200-Hours of Study, A Three Week Transformation
guest post by Stacey Ebert
A little over three weeks ago, I had no idea what I was getting into. I couldn’t imagine how I would budget my time and had no clue what I’d do in the training I was about to experience.
Now that Yoga One’s 200-hour Teacher Training has come to a close, I’m having yoga withdrawals. I can’t imagine what I’ll do with all this extra time and I am overwhelmed by the emotions stirred up by this magical experience. Since I’ve known them for well over a year now, I’m sure the owners Amy and Michael Caldwell, and OM (Office Manager) Missy DiDonato knew this would be the case – but I didn’t. Needless to say, I’m eternally grateful.
The transformation is palpable. I’ve heard of it happening, but I didn’t know it would happen to me. I jumped in hoping for a deeper understanding of my practice (with only the smidgeon of thought that perhaps, maybe, I might, someday think about teaching). I didn’t expect what would transpire. I entered with eyes wide open; I leave with a soaring spirit, curious mind, open heart (shoulders and hips, too), and a thirst for more.
Together, the 14 of us went through many rounds of practice teaching. We learned to consciously listen, to accept constructive criticism, to provide positive feedback and to give each other useful suggestions along the way. We grew. My wonky scoliosis came in handy for those who needed a visual and ideas for modifications that work for those with an atypical spine. We learned to ask before adjusting, use props to elevate and elongate, check in with prenatal poses, and wind down in the delight of restorative everything.
Together we saw the changes taking place. Greater strength and flexibility occurred, muscles ached and developed, the shy students grew emboldened, those with questions encouraged, and all of us were empowered and enlightened. Whether on a paddleboard, in a pose, or at a potluck – we were united in yoga, inspired by our teacher Amy Caldwell, and determined to learn the paths and postures of this ancient wisdom.
Through adjustments, asanas, and alignment details, Amy never waned. She was there through it all with patience, suggestions, knowledge, and experience. Her welcoming, trustworthy nature fostered a safe, risk-free environment for all to blossom. Hers is a classroom of open communication, trust, guidance, and facilitation. Buoyed by Amy’s easy-going demeanor, we, her students, thrived. She guided us through the three week course with kindness, patience, profound wisdom, and much pranayama (breathwork).
When I posted on social media that I was taking this class, a former student replied ‘once a teacher, always a teacher’. I’ve been a student of yoga for almost a decade and taught in and out of the classroom for far longer. I’ve practiced yoga on two coasts and in fun spots around the globe. Of course, year one of teaching (or practicing) is different than year 8, year 15 or year 20, but from personal experience (both as a student and teacher), I know what I believe it takes to be a good teacher… and I can say with confidence that Amy has all that and more.
It’s mind-blowing to know that in such a (relatively) short time, Yoga One packed 200 hours of information and engagement into our brains and our bodies. Fourteen strangers stepped onto their mats in a studio new to many of them. Three weeks later, we’ve left as friends who were united in something greater than ourselves and who experienced moments that none of us will soon forget.
Mindfulness flourished in the studio; and although there’s no telling where all this will lead, I know for certain the light cultivated will not be extinguished. I’m proud of all of us and grateful for the practice and the people. I am indebted to Amy, my friend and teacher, and I will never forget this experience that literally cracked my soul wide open. Namaste.
Stacey Ebert is a freelance writer, educator, event planner, and volunteer coordinator who has traveled to over 50 of the world’s countries. Writing about adventure, journey and perspective changing life shifts, she encourages travelers to take the leap, use the world as their classroom and get outside their comfort zones. She has lived in Long Beach (New York), Melbourne (Australia) and is presently based in San Diego (California). Connect with her on her blog, The Gift of Travel, Facebook, Pinterest, or LinkedIn.