5 treasures I found in my Yoga Teacher Training

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When I enrolled to Pascale Wettstein’s Yoga Teacher Training (YTT), it was all for shaping my body. I had no idea I would learn so much about shaping my life …

  1. Invaluable Mindfulness

I have started to appreciate the meaning of “being present” while practicing yoga poses. After all the hours I spent studying anatomy, learning about lengthening, contracting and stretching my muscles, feeling the  flow of energy in our postures .. No way I could still practice on auto pilote mode anymore!

Session after session, I have become aware of the essential role of my breathing, the importance of being mindful in all my movements. My practice changed from being a mere work out to a very interesting work in..

Our teacher liked to challenge us on how we could apply what we learnt on the mat in our daily life. That’s when I truly realised the meaning of being present in everything we are doing. It’s not about how much time we have. It’s about making the best of the time we have.Quality . Like not looking at our phone when we are together, slow down, do one thing at a time, trying not to interrupt each other (too much). There is a “Drop me here! It’s family time” box in our living room for Iphones to rest on evenings and weekends. Guess what, since we have created or this Nowifi time, the kids are far less demanding and have such an easier time to go to bed ..

Sky above, earth below, peace within

Practicing mindfulness meditation was not the easiest thing to me.

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(c) joyoftech.com 

My mind is restless, and meditating without visualising was so difficult for weeks! Our teacher would reply to my complains with her cryptic “do your practice and all is coming” ..

So I practiced; and practiced. And one day it made sense! I had finally understood that meditating was recharging. That my monkey mind could be tamed (for a little while at least). There is no such thing as “seeing the light” or “feeling the total opening of my crown chakra”. To me, meditating is about reloading, stilling my mind and simply be.

2. Yoga is not about being bendy!

Asana (yoga postures) are only one of the 8 limbs of yoga. Yoga is about exploring and discovering who you are (peeling the layers of the onions, as our teacher would say). Being kind to yourself so you can be kind to others too. Be sincere, be healthy without pushing you to your limits.

During the training, we were assigned to practice one of the yamas for a week. I asked the kids to pick up one we could all work on. While I was explaining them the meaning of “ahimsa” (non violence), my 5 yo daughter asked “is yelling being violent?”

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(c) Rachel Sullivan

I asked her how she was feeling when someone was yelling at her, “I want to yell even louder because it hurts my ears and I feel like protecting me”. So we had the answer. We decided to work on being calmer, and stop “yelling” at each other when we didn’t have all we wanted right away.

 

(Let me precise that I my kids call yelling when I raise my voice. I call it “motivational speaking for the selective listener”. Still, I accepted the challenge)

What an inspiring experience it was to realise our patterns, to take deep breaths when we felt we were getting impatient (even my 4 yo son did it!) and lower our voice to express our feelings.  It was pretty challenging the first days, because it takes so much time to stop, explain and to simply listen. It’s still work in progress but I love the soothing effects it has on all of us.

3. The power of intention

At the beginning of the class, Pascale often asks us to “set our intention“. Meaning bringing our attention and awareness to a quality we wish to cultivate for our practice on and off the mat. It could be patience, gratitude, being in the moment, being aware of your breath, strong, peaceful … I love this little practice because I feel it echoes far after I step off my mat. It takes my practice into the world. When I choose beauty for instance, I feel I appreciate much more all the little mundane things around me.. Sometimes I choose to dedicate my practice to someone, and it feels like sharing energy.

An intention is not a goal, as yoga is not about perfection. It’s again about being mindful, and keep on progressing. Yoga to me is such a powerful vehicle of change. Through the toning of my body and my mind, I build strength and I start to believe in my own potential.

4. Learning to balance

In philosophy of yoga, we learnt about “Shtira and Sukha” – Steadiness and ease. The yoga posture should be steady, firm and stable, yet also comfortable, light and delightful.

If you are too “shtira”(strong) you need to improve your flexibility, to literally bend more. Too “sukha”(flexible) people should  work on be more stable and grounded. On and off our mat, it  is all about finding balance between flexibility and strength.

I especially liked this little introspective exercise:  “What do I need to do in my yoga practice to break this pattern, to balance myself more? And can I do the same in my life?

5. Work hard, dream big, Savasana often!

Again”Do your practice, and all is coming” . I could have read all the books and collect all the glam yoga quotes, I would not have learnt anything if I hadn’t been practicing very regularly.

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(c) yoganonymous.com

I have been working hard but I also learnt to calm down and let it go at the end of a class. To release the pressure, to  relax my body and eventually clear my mind.

