1000 Hours of Teaching Yoga

As many of our tribe knows, via social media and/or attending my restorative yoga class on November 30, I recently reached the HUGE milestone of teaching 1000 hours of yoga, advancing my certification to an experienced yoga teacher at the 200 hour level of certification (E-RYT200).   This is yet another certification for me, with many more to go as I follow my passion of teaching yoga.

Yes… let that sink in…  1000 hours of teaching.  WHOA.

What does that really mean?  That is, aside from a LOT of teaching yoga?  

  • I’ve found my teacher voice and comfort zone… at least for now.   As I evolve in my passion, I hope to always be striving for more, and creating for myself challenges I will overcome.  I predict my voice and zone will change with me as I go forward, creating some pretty uncomfortable moments I will push through.  
  • I’ve taught some amazing classes…  heck, I’ve surprised myself at times with my classes.   This is not simply based on the fact I’ve nailed the left and rights, or cued both sides similarly, or other yoga teacher habits I once struggled with (and still do at times).  To me, this means the class landed well with students, the energy in the room is top notch, and the savasana is sweet.
  • I’ve taught some not so great classes….  Yes, we all do.  While the occurrence has gone down the past couple of years, it still happens…  And I’ve learned to not let it keep me up, worry, or to apologize to students at the end of class, I’ve learned how to constructively assess the class after the face, rework it, and do it better next time.
  • My teaching is a true reflection of my practice.  I think many new yoga teachers try to teach the perfect class that they think their students want, at least I did.  I would like to think this works for some teachers, but I’ve found it doesn’t work for me. What I present to a class, regardless of the type of class, is very reflective of what I’ve done in my personal practice that week.  This has made both my personal practice and my teaching improve – but I honestly can’t separate what has more influence.
  • My students, many of them part of the Renkon tribe, are amazing.  I am blessed to have many regulars at my class, both at Renkon and studios I’ve previously taught at.  No words could ever capture how grateful I am that folks look forward to my class on their best and worst days, when they need a smile or simply a break.  I’ve gotten to know many of you, not only about your lives, but your wins and losses, your struggles and achievements. Thank you for sharing your love and life with me.
  • What I’m known for, and what classes I teach best, is not what I intended to ever specialize in – nor did I practice it prior to becoming a certified yoga teacher.   I love teaching restorative yoga… yet while in my first teacher training, I detested restorative for the first 3 months.  I couldn’t let go, I couldn’t relax, I couldn’t drop in. Fast forward a few years, and I love to both practice and teach it.  The results are immediate, for myself plus I love seeing the difference in students at the end of a class.

Interesting note – I never taught this type of class until Renkon opened, but I was up for the challenge.  I spent hours studying and preparing, creating sequences, and researching poses. I was always nervous prior to and during the class, until savasana.  Now? I love preparing for the class, teaching it, assisting/deepening the poses, and talking with our tribe to see how poses landed after class.

  • I’ve come quite a way, yet I’ve miles to go.  I got goals, y’all!  I am specializing in yoga for cancer and yoga for medicine.  I will be attending a Yoga for Cancer (Y4C) certification training virtually over the winter and finish up in Miami this spring.  Come summer, I’ll travel to North Carolina to get certified through the Duke Medical School of Integrative Health Yoga for Cancer program.   In the meanwhile, I’ve started my virtual work on my 1000 hour certification of Yoga for Medicine, plus I’ve signed up for shorter duration of other certifications.   I hope to mentor another yoga teacher training program with one of my teachers, and of course, take as many classes as possible virtually or in person with my favorite teachers.

Reaching this milestone actually belongs to more than just me.  It belongs to my students and former students, both classes and privates, all my yoga teachers, the studios I’ve taught at, studio owners I’ve worked with, and my friends and family who supported me along this journey.   This doesn’t happen overnight, nor does it happen in a bubble. My heart bursts with love and humbleness at reaching this, and I appreciate everyone that has been part of this journey.

Cheers to the next 1000 hours and wherever this amazing journey leads me!