In two days, I'll be knee deep into the first weekend of the 2014 yoga teacher training at West Hartford Yoga. This is the same training I attended in 2008 (I was, in fact, Teacher Trainee #1, signing up first for the first year of the training). I have been honored to have been part of this training since 2010 (when I stepped in four of the six weekends to hold space due to some personal issues with the other assistants). In 2011, I was invited back, and have been a part of the training ever since.
It has been a huge honor to be part of this, quite daunting and overwhelming, and something I look forward to both expectantly and with a bit of fear. I know I bring a lot to the training - a bit more Kapha energy than my teacher or the other assistant. Solid, reliable, consistent. I'm the teacher that the trainees can look to when they feel unworthy or inadequate, the real evidence that there many ways to practice, to teach. I'm the one seeking out the trainees trying to hide, to crawl into corners, to disappear.
But the training weekends are quite long and somewhat overwhelming - three long days, three hot and long practices (even though I'm assisting rather than teaching or practicing, it's quite draining).
It's another big class. 49 this year (topping last year's 46), I think they set a max of 48 but for some reason one extra person snuck in (probably someone got overlooked or verbally committed but got left off the list until the last minute). I expect we'll lose one or two this first weekend (that seems to happen every year) and hopefully we'll be left with an even number.
We have two "repeat" trainees this year - not sure what their stories are yet. We tend to have a few each year; folks who feel they need another go at it, were not in a good place the first time around, or missed the deadlines for certification. But it will be nice to see them again. Other than that, the names are (mostly) unknowns. One Facebook friend, two or three names I recognize as regular students. I'm sure once we get them all together I'll recognize others from classes. But at least 40 who are at this point, unknowns.
We have a lot of guys this year - I count 11 names in the roster that are pretty solidly male gendered (and another 5-6 that could be, although I assume not). We've never had more than 4-5 men. So that will definitely change the character of the training, and give me a bit more to do - when it comes to assisting the larger guys, I tend to be a little more involved than Nykki and Barb. Barb will come assist me at times in class, not get me to budge at all, and then whisper "you did not feel that, did you?" Sometimes, height and weight provide a bit of advantage on top of skill and experience.
I spent a bit of time last night revising a document that I created last year to file the student photos. Last year, I took the initiative to take quick headshots on the first day and create a training class "facebook" (just photos and names) for the training staff to use, it helped us all a lot to get to know folks faster. I started with the 2013 document, so I got to look one last time at the 2013 class of trainees as a group. As I sit in the sharing circle tomorrow night, I am sure I'll have that odd feeling of familiarity (30+ sharing circles over the years) and newness (in my mind, the class of 2013 are "the teacher trainees", not this circle of strangers) . And it will be my great pleasure to get to know them over the next six months.
So yeah, teacher training 2014. I have no idea how I got here, but I'm happy that my life has turned in this direction. Bring it on.