Savasana is often considered as being the most challenging pose in yoga because we are so used to be in motion that we can not comprehend this “corpse pose”. But truly relaxing helps us absorb both the energising and relaxing benefits of our practice. As a yogi. As a parent. As a worker …

Screen Shot 2016-08-30 at 17.05.46And eventually, yoga taught me that poses come with many variations. Be a dedicated student yet explore, be creative and listen to your heart. Most of all, keep on having fun while learning.

Namaste ❤

 

 

110 thoughts on “5 treasures I found in my Yoga Teacher Training

  1. So good to hear and ( read) these words from a changed woman.Look at you,so radiant and your writing emanates peace and happiness.
    I’m so happy for you.
    Please reserve me to get private lessons from you 🙂

    1. Thanks dear, as usual your words mean so much to me! The best encouragements ever 🙂
      I still have my finals to pass next Sunday and tatatata ! You have an unlimited pass to my private classes, here or there 🙏🏻

    2. And tell Little Miss Sunshine that I m already planning another training on yoga for kids. She too will have the Golden Card 😘

  2. I wish I could quiet my mind and frenetic schedule enough to really get something out of yoga. I know, I know, I *could* do that anytime I really wanted to … I just have to get to the point where I really, really want to! (P.S. Strangely, I am very good at Savasana! 🙂 ) I am very impressed by your ability to learn and absorb all this new stuff and make it a part of your life beyond yoga itself. I think you will pass with flying colors!

      1. First the class, then party! 😉 Imagine if I could teach in all the places where the commentators are living… A traveling yoga and party season (for seniors:D)

    1. And I did 😉 Alleluia! It’s been a very interesting personal journey, aside from the asana and the practice. Just like you, I always felt this ” I should” but not to the point of being seriously into it. But one of the things I got from this training is that being mindful can be done everywhere and even for a minute. I am sure you are practicing yoga even without knowing it, given the feeling of calm and serenity that emanates from your beautiful pictures!
      PS: and not every one is good at savasana. Takes a lot to know how to relax 😉

      1. Oh yes, I can, but haven’t put in effort to find a new studio to go to (I’m still a super beginner at it) haha 🙂

      2. I would totally go! I’ve gone to some places in the past and it’s just not as calming as I’d like it. A lot of people tend to focus on the number of moves we do and how advanced it is and maybe I’m naive, but I like the experience itself, without the routine necessarily or “hitting a mark.”

      3. You are not naive my dear, you are just a real yogi while the other ones are just working out! We use to say that it is the journey to the pose that matters, not the pose itself. And it is not about accomplishing but about feeling. You actually nailed it 🙂

      4. See? You just need to find a real studio, and you ll be surrounded with like minded people 🙂 then you ll enjoy your practice so so much! Again in yoga, we dont care about the level, it is really about feeling and exploring. You were probably a yoga teacher in a former life 😉

      5. thank you for the compliment!! being called a teacher and a yogi is such an honor. maybe one day i’ll try at it. by the way, you remind me of the second photograph on my recent post–the flower. full of sunshine and beauty 🙂 i’m about to log off wp, but this was so lovely chatting with you! be well my friend 🙂 enjoy your day

    1. I loved your post Andrew! You really know how to give life to your treasures .. All the best of the best from our little island

  3. And what valuable treasures they are! I’m feeling so inspired to take up yoga now. Need to tone down on that motivational speaking. Probably because I’ve been home for too long! :p Well done, sista! So proud! xxx.

    1. THanks so much for your wonderful compliments! Glad I found a yoga buddy in you 🙂 Your blog is great and I really enjoyed browsing your posts. Keep it up and looking forward to chatting here or there .. Have a sweet week !

    1. After reading your post on yoga, I can only be very impressed by how you have understood yoga already 🙂 It all takes times, it is a journey, on and off the mat. And the journey matters more than the final pose, because we are learning and discovering so much in the process .. I love the fact that yoga teaches us not to be the best of the best, it is not a competition. What matters here is to be a better person than we were yesterday. And it is also the best cure against anxiety, as we are constantly learning to replace it by gratitude 🙂 Keep it up !

    1. There is so much more to yoga than asanas, I love that you mentioned Balance and Clarity. Couldn’t agree more, Namaste Yogi friend 🙂

      1. Thanks for pointing this post of yours 🙂 Great gallery, one can tell you’ve been practicing for a while! Super well done!

