November 23rd, 2015
8 yogis + 4 weeks + 32 classes + 45 hours of yoga + 4 injuries + countless hours of studying = one hell of an experience and 8 very well deserved Yoga Alliance Teacher Certifications.
Just like that, the 28-Day Intensive Hot Vinyasa Yoga Teacher Training at Yogalinda in Barcelona is complete. Week four seemed to have arrived so abruptly even after all the times I felt the course would never end. There was only a little new information to digest in the final week, but the focus weighed more heavily on preparation for the final examinations. All that stood between our certifications and us was one original 60-75 min yoga class per person, and a comprehensive examination of all that we had learned in the past four weeks.
I could feel a shift in the air on day one of the final week. Even the free spirited and relaxed souls of the group who had been keeping the mood light for the past month, were focusing all of their attention and all their efforts into the final week and hunkering down into their studies. There was less chitchat in the locker rooms and our social lunch breaks were now an opportunity to study and perfect our sequences. The nervous tension in the air was so thick you could cut it with a knife, but I felt confident that every single one of us was going to finish this course strong.
We all eagerly anticipated Wednesday, when the practical examinations would begin. One of my best friends in the course was the first to step up to the plate, and probably one of the most nervous. How amazing it was to watch one of us teach though. I never told her, but watching her get up there and teach for the first time that day nearly brought tears to my eyes. This was my classmate, my friend, my confidant, and I was blessed to be a witness to her triumph over her fears and her insecurities as she took her place at the front of the classroom. And after all the anticipation and the excitement we had built up for the past month, just like that, the first exam had gone and went. The remaining seven of us were scheduled to teach our classes over the next three days and the classes quickly came and went as the first one had. Each of my classmates taught with grace and confidence and each class left me feeling so proud to call myself a part of this group.
Even when it came time for me to teach, the negative critic in my head had ceased to have a voice and I found a surprising comfort sitting in front of the classroom. After all my doubts and my fears I had had at the beginning of the course, I no longer felt as though those thoughts bore any weight. I knew I could do this, I knew we could all do this. And we had earned the right to do so. I will never forget the feeling I felt in my soul as I closed my practice, said “Namaste,” and bowed to my classmates. I felt for the first time, that I had truly acknowledged all the good in others and myself as I brought my hands to my chest and my head to the floor.
After completing the practical examinations, a huge weight was lifted off of our shoulders. All that remained in the course was the written examination and a celebration of our success. While the test was sure to prove challenging and required a lot of knowledge, I finally felt as though I was truly having a chance to understand and appreciate the knowledge and information we had been given over the past month. The nerves and test anxiety I often felt in school were not present when I showed up for the exam on Sunday. I knew this and I earned the right to call myself a teacher, and I knew my exam would reflect this. It appeared as though all of my classmates felt the same, as there was a strange sense of calm floating around the room during the exam.
After two hours of testing and a celebratory potluck lunch, we were all invited to a closing ceremony. One by one we were handed our Yoga Alliance certificates and one by one, we were officially awarded the right to call ourselves yoga teachers. It is hard to explain the feeling of honor and accomplishment I felt in that moment, for it is unlike anything I have felt before. I have spent four years earning a degree and walked across a stage in front of thousands of people to be honored for such an accomplishment, but this was a far greater feeling than that. This certificate was so much more than recognition of my completion of the course, and I felt more whole than I have ever felt in my life.
Many people did not understand my motivations for enrolling in this course and spending so much money on something that often does not yield significant financial gains. At the beginning, I too questioned if spending so much of my so little money would actually be worth it to be a yoga teacher. What I realized, is that I did not do this so I could teach. I was meant to do this. I was meant to meet these people. I was meant to face some harsh realities about my lifestyle and my life choices that were not serving me. I was meant to find myself in this course, and I did just that. Yes, I can teach now, but my greatest accomplishment is that I was willing to explore my truth and my reality to truly embrace all it is that I am and that I want to be.
I am Meagan Klein, and I have successfully completed Yogalinda’s 28-Day Hot Vinyasa Yoga Teacher Training. My pursuit for knowledge and fulfillment is ongoing and everlasting. I am grateful for all the people who have been part of my journey thus far and I look forward to all of the souls who will touch my life as I continue down this path of enlightenment. I wish all of my classmates and future trainees the best of luck and the courage to pursue what it is that makes you sincerely happy in this life.
By Meagan Klein – Nov 2015 graduate