200 Hour Power Yoga Teacher Training with CorePower | Weeks 1-3
I went to my first yoga class seven years ago at Yoga Works on Montana Avenue. I had just moved to Los Angeles and my yogi friend asked me to go with her and her boyfriend. Having no idea what to expect, I joined them - hey, I’m athletic. The class was a complete blur with lingo I had never heard spewing from the instructor’s mouth and girls with perfect tummies standing on their heads in sports bras. It was equal parts terrifying and invigorating.
Over the next few years I popped into a class here and there, some months hitting a 10 class streak, and others not stepping near a studio. Yoga was exotic to me. Sure, a beginner flow was a great place to get in a good stretch when I felt tight after lots of strength training and a hot class was a chance to work up a sweat when I needed an escape from the gym, but it never went deeper than that for me. Until it did.
I started going to Core Power after a client’s daughter raved about the classes. My friend Hannah and I frequented the Sculpt and Hot Power Fusion classes and left drenched and happy. Soon I strayed from those two classes and went to Core Power classes, and the practice of yoga began to take on a new meaning for me.
In the past, I considered teacher training to deepen my own practice (hoping maybe one day I could touch my toes) and provide my personal training clients with the additional knowledge. I contemplated for almost a year when one day I happened to bring up the idea with one of my clients. She encouraged me to look into the training options. Next thing I knew, I was meeting a Core Power instructor (who is also one of the teacher trainers) for a smoothie to discuss the program. I felt something when I was chatting with her that can only be described as “at home”. I signed up the next week and the rest is history.
Now when I unroll my mat before class I have a few minutes of therapy time, recounting the events of the day, arguments, accomplishments, to do lists and exciting weekend plans. Then I let it all go and attempt to clear my head. I’ve learned it’s ok when thoughts creep back into my headspace, and just allow them to wander back out. Sometimes I’m not able to clear my head and I realize there are emotions I need to confront - here’s where the real therapy takes place.
Aside from working my physical body through holding postures, yoga makes me feel empowered. Holding Warrior 2 I feel as fierce as Beyonce and strong enough to tackle anything around me. Yoga provides a few minutes where I can let everything else go, focus on alignment, strength and breathing, and every once in awhile get into a flow.
I will say this: Diving in wholeheartedly and immersing yourself into something you're not completely comfortable with is humbling and exhilarating, and if you haven't done it in a while, you should. If you’re considering teacher training to teach or even to deepen your own practice, or you’re just curious about what it’s like, I created a list of what I’ve experienced so far.
What to expect from yoga school:
LOTS of yoga. You’re not just learning to teach yoga, you’re deepening your own practice so you can understand how to better guide others through theirs. By experiencing how poses and buckets (you’ll learn what a bucket is too:) feel and how to best articulate them, you will be able to effectively teach others. So prepare to sweat, down dog and to be sore!
Your schedule is going to intensify. I’m actually really glad I started this program during the summer session because I feel like I’m in summer camp. I still work full time, so it wouldn’t be that much different if it was the fall, but there’s something about the weather and our schedule that feels “campy” (in a good way). We’re all connected through countless hours spent together learning, chanting, practicing, sharing meals and meditating. It’s week three and I’ve made connections, so I have a feeling by the end of this journey some of us will remain friends. As far as the schedule goes, it depends on the layout you choose. Some people choose to do an intense 8 week program (the program I’m currently in), and for some stretching it out for a longer period of time is better suited for their work schedule. Right now, I take at least 5-6 yoga classes/week (I should technically take more), and go to teacher training Wednesdays from 8-11pm and Saturday and Sunday from 2-5pm.
You’ll feel more spiritual. As I said before, yoga was always more of a workout for me. Now that we’ve started to learn more of the philosophical and spiritual elements of yoga, I feel a sense of spirituality when I step on my mat, and oftentimes in little pockets throughout my day. We begin and end each training with OM’s in a circle with knees touching. Meditation is part of the practice and the training. I’m really working on focusing on the present moment as often as possible, and I attribute that to teacher training.
You’ll read, you’ll write and you’ll learn some sanskrit. Chaturanga Dandasana, Samasthiti, Uttanasana - yep, you will review all of these. And quite frankly, it’s hard not to remember at least a few of them when you’re going to yoga most days of the week. You’ll also read about the philosophy and history, learn the alignment of poses and learn more about Baron Baptiste (creator of Baptiste Power Yoga). You’ll write essays about what yoga means to you, how to cue someone into an inversion and why certain poses are important to you, your practice and your teaching.
To feel more confident and adopt a new way of speaking. This might sound drastic, but it’s true, and it’s one of my favorite parts about this experience so far. Although I’m only three weeks into the program, I feel different. I feel a connection with others, I feel more patient, I feel more loving, I feel more understanding. And this all comes from a confidence that we are all connected deep down underneath all the layers. We aren’t what we do, what we have or where we live. There is something deeper than that and when you have the understanding that we are all connected on some level, little by little you start to look at people differently, talk to people a little nicer and be a little more patient (sometimes. It’s a gradual process;). At least that’s how I feel.
I hope this helps answer any questions if you're considering teacher training. I'm open to answering any questions about my experience thus far and will continue to share. Also - if you have gone through yoga teacher training and have any advice I'd love to hear it!