    1. You ll love it, I am sure 🙂 Can’t wait to read about it .. The training is very demanding, but we leave with so much knowledge, and you ll be a great teacher. Post about it, I d love to follow this new adventure of yours ! Namaste Fellow Yogi 🙂

    1. You should, you ll love it I am sure! It’s been the most beautiful gift I have offered myself since … ever 😉 I am already looking forward to reading your posts on it 🙂

    1. Exactly how it makes me feel too 😉 I think it comes to us when we are ready to fully embrace it and aware enough of our body.. Cheers to yoga and btw I loved your post of #kayoga, sounds like so much fun

  4. I have just completed my 200hours Vinyasa Yoga teachers training, and I can so relate to everything that you have said! Yoga, combined with my love and passion for surfing, takes me into a special place, that nobody else can reach or get into, its just me, myself, my mind, and I. I have had to overcome so many obstacles during my journey to becoming a Yoga Teacher, but what I have realised is that I was not learning how to teach others, but how to teach MYSELF how to learn, how to handle situations, and apply what I learnt in Yoga into my everyday life. I feel like I have had a ” soulful make-over’, it is amazing and I just cannot wait to teach the world and share my knowledge and passion for Yoga with everybody. If only the whole world could run on ” Yoga”.

    1. Your words are so beautiful, I can relate to everything you ve experienced (except the surf level 😉 This YTT has indeed been a journey, and it is just the beginning of a new and wonderful path .. Now it is our turn too, at our own little level and with all our heart, to help our world discover and hopefully run on Yoga 😉 Keep it up Yogi friend ! Looking forward to chatting with you here or there

  5. Lovely blog and fantastic post – very in depth and really captures the beauty of how yoga can transform your life. I would love to pursue a yoga teacher training course in the future!

    1. Thanks so much! Reading your blog, I am sure you ll love the Teacher training. There is so much to learn and explore, not only about the asana, but mostly about yourself. You ll never attend a yoga class like before. It’s a fantastic investment not only for you, but also for all the people around you as you gently become a kinder person. To yourself first of all and then naturally to others 🙂 Namaste dear

      1. You’re welcome! What a lovely description of the experience. Definitely something I will look into. And such truth in what you are saying – because even without a teacher training course, practising yoga every day for the last couple of years has subconsciously changed the way I interact with people, in the most positive of ways. Look forward to reading about your new experiences in the future – Thank you. Namaste ❤

      1. Namaste Estelea, I am lucky to found a such a Inspiring writer 🙂 you made my day 🙂 have a wonderful Day Ahead 🙂 ॐ नमः शिवाय (Om Namah Shivaya)

  6. I have told myself in the past I need a more regular personal practice before I embark on teacher training but I think this year I might take the plunge. I love to see how much you have gotten out of yours!

    1. Thanks Meghan 🙂 I was practicing kinda regularly before embarking on the YTT, but not as much as I am now. It’s actually all I have learnt there that made me want to practice better. Go for it, you won’t regret it 😉 Looking forward to reading about it next year on your blog! Happy holidays 🙂

  7. Do you teach yoga in Cebu? I practiced yoga three years ago but stopped when I got pregnant. 😦 I am (was) no expert, but it was truly a great experience and I was thinking about getting back.

    1. Come to Waterfront every Tuesday and Thursday at 10AM, it is a beginner class so you can come back to it safely 🙂 Plus this class is only 100P! The studio (Asana) is definitely the most beautiful studio I have ever visited.. just bring your towel and bottle of water, they have all you need for free use 🙂

      1. Oh wow that’s just across my workplace (I work in IT Park). Unfortunately, I have work from 6am-3pm 😦 But next Tuesday we’ll have no work, so I’ll definitely try! Thanks for replying 🙂

      2. Great! Looking forward to seeing on Tuesday you in the real life 🙂 How funny we happen to be neighbours!!! I live in Lahug!

        (and btw in Skyrise too there is Love Yoga, they are pretty good too)

  8. “It was all for shaping my body. I had no idea I would learn so much about shaping my life” – of course! The most beautiful part of yoga is how it changes every single aspect. The mat and physical practice is simply the key to the door. Amazing!

