Yoga Teacher Training: reflections

I came across this photo the other day and had to stop and smile. There are a lot of teacher trainings and workshops offered all over the world, with so many options for enthusiastic yogis looking for a way into teaching their passion. There’s also a lot of debate on the value of YTT, whether or not the whole concept of a 200 Hour program is sufficient grounds for setting off to be a yoga teacher. But that can of worms is subject for another time. Today I’m just reflecting on the largely positive experience I have had leading the “Avid Yogi” Yoga Teacher Training at Meadowlark.

The faces in this photo are genuinely glowing after 3 full weeks of intensive effort, communication, feedback, physical work, chanting, and soul-searching. Serendipitously, by fortunate recommendation, or by some google magic algorithm or perhaps just  luck, these women were led to my studio and into my care for their foundational yoga training.

I started running professional trainings at Meadowlark 24 months ago out of an interest in building the standard of teaching and practice in my immediate community. After years of hiring freelancers to teach classes in my yoga studio as part of our team, I started to feel the need to foster direct mentorship as part of the process. Once we had established our senior teaching faculty at Meadowlark, it was time to work on building inroads for our students and assistants to grow into future teachers.

To me, it made more sense for those relationships to take root within our own home team of instruction, rather than to “hire” teachers who had done their training elsewhere. As founder and director of my own studio,  I wanted to have a role in shaping our next wave of burgeoning young yoga teachers. It was important to know they would have a strong foundation in anatomy, philosophy, practical teaching techniques, and community-mindedness that have formed the basis of what I consider to be the gold standard of yoga instruction.

That I would meet such a diverse group of intelligent, talented, and capable people from all over the UK during these last 2 years was much more than I ever expected. Not only did we develop a promising batch of teachers for our sweet HQ on the Meadows in Edinburgh, but we made friends with yogis as far north as Thurso and as far south as Bristol. Others have moved on to create their own independent class structures to suit their individual lives around family commitments, jobs, and other passions. These avid yogis have gone on to develop in their own practice based on the principles we established together in training: set your goals, stay positive, and prioritise your self-practice.

2017 is the last year I will be personally teaching the Yoga Teacher Training at Meadowlark. I am taking time to focus on my family, personal practice, and to develop my offering as a Yoga Anatomy teacher. After such a run of good luck meeting the people who would become my teammates and friends at home and afar, I feel very satisfied with the experience of running a YTT program with a difference.

Meadowlark will continue to offer YTT in the future, in the capable hands of another experienced senior teacher, alongside our existing team, who will push the standards even higher and take the program into future stages. Nina, our Training and CPD Admin Manager, will be announcing the new lead YTT teacher at the end of this year. Watch this space!

In the meantime, I do still have a few spaces left on my last YTT at Meadowlark Yoga this summer. Here’s a link to the Application Form.

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