To Growing and Evolving: 1yr Post YTT
"I can't believe I'm a yoga teacher!".
A statement I soaked in as I downloaded my official RYT 200 yoga certification card from Yoga Alliance last year. The irony lays in the fact that just the other day I found myself writing the exact same sentence in my journal. Only this time it wasn't loaded with unbelief and doubt. Instead it was enveloped with joy, gratitude, and a sense of deep appreciation for the calling God has placed on my life.
Take a trip with me down memory lane will you (insert rewind sound effect here). June 4, 2017 I was wrapping up my last day of Yoga Teacher Training at Blue Nectar Yoga in the heart of Falls Church, VA. As we sat in a circle and our wonderful session lead Amy handed us our intention cards we set at the very start of our training along with photos of our group, I tried to hold back the tears that were forming in my eyes. We were handed the tools to go and be the teachers we wanted to be. I left honestly thinking I wasn't sure if I was ready to actually teach (just the fear talking) but knew I had to jump right in.
Right away I was offered an apprenticeship opportunity at BNY to assist under someone I definitely look up to. I couldn't have asked for a better mentor in Charles and I took my time studying under him very seriously. As I assisted his rookie vinyasa class each week I was sure to take notes of sequencing, I asked questions after every class, and overall learned so much.
After 3 months my apprenticeship was complete and I was given my own classes at the studio. Ahh! I cringe thinking about my first class. I was so nervous and overthought everything but overall it went well. My students were super supportive and even applauded at the end. Whew the seal was broken and there was no turning back!
Fast forward to now and here I am teaching 3 regular weekly classes and continuing to say yes to the things that scare me. Like leading a workshop every quarter, subbing for classes that aren't my usual style, and teaching a 6 week arm balance course which I'm in the midst of now.
Of course every class isn't perfect and there are some that I leave thinking what the heck just happened! Like the time I accidently put my playlist on shuffle and it threw me off completely :). Or when I mix up my left from my right or my hands from my feet :). Or how about the time I got through my entire planned sequence in 30 min and still had another half of the class to wing:).
Once I realized that these "fails" are natural for yoga teachers and it happens to even the most experienced ones I just laugh it off and let it go. I've learned to accept the ebb and flow of it all and use the tough moments to help me grow while leaning on the really good moments. Like the time I shared a quote on living your best life at the end of class and a student came up to me and said she needed it because she was about to leave for her first solo trip to Miami later that afternoon:). Or the time I gave a prop modification to a student who was pregnant and after class she told me she really appreciated the assist and she felt her baby move for the first time :). Or maybe the time a student said my yin-yasa class felt like a retreat because she had been really stressed from a recent move to the area:). And the list goes on.
When I first started my journey to becoming a yoga teacher it was because I wanted to share this light with those around me. Yoga has so many benefits and all you have to do is find a small pocket of your day to fit it in. With that said I'm excited to finally announce my free online yoga classes! I wanted to create something that everyone can access from anywhere. I started my yoga practice by taking online classes so as a way to pay it forward I felt like it was only right I extend the same.
My classes are suitable for any level and range from 5-30 minutes in length. We'll cover a variety of styles from vinyasa (flow), power, hatha (gentle), restorative, yin, meditation and more. Find your fit and take what you need! New classes are shared every Tuesday right your inbox so grab your mat and let's get started!
If you would like tips on starting a home yoga practice check out my recent video below:
So here's to growing and evolving. I hope you continue on this journey with me!
With love and light,
xo Vanessa Michele