The Road to Becoming a Yoga Teacher
In the past I had perceived yoga as an activity for the super flexible and enlightened. Yet, here I am, with tight hamstrings and hip flexors, a lifetime (or two) away from reaching Samadhi, and a qualified 200-hour yoga teacher – how time can change you!
I have practiced yoga for many years, but as we entered the strange times of the pandemic, I found myself gravitating to my mat more and more. It’s a habit that became engrained in my daily life, as I took part in virtual classes and watched videos of experts across YouTube and fitness apps.
Practising from the comfort of my own home gave me the opportunity to try new asana and sequences – and fall over and get back up – with greater frequency. Plus, without my usual five-day-a-week commute, I could easily fit in a trip to my ‘studio’ (spare bedroom!) before the day even began.
Yoga was an activity that helped ground me in the most difficult times, and I continued my practice as restrictions lifted, frequenting my local hot yoga studio every week – I utterly fell in love with how it made me feel.
The thought entered my mind: ‘how can I deepen my understanding of yoga?’. I explored teacher training courses but decided that there was no way I could fit it into my busy schedule, there would be people more experienced, more flexible…maybe I wasn’t ready. I remember a fateful conversation with a friend when I mentioned the idea and she boldly asked me what I was waiting for. As the saying goes, if something excites you and scares you at the same time, then it might be a good thing to try.
I submitted my application to the Live Free Fund and was utterly delighted and surprised to be selected as a recipient of funds to cover the majority of the course fee. Then the real work began.
The 200-hour course started in September 2022 and, without a doubt, was one of the most challenging, brilliant, emotional and magical journeys I have ever embarked on. Across eight months, I spent full weekends in the studio, evenings on Zoom classes, and time in between studying, practising, and memorising various details about the ancient and vast practice of yoga.
Sanskrit, asana, pranayama, kriya, ancient texts, Yamas, Niyamas, chakras, anatomy and so much more – the course immersed me in the world of yoga and, despite the intensity of learning so much, it taught me that I would forever be a student. I had truly embarked on a lifelong journey, and how excited I was to be on board.
I lived and breathed yoga, spending every free moment revising and recalling information. I enlisted family and friends to act as students, added post-it notes to key texts, created revision cards and even verbally rehearsed sequences during car journeys.
Finally, the moment that once felt like a lifetime away arrived, and after many assessments, I could declare – I am officially a yoga teacher!
Now the dust has settled (and I have readjusted to life with free evenings and weekends, now and again!), I’ve started teaching in the real world. I recently launched a monthly Thrive at Five yoga class for my WPR family and look forward to introducing new people to yoga, without the sometimes intimidating perceptions that can surround the activity.
If you’ve ever considered trying yoga, then my advice is to go for it. Whether it’s a regular 60-minute session, or a quiet five minutes of gentle movement at the beginning or end of a busy day, yoga is for everyone.
About WPR’s Live Free Fund
The Live Free Fund was established in 2021 in memory of much-loved colleague Zara Free.
Inspired by Zara’s passion for living life to the full, the Live Free Fund exists to make life-enriching experiences possible for members of the WPR team, creating opportunities for them to to broaden their horizons and grow as individuals.
Whether gaining a new skill or qualification, or making a once-in-a-lifetime trip across the world, the Live Free Fund encourages people to embrace things outside their comfort zones, keeping Zara’s spirit of curiosity and adventure alive at WPR.