Yoga Teacher Training: The End is the Beginning

Well, here we are. I’ve reached the end of my 200-hour yoga teacher training experience. When this yoga teacher training experience started, I would never have believed we’d get here so quickly.

We held our final weekend/retreat this past weekend at Canaan Valley Resort. This post is going to be a bit different than my past posts about my yoga teacher training weekends. For one thing, I’ll not be breaking down the weekend into multiple posts per day. We were there for four days, and it seems excessive to break each day down into individual posts. For another, I’m not planning to recap each and every thing we did. Again, we did a great deal in four days, and it seems like too much to put into one post.

This post will be a combination of telling you about the weekend, along with telling you about the wonderful group of ladies I’ve been spending my time with. So please, read on and enjoy this final chapter in my yoga teacher training experience.

Be Here Now

It’s hard for me to even figure out where to start. So I suppose I’ll start where I would normally start: the very first thing we did. We stayed in cabins at the Canaan Valley Resort, and we all had a potluck dinner together that first night before we did anything else. There is something about the breaking of bread together that can really seal a group. Pockets of us had eaten lunch together throughout the last several months, but this was the first time we all sat down intentionally as a group to share a meal. It really set the tone for our whole weekend. The conversation, the sharing, and the laughter spilled over into every single moment of the weekend.

We then headed over to the main lodge to have our opening ceremony. We each brought a little something with us to place on an altar at the front of the space. This eclectic group formed a beautiful table that served as both backdrop and anchor to the whole weekend. Just like each personality in the group came together to form something greater than each of us as individuals, so did our personal objects come together to make a beautiful display.

Yoga teacher training experience: altar
Our altar for the weekend.

Yoga, Yoga, Yoga

Over the next few days, we did a lot of things. Yoga, mostly. It was a yoga teacher training retreat, after all! We also talked about the business of yoga, what’s next for us as yoga teachers, and did some vision-boarding about the things we hoped for in the next stages of our yoga journeys. We also spent time talking about the science of “Om” and doing some work with mantras. Most of the sessions weren’t nearly as meaty as they had been on previous weekends, but that’s to be expected. It’s why I’m not really breaking it all down.

The important thing, though, is how much everyone shared. We all had something to contribute from our various life experiences. Many of us have already started teaching, or have teaching jobs lined up, so it felt as though we were all able to speak with some authority on these topics, and in a way we hadn’t been able to in our past sessions. I’m sure it’s also partly how much we were able to bond with one another over the course of these last four days.

Time Together

I can’t really emphasize or explain enough how much we all really bonded on this retreat. We had a lot of downtime together, much of it spent over our meals. As I said, there’s something about eating together that really brings a group into cohesion.

Yoga teacher training experience
The deer around Canaan are very tame.

We had a member of the group do archetype birth chart readings for those that wanted them, which was fascinating. A lot of us sat in on many of the readings, and had a chance to learn a little more about one another as a result. We sought advice from one another on essential oils, starting our businesses, and even personal matters like work and personal faith. We supported one another through the whole weekend.

This was a unique group, and we had a unique experience together. I’m really pleased to call each of these women a friend of mine. We’re already planning our reunion, and talking about getting together in January to do an aerial yoga class and go to dinner together. People are signal boosting one another’s new classes and studios on social media and encouraging one another as we all get started. It’s a fantastic group, and I’m so honored to be a part of it.

The End is the Beginning

I spent the better part of this year in this yoga teacher training experience, with these women, and it’s hard to believe our time has come to a close. We have a bond together that’s hard to explain to anyone else, but I know they will all know what I mean. We all feel as though this group was lightning in a bottle; a phenomenon and an alchemy that will likely never be repeated. I’m sure the reunion in January will be the first of many.

To Heidi, our teacher trainer, I cannot say, “Thank you” enough. Not just for the guidance and wisdom you offered to each of us over this past year, but also for simply making this group possible. You brought together thirteen phenomenal women from all walks of life, and through your careful example and nurturing, ended with a group that is sure to do some amazing things in the months and years to come.

To my fellow YTTers, thank each and every one of you. Your sharing, your experiences, your kindness, your support – I cannot imagine a better group of women to accompany me on this journey. Even though we lost a few partway through, you are still just as much a part of the rich tapestry of this experience, and I will hold each and every one of you in my heart for a lifetime. This is the end AND the beginning, and I cannot wait to see all of the things you will all accomplish. Until I see you all again…

May the longtime sun shine upon you,
All love surround you,
And the pure light within you
Guide your way home.

Yoga teacher training experience: we made it!
We made it! Svaha!