Yoga Teacher Training – Half Way to the Finish Line

Yoga Teacher pic by Unsplash

As I am now halfway through my 10-month 200-hour vinyasa yoga teacher training journey, I thought it would a good time to review and reflect on the journey so far. If you are new to following me or have come across this blog post randomly and are interested in yoga teacher training,  then I have made it easy for you to catch up. I have been lucky enough to share this journey with readers of both The Irish Times and Evoke.ie and I have put everything together here in chronological order, for easy reading.

In July, two months before I started teacher training, I wrote about it for the Irish Times, read it here. In this piece I explained a little about the qualification and about intensive courses v longer courses.

In October, I reflected up on my own personal reasons for signing up with this piece again for the Irish Times, read it here. In it, we have some major 90s throwbacks as I discuss how I first got into yoga!

In my ongoing yoga diary for Evoke “The Yoga Diaries” I take you through each month, hour by hour and break down what teacher training involves and how I felt about each step.

Month 1: “I signed myself up for yoga teacher training” – I had a lot of school days flashbacks!

Month 2: “All about the journey” – I was trying not to project and reflect on how I will handle teaching, was just taking it step by step, doing my homework and preparing myself for the next phase.

Month 3: “Let the joy be in your journey, and not in some distant goal” – I had a lot going on personally and was in tears driving to teacher training.

Month 4: “Brought a bump in the road” – I will ill for this one and eventually had to admit defeat and head home.

Month 5: “The halfway mark” – it’s all coming together!

Or is it?

Creating a yoga space at home

As much as you might like going out to classes, it is a real luxury and some cases also a necessity to have a yoga space at home. A little pre-planning will make sure you have everything you need and can concentrate on the practice with contentment and ease. Start with a quiet, uncluttered space. It only needs to be a little bigger than the size of your mat, the standard size for a mat is 24 inches wide and 68 inches long. You don’t want to be near a door so there is a chance of you getting hit. You might not be comfortable close to a radiator or window. Choose your spot in the house, and then elect how and where to store your mat and accessories so they are in easy reach and you can get “in the zone” quickly.

  • Mat and accessories

The mat is the most important thing, for your own safety. You cannot practice yoga safely on an “exercise mat” which is made from completely different materials. Choosing a yoga mat and the different types of mats deserve their own full blog post but, in the meantime, just know that really, it’s the only thing you need to practice at home.  Other accessories may include a strap, a block, and a bolster but I would not invest in these unless you are sure you will use them. Storing your mat in the same place after each use reduces the stress of looking all over the house for it (guilty!)

  • What to wear

As you are at home you can wear what you are comfortable in, but remember the guidelines for yoga clothing in general. While there are many overlaps between yoga clothing and other fitness clothing, and many items that you can wear for both, there are some specific requirements for yoga. You don’t want to wear anything loose as the fabric can get in your way and cover your face in inversions.  You don’t want any fabrics that are too slippy as it may interfere in your hand placements. You want a sports bra that does not have traditional bra fasteners on the back (ouch!). The softer the better but the support required will depend on your breast size. I find some yoga bras a little on the skimpy side and in a public class, it does get distracting when I’m worrying about falling out. Please do not wear socks as they reduce your ability to grip the mat and in most poses, your feet position is your first consideration, so they need to be “rooted”.

Creating a yoga space at home
Margaret Young
Wild Soul yoga and wellness
photo credit unsplash
  • Finishing touches

You can set the scene with lighting, candles, sounds, and scents. A full length or half-length mirror is ideal if it’s possible for you, as it’s helpful to check your form. As you are not in a class, you don’t have the benefit of a teacher or other students to check your form or compare form. Some people set up their home yoga area like a mini studio with wall hangings, statues, etc. It is entirely down to personal choice and what else the space/room is used for. Unless you have a huge property, chances are your room is also a bedroom, sitting room etc.

  • Your practice

You have lots of choice between YouTube, online classes, asana cards, books or your own knowledge to plan your practice. Try to assess what your body needs today. Are you looking for a stretch session, a vigorous workout, to balance out a lot of desk time or to calm anxiety and stress?

  • Soundtrack

You are spoiled for choice on Spotify with the sheer number of tracks available. However, I think music is very personal. Some people like very traditional Indian sounds, and some like to listen to health spa style sounds like the sea or rain. If you are just starting yoga at home, look for some playlists that have already been curated and when you hear a song you particularly like, start marking them as “liked” so the Spotify algorithm can get to know your taste, and make suggestions. Maybe then start building your own playlists. Feel free to give my yoga playlist a  listen here. It’s an hour long. I like to download and then put my phone on airplane mode for an hour and just escape.