      1. oh wow, thank you so much for letting me know! i’ve only recently updated my site and didn’t realise it still had my old blog link on!! if you wouldn’t mind at all could you check it out when you get a moment and let me know whether its working again <3!! xxx

      1. it has been a world of discovery for me and i have not even enrolled into a training just yet! But this was certainly eye opening and has pushed me even more towards finding the right school to enroll. I’m almost there, fingers crossed my application goes through soon!! xx

      2. I am sure it will! And you ll have a fascinating time, believe me. Looking forward to reading about it on your blog 🙂

      3. I’ve finally enrolled Estelea! Thank you for your guidance, I’ve also included a link to this post on my recent blog post as inspiration for future yogis 🙂 xx

      4. Congrats my dear ! So glad you did, I know you re going to have a beautiful time .. it’s a fab journey, and I’m looking forward to reading about it on your blog ! namaste 🙏🏻

  9. Hi!

    I really connected with your first take away from your YTT experience. I think Monday was actually my first ever practice, after close to 15 years on and off of my personal practice, that I was fully connected to my breath and in the moment. I am currently in my 200 hour YTT and have learned so much already about myself. Thank you so much for sharing. It’s hard sometimes to realize what we have learned and it is posts like this that open our eyes to our own accomplishments that we share with others.

    Namaste,

    Lauren

    1. I am so glad you liked it and moreover that you have started your own journey in your 200 YTT .. THere is so much to get there, so many beautiful seeds to plants. It took me a little while to realise how intense it has been, and the great gift of all is that it s a learning that stays with you forever.
      How great is it to be able to learn about oneself in a very safe and kind environment? And eventually be able to replicate the best of our lessons to our students 🙂
      Looking forward to exchanging about your experience in the training 🙂 And beyond! Lots of Love 🙏🏻

  10. I love this. I actually felt my body relaxing as I read through each section of your post. I need to remember to slow down and be more present in my every day life. It is too easy to get caught up in the fast pace rush of it all. I find that it is always the small things, the in between moments, that bring me the most joy, but I miss them when I am too rushed and out of focus.

    1. Exactly! I couldnt agree more. Sometimes all it takes is a nice deep breathing, et voila 🙂
      That’s what I am trying to teach my kids everyday .. Or at least, as my yoga teacher uses to say “planting the seeds”. We all do our best, and should remember that the ones who are the best at meditation and living in the moment live on top of a hill far from civilisation 😉 So I bet you are doing much greater than you think!
      Thanks for stopping by and looking forward to chatting here or there !

  11. Hello! I love this post – thank you!

    Can I ask how long you have been practicing yoga and how long you had been practicing before you did your teacher training? Also, are you still teaching?

    This is the first of your blogs that I have read, so apologies if I am making you repeat yourself..

    Namaste! 🙂

    1. Hello dear 🙂 Thanks a lot for the compliments! I have been practicing yoga in and off for years but regularly for the last 3 years ( 3 to 5 times a week. Although I really believe that it does not matter to practice 5 times a day instead of 2 or 3 as long as you are regular).
      Tell you the truth, I was not really looking for a teacher training and I never ever thought of teaching ! I always thought yoga teachers had to be hyper bendy and again I was not the most regular student.
      But the training totally changed my perspective. When you understand the practice and moreover when you see how good it makes you feel, on every level, you wish more people would know. So you feel like sharing the great stuff 🙂

      I am still teaching, private classes as I am dependant on my kids’ school schedules and holidays are looming (which means I ll have less time to teach). So to get the best of both worlds during the holidays, I have just enrolled into another yoga teacher training, this time for kids!
      I’ve seen how my children love practicing and moreoever how it has changed their behavior. They are (slightly) more calm, definitely less impatient and their self confidence has grown with their practice. So I believe that the earlier we know yoga and apply it in our daily life, the best. When I see them practicing mindful breathing and relaxing, I so wished I knew half of it just a few years ago 🙂

      You can ask me all the questions you want, no pb ! Are you considering a Yoga Teacher Training?

      Namaste and have a beautiful week ahead

      1. Oh wow, the children’s yoga sounds like an amazing venture for you… and I completely agree with your ideas of introducing yoga at a young age!

        I am not sure about the Yoga Teaching Training yet, as I am just a novice.. but I think that the training would definitely further my personal practice, if nothing else!

        I am joining a new yoga class tonight and also beginning an aerial yoga course in 3 weeks time, so I am going full steam ahead at the moment.

        Thank you for your response and I truly wish you all the best for the new training!

        Have a great week also! 🙂

      2. Aerial yoga is so much fun 🙂 It took me a few sessions to stop feeling dizzy yet I ve always loved it! Have fun 🙂

  12. Namaste back. J’ai fait du yoga quand j”etais à Sup de Co Lyon. (Maintenant ils l’appellent l’EM Lyon).
    Après qqs mois j’ai dû arrêter. Je prenais mes cours de yoga à midi. Et je m’endormais dans tous les cours de l’après-midi. 🙂
    (J’étais parfaitement relaxé)

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