individual learnings for hours, but I think the biggest ones were about how to connect with the people who you are teaching. Which is what modern-day yoga is really about.
Every single day was a blast. More fun than I can ever remember having, which is typical with Ryan Bailey. Kyle, Timmy, Jamie, and the rest of the crew also helped to have so much fun the whole time we were there. We did some amazing work to build a team and I think that our entire group is going places. Part of the reason I love working with Ryan is that he is constantly surrounded by amazing people.
Of course there was also some awesome anatomy work, focused on the muscular and skeletal systems, and the philosophy we studied ranged from the Hindu belief systems to the mono-myth. No subject was off-limits and everything was interactive and in close quarters. I would do another in a heartbeat. I am so grateful for being able to have the experience and grow with the people who gave themselves to the training. It was powerful.
I don’t have any future trainings planned, but I will definitely be on the look-out. The more opportunity that I can give myself to grow, the better.