Starting My Journey, by Kristy Alpert
In a matter of minutes I had fully regressed to middle school-like fears about what the first day of yoga school would actually be like. “Will the other students like me?” “Should I swap out my yoga gear for name brands threads so I look legit?” “Will I have to lie to everyone about how I eat meat and drink wine at home?” “Will they all be fluent in Sanskrit and roll their eyes when I mispronounce padottanasana? (Note to self: watch YouTube video on how to pronounce padottanasana.)”
It became ridiculous.
Out of sheer willpower, I finally mustered up enough courage to press on. Thankfully, as soon as I clicked that little life-affirming button, I knew I had made the right decision. All my fears subsided and I was one step closer toward deepening my practice.
Within a few days I received my confirmation letter with info on how to prepare for the training. At the time I was practicing three times per week (on a good week), so I knew I would have to up my game a bit to meet the 3-5 week recommendation I had found on the Yandara website. Piece of cake, I thought … and then I read the info packet for registered students. I’m not sure why I didn’t realize this at the time, but for some reason I had no idea there would be pre-course work before arriving in Bali. I’m hoping I’m not the only one who didn’t know that going into this, but I have a feeling I might be.
Before training, I apparently needed to do 20 hours of pre-course self study, which included filling out a pre-training guide (a worksheet that focused mainly on yoga anatomy), answering some reflection questions, read part one of B.K.S. Iyengar’s Light on Yoga, finish Donna Farhi’s Yoga Mind, Body, and Spirit (although that book was optional), and commit to a minimum of one hour of personal daily asana practice and sun salutation series.
After another brief moment of “what have I gotten myself into,” I recommitted and took each step one day at a time. I read on the plane, studied between deadlines, and I even kept up my daily asana practice while on a celebratory canal cruise through the Champagne region of France (ahem … I’d call that dedication folks).
Three things came from doing the pre-course work. 1) I became more excited than ever that I’m actually going through with teaching yoga. 2) Since I had never before practiced yoga every day until that point, I quickly noticed the way my body and mindset changed from day one of sticking to a routine. In that short time I’ve become stronger mentally and physically … and now I can do a backbend! 3) That if I can hold tree pose and stay in a headstand while on a boat on the French canals after having a glass of Champagne, that I can totally do this!
Pre-coursework finished and airline tickets confirmed, it’s now only a matter of days until I will be on a plane heading to Bali where I will officially start my studies to become a yoga teacher … now I just need to decide what to pack!