Dear Homegrown Yogis,

200 hours.  It takes 200 hours of training to be considered for recognition as a Registered Yoga Teacher with the Yoga Alliance – the largest professional organization for yoga teachers.  These 200 hours are to be divided up amongst a number of topics, including teaching methodology, anatomy, yoga philosophy, ethics and more.  Now 160 hours into our first 200 hour teacher training program, we have covered all these topics.  Yet one concept that is not mentioned in any syllabus is the one that I have found most powerful.

I remember when I went through my own 200 hour teacher training, I had more emotional ups and downs than I have had in my entire adult life. I would be ecstatically happy at the end of the day and by the next morning totally drained.  I would stand up to teach in front of my peers and want to bust into tears.  Until this past April, I had always attributed it to the long hours of training and stress of learning to teach. Witnessing others take part in the process this year, however, I now think it is something different.

Delving deeply into the study of yoga and moving into the role of a yoga teacher requires complete vulnerability.  Not just in private or with those you personally know.  But rather in front of others – both fellow trainees and anyone who walks into your yoga class.  Teaching yoga is about sharing from yourself.  It’s about truly seeing other people and allowing people to truly see you.  It wasn’t until I witnessed our trainees go through this process that I realized why my own training was so emotional.  This is really really challenging work, and it requires an immense amount of bravery, passion and discipline.

Over the next month, you will be seeing emails and social media posts inviting you to support our teacher trainees as they finish their 200 hour program.  You will be invited to vote for your favorite “yoga service project” that each trainee has created – the winner will receive funding for their project.  You will also be invited to the trainees’ final graduation classes – all are free and open to the public.

In teacher training, we talk a great deal about how you want to “show up” in your life.  What do you want to put out into the world and what energy do you want to create?  Our 17 teacher trainees have shown up with immense strength and vulnerability these past 200 hours.  I invite you to show up and support them as well as they step into leadership as teachers.

With love,