Creating a yoga space at home
Atmosphere
Margaret Young
Wild Soul yoga and wellness
photo credit unsplash
creating atmosphere for at home yoga practice

Yoga on a budget

Whether you are a brand-new yogi or a seasoned practitioner, we all have times when our finances aren’t as healthy as we would like. In an effort to budget, pay bills or save for a holiday or family events, some activities get cut back on. Often, rightly or wrongly, exercise, keep fit and our wellness in general, is considered non-compulsory expenditure and come in last in our priorities.

Luckily, if yoga is your wellness activity of choice, there are lots of ways to participate on the cheap or even completely free.

  • At home practice

Firstly, and most obviously, you can practice yoga at home. Once you have your yoga mat and suitable clothing (they don’t even have to match, no one will see!) you are good to go. You can set the scene if you wish with lighting, candles, scents. The disadvantage is that you don’t have a real live person with you to check your form. So be very mindful of this and very conscious of your own safety. A large or full-length mirror is very helpful here.

When I started doing yoga many moons ago, I used VHS videos and later DVDs. It was years before I even went to a class. Now we have YouTube and a whole world of yoga at our fingertips. If you are like me and can spend so long scrolling and trying to decide on what one to do, that you run out of time to practice, then here are three of my personal recommendations.

Ekhart Yoga

Tone it up

Boho Beautiful

I would also mention using YouTube as a search engine to find what you want, to fit the time you have e.g. Yoga for sleep 20 minutes for example or yoga abs 30 minutes.

Another really nice idea is to use a book (from the library is a no-cost option) or yoga asana cards. Top of my list for my wellness purchases this month is the 108 asana cards from Yogaru. The 108 Asana cards (pictured) are designed as a sequencing guide, for all levels of experience, to make your practice more accessible at home (or when traveling – great idea!). Each card has alignment cues, levels guide, anatomy coding, and Sanskrit/English asana names. The cards also come with an easy to follow sequencing guide, sample sequences, and an extensive list of asana benefits to help you tailor to your needs. They are 32 euro which is the cost of around 2 studio classes.

108 asana cards from Yogaru
  • Free classes

Look out for free classes that are usually organized/sponsored by large companies. In Dublin during the summer, Thai restaurant and take away Camile Thai offer free outdoor yoga classes in various parks around the greater Dublin area. I went to this weekly class in St Anne’s Park in Raheny last summer. All year round, Lululemon offers free Sunday morning classes in Brown Thomas, Dublin. With these two options alone, there is really no excuse! Follow these companies on Eventbrite and you will be emailed as events go live. During 2020 I will be keeping an eye out for free classes countrywide and when I find them, I will share them on my Wild Soul Facebook page, so do follow me here.

  • Intro offers

Most yoga studios offer discounted or even free introductory offers. My tip here is to download the MINDBODY app. This is a fitness, wellness and beauty app that you can use to book classes and also find classes. It can search by location and let you know what offers are available. I am finding new studios and classes all the time that I didn’t know existed, and because of that I have tried out reformer Pilates and done yoga workshops that I would not have known about.

  • Lunchtime classes and multi-class passes

Lunchtime classes tend to be 40-45 minutes long and are generally cheaper than their hour-long counterparts. One that I go to is 11 euro compared to 19 euro for the normal class. With the money you save, you could go for pancakes after, or is that just me! They usually have mat rental included so if you are out and about or on your work lunch break, you don’t have to lug your mat around. Multi-class or monthly passes are another way to save as they prove significantly cheaper than pay as you go or drop-in classes.

  • Corporate classes

Yoga classes held in your place of work tend to be subsidized and so are a good inexpensive option. I believe that if your employer is putting an emphasis on corporate wellness by providing these classes, then you should support them if you can. They are obviously conveniently located, and the style and the timetable will be arranged to suit you, the employee. Take advantage! From Summer 2020 I will be available for corporate yoga and I am so looking forward to spreading the yoga glow to workers in Dublin.

  • Sample class with me

As a trainee yoga teacher, I am looking for people to practice teaching on between now and the summer. If you are willing to travel to me (North county Dublin) do get in touch. Not only is this a very economical option for 1 to 1 yoga, but you will be doing something kind-hearted for me by helping me out. Drop me a line at magsfyoung@hotmail.com.

White Transparent Logo

Contact us

+353 87 7027445
magsfyoung@hotmail.com

Dublin, Ireland

Copyright © 2019 Wild Soul

All rights reserved
Design by Find A New Website