1. Deepen Your Practice. When I took my first yoga teacher training I had no plans of becoming a teacher – I just knew I wanted more. I felt great after every class, but I had a million questions. Why are we always rolling to the right side at the end of class? What’s up with this “Ommmming”? Should I be feeling that stretch here? Where in the world is my sacrum? Why does this pose make me want to cry? Will I ever be able to stand on my hands?!
Teacher training totally satiated my inner nerd, my inner hippie, and the inner athlete that occasionally smirked at my inner hippie. Not only was I learning more about the postures and sequencing classes, but I was also getting a chance to study philosophy, anatomy, pranayama, and subtle body. Going to class was like swimming in a pool (awesome), and teacher training was like exploring the ocean (awe inspiring)!
2. Find Your Tribe. Day 1 of teacher training I walked into a room of people that looked like a United Colors of Benetton ad. So many different cultures, men, women, dancers, teachers, parents, students, and we ranged in age from 19-67. There was a girl just starting her journey with yoga, and a man who after 30 years of practice had just lost his wife and was looking for a way to heal his soul, and maybe help others. And then there was me. I was excited, but still nervous, with a million thoughts racing through my mind. At the top of the list… “I don’t have a perfect yoga body – will they kick me out, or laugh at me when they find out I can’t kick into handstand?”
I quickly learned that we were all at different places in our lives and practice, and that helped to make the experience so much richer. We learned from one another, laughed and cried together, and really bonded in a beautiful way. The most unexpected gift I received from my teacher training was a second family.
3. See the World. A destination training is a great way to vacation with purpose. I was blessed to grow up all over the world and it has instilled in me a great love of adventure. The awesome gift of a destination training is having the opportunity to truly immerse yourself in another culture. Taking a month away from the daily grind to let go, get lost, and then truly find yourself is magical. Both travel and teacher training have an incredibly transformative quality, making the combo a powerful journey for the body, mind, and soul.
4. Change Your Life. Whether you’re looking for a career change, or just looking for yourself, teacher training has a way of providing some clarity. That being said, it is not all rainbows and high fives. The practice is about holding up a mirror to self, and we will not always love what we see reflected back. The beauty of the practice is that it teaches us discipline and invites the opportunity for self study. Self study is the ability to watch self with an eye of interest, with a desire to learn instead of judge or label. By taking the time to get to know self in this way, we begin to see beyond the physical reflection to the beauty within.
5. Change the World. Simply put, change starts with self. If we continue to fill our well, in time it over flows. This spill over may be embarking on the path of a teacher and touching the lives of your future students, or inspiring friends and family to nurture self, by taking active steps to do the same for yourself.
Ashley Rideaux was first introduced to yoga while studying acting at SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts. It was during these 4 years of movement classes and breathing exercises that she found herself drawn to the practice. She is a popular Los Angeles based teacher and YogaWorks Certified Teacher Trainer (500 ERYT) who leads workshops, trainings, and retreats all over the world. Ashley’s classes are challenging and playful! Ranging from therapeutic work to advanced vinyasa flow, all of her classes are a balance of the physical and the philosophical; inviting the body and mind to unfold through her detail to alignment, breath, and meditation.