What really goes down at yoga school

What really goes down at yoga school

Where did time go? It boggles my mind that week one of yoga teacher training has already ended.

Before you get to the deets you're really interested in, you'll have to bear with a few feelers.

If you're not into the feelers, you can scroll down to the part where I answer your questions.

OK. Feelers ...

As you might remember, I had a lot of self-doubt before starting this journey. Even when I got over that slump, some fear about yoga teacher training still lingered.

When I walked through the doors of KC Fitness Link in Kansas City's Strawberry Hill, the little Ganesha statue at the door must have taken them away. Or maybe Darryl (my teacher) has some "shananana" magic that makes your doubts and fears vanish. In any case, I'm grateful.

I think some of it had to do with my classmates. I half expected to walk in and see a group of thin, vegan yogis with topknots doing unassisted headstands as a warm-up. But they were just people, like me. And I've already grown to love them.

They give me a sense of calm. I can't really tell you why. Maybe their love for yoga makes peace radiate from their pores. Or maybe it's because they've been drinking too much kombucha. Or maybe I just like them — simple as that.

Peace.

That's the best word I have to describe how I felt on that first day — in that first minute, even. I felt a sense of peace; a knowledge that I was where I was supposed to be at that very moment. I've never once felt uncomfortable or out of place. It turns out that going outside my comfort zone can be incredibly comfortable.

Now I'm going to switch gears on you and tell you what you really want to know.

I've been getting a lot of questions about yoga school.

What do you do at yoga school?

What do you eat at yoga school?

Is yoga school really like school?

What are your yogi classmates like?

Are you performing hippie magic at yoga school?

I'm going to answer these questions here. If you have more, feel free to ask away. Yoga is my favorite subject right now. :)

 

Yoga teacher training programs 101

First, the basics. There are a lot of yoga teacher training programs out there. But not all of them are RYS' (Registered Yoga Schools). In order to be an RYS, you have to follow a certain curriculum outlined by Yoga Alliance — a nonprofit organization that acts as the yoga school police. They make sure the yoga community withholds a certain set of standards and credibility. 

So in order to receive my RYT-200 (Registered Yoga Teacher - 200 hour level) certification, I needed to attend an RYS. There are other organizations that offer certifications for yoga teachers, but Yoga Alliance is far and away the most widely recognized.

 

My school: KC Fitness Link

I decided to study at KC Fitness Link. Some teachers I respect received their training there and I liked its option for a two-week intensive format. Every RYT-200 program has 200 hours and covers generally the same kind of curriculum (thanks to the yoga police). But typically those hours are strung throughout a long duration on weeknight and/or weekend trainings. This option allowed me to live and breathe yoga for two weeks, which appealed to me for a variety of reasons.

(Side note: I'm fortunate my company allowed me to take time off work for this. They're incredibly supportive of employees following their passions and I'm so grateful.)

 

Before day one of yoga teacher training

Before even starting the two-week portion, we all had a list of books to read. Prerequisites. Assigned books and articles about yoga, anatomy and meditation. 

You might say my first day of school was a few months ago. I just wasn't in the "classroom" yet.

 

What do you do at yoga school?

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Every morning, we start by journaling for 15 minutes. Then we take a quiz over our homework and the previous day's lectures. That is a constant each day.

From there the schedule varies, but it's always been made up of several lectures and discussions, some videos, practice teaching and a group yoga practice. We're either talking about yoga, practicing yoga or practicing teaching yoga. Yoga, yoga, yoga. It's pretty rad.

We are there from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day and have about two hours of homework each night. There's a reason it's called the "intensive" program. 

Like I said, there are a lot of yoga teacher training programs out there. Even in Kansas City. Don't read this and think this is the way all yoga schools are — this is only my experience.

 

What do you eat at yoga school?

Food. 

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Everyone is on a different diet. There aren't any vegans (which kind of surprised me) but there's just about everything else. And kombucha. Everyone drinks kombucha. (This is my tribe!)

So if you're thinking we're all raw vegans or on the sun diet, the answer is no. In fact, I think I'm the only one who doesn't eat meat.

 

Is yoga school really like school?

Yes. It really is.

Instead of desks we have mats and the material is much better than algebra (in my opinion), but we have quizzes, final exams, homework, books ... all the school things.

 

Will you be certified after this?

No.

Math: I need 200 hours. We're spending 112 hours in the classroom. To complete my training, I'll be student teaching. 

 

So you'll be certified then ... right?

Nope.

Then I fill out an application and send it to Yoga Alliance, along with a fee, in order to become a RYT.

THEN — assuming everything goes smoothly and I didn't fail anything — I'll be certified. To maintain that certification, I'll need to continue to pay my annual fee to Yoga Alliance, along with completing a minimum amount of continued education. You gotta keep on learnin'! 

 

What are your yogi classmates like?

People. 

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They're like you and me. I talked about them at the beginning of this post. They aren't magical (at least to my knowledge) but they are pretty awesome.

Speaking of magic ...

 

Are you performing hippie magic at school?

No.

I'm not sure what people think goes on at yoga school but it's not Hogwarts. (Although I'm not saying that would be bad. I secretly want to go to Hogwarts.)

 

If you have any questions I didn't answer, feel free to ask! I'll be following up with another post next week. In the meantime, I'll try to post a few photos here.


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