I assisted my first 200-hour yoga teacher training back in 2013 and went on to organize, plan and co-lead (in various capacities) five other trainings. Over the summer I was invited to lead a fall/winter 200-hour teacher training at VIDA Hot Yoga in Kingsport, Tennessee. I was equal parts excited and terrified to finally take the reigns as lead teacher of a 200-hour but I also felt really ready.
I completed my first group fitness certification in 2008, Les Mills BodyPump. I distinctly remember being in that training and saying to myself, “that is what I want to do,” as our trainers took us through the curriculum. I knew from day one that I wanted to “teach teachers” because I think it is such an amazing gift to help others learn to stand in their own power and confidently deliver something that they feel passionately about. Those trainers in my Les Mills certification changed my life. I’m not joking. They were SO effective at teaching me how to teach and I learned an incredible amount about not only BodyPump but myself in that training. I worked so hard and got comfortable with being super uncomfortable.
Never (EVER) did I imagine that I would end up making a career out of teaching group fitness and yoga…but here I am. I seriously attribute all of it to that first training. That is why I was so eager to assist with 200-hour trainings and why launching my own is truly a dream come true. Now, don’t get me wrong. I have had my fair share of “Who am I to lead this training? Am I really ready? Do I really have anything to teach them? What do I have to give when life already feels so full and overwhelming?” moments leading up to this training but I had to cast that doubt aside and jump in. Because if not now, when? What’s the secret to being “ready?” I think any time we are making a big leap towards our dreams/goals that it’s normal for fear and doubt to come up. On the other side of weekend one, I can say that I am so glad that I jumped.
I have so much to share and say about the experience. I’ll weave it into the recap of the weekend so that I don’t keep inundating you with text here at the beginning of the post.
I was up early to pack up and take the girls and Finn on a walk before leaving town. We pulled out right at noon and I packed lunch for the car. The three and a half hour drive was more like four with a stop for coffee and to feed Finn but it was so easy. Finn was an angel and slept the entire ride minus the stop to eat.
Let’s talk about Finn for a second. Obviously, I was nervous to commit to an out of town training with a four month old baby but I also couldn’t turn down the opportunity for many reasons. Luckily, the studio owners are parents of two young boys and they totally understood and went out of their way to make sure that I was comfortable as a new mom. They told me that I was more than welcome to bring him and offered for me to stay at their home or to get a hotel room. They also offered to arrange child care AT THE STUDIO so that he was close by and I could see him often and keep up his feeding schedule. How amazingly accommodating and kind they are. I am grateful.
Now, when it came to bringing Finn I wasn’t sure how that would go and if it would be a comfort or stressful to have him with me. It was a lot to negotiate logistically from a gear and stuff standpoint but other than that, I was really, really glad he was there. More on that to come.
On Friday evening I led a power class that was open to the public and that the trainees took and then we had our intro session where we got to know each other, went over ground rules and discussed expectations for the program.
We broke at 8:30 and I had Finn back in the hotel room, showered and in PJs by 9. I packed all of my food for the weekend from home so that I wouldn’t have to worry about driving around looking for something in a town that I was unfamiliar with and I’m glad that I did. Even though it took work to prep, it was so nice to have food on hand and prepped from my own kitchen. This was pasta with chicken sausage, sautéed mushrooms and a pumpkin/butternut sauce from ALDI. Kale salad on the side.
I wrapped up the evening reviewing materials for the next day and making a playlist for the next class.
I had a Wild Friends Nut Butter Oats cup in my room for breakfast before heading to the studio.
During all of our breaks I nursed Finn and spent time with him.
On Saturday we covered things like what is yoga, yogic paths and styles of yoga, the yamas and more in our sit-down lecture session.
During lunch I ate a sandwich packed from the hotel.
And then took Finn on a stroll through downtown Kingsport. The studio is located downtown and it’s very clean, small and walkable.
Of course I found the cupcake shop. 🙂 There is a bagel place directly next to the studio and cupcakes a couple of blocks away. Perfect.
We ended Saturday with going over alignment of some basic standing asanas and doing a meditation. Then it was back to the hotel with Finn. The weather was incredible so we spent some time sitting outside under a gazebo. Pardon the hair. It is crazy right now with how much is falling out post-baby + it had been a long day!
We made our way back inside as the sun was setting.
I had another packed dinner. This was black bean and quinoa chili. I put it on top of a bed of kale and then aded avocado, cheese and plain greek yogurt on top.
Sunday started early…our practice was at 7:30 a.m.! I let Finn sleep until the last minute and kept him in his PJs to transport to the studio. I fed him and hung out with him for a while during our post-practice break.
Back to Finn…I found that having him there really helped me to feel grounded and present for the training. The women who helped watch him were seriously amazing and I didn’t worry about him at all. He barely fussed all weekend and was so go with the flow through it all. I was so proud of my boy and so, so happy to have him with me.
We spent Sunday finishing up talking about the eight limbs of yoga, learning sun salutation A and B (and practice teaching for the first time!!!) and covering lots of other good stuff!
The studio owner has a medical background so she is covering all of the anatomy lectures. This allows me to get an earlier start back home on Sundays. Finn and I left Kingsport around 3:45 p.m. The drive is so scenic with beautiful mountains for most of it. I stopped again to feed Finn about two hours into the trip. We arrived home around 7:30 p.m. to some enthusiastically wagging tails!
The first weekend of teacher training exceeded my expectations. The group of trainees is awesome, the community at the studio seems so kind and caring and I feel very happy to be working and doing something that lights me up. I felt more like myself again over the weekend than I have in a long time…but with the added layer of mom and having Finn by my side. It was pretty special.
I am so honored to be a part of VIDA’s first teacher training and can’t wait to see what the next seven weekends have in store!
Do you enjoy trainings/continuing education environments?
Have you ever taken a fitness training/certification? If so, what did you think?
Any questions about yoga teacher training? I’m happy to answer!