Here at Yoga Mamas we offer two robust and unique yoga teacher trainings; The Prenatal Yoga Teacher Training and The Postnatal Yoga Teacher Training. Both programs have been specifically designed for women who want to strengthen their personal practice, expand upon their skills as a yoga teacher, or learn something new and explore alternative career paths. However past students from both programs have told us that the things they found to be most valuable about the trainings were the positive experiences that occurred off the mat and in the classroom, the things they learned that they could take with them well after the training was over.
We spoke to a Prenatal Yoga Teacher graduate and member of the Yoga Mamas' Community, Rebecca Brunette, who wrote about the top 4 things she took away from her Yoga Teacher Training at Yoga Mamas.
A Support System
Forget the typical team-building circle, where parties reluctantly share their name and favourite food in order to get to know one another; our PYTT began with a thoughtfully guided ‘Welcome Ceremony’ complete with dimmed lighting and gentle music. Women of different ages and from all over the world were joined together in this sacred space! With a nod to our female ancestors, we honoured each woman’s reason for being present. I could tell we were already embarking on a special journey as a group, rather than individuals. Over the course of the training we ladies developed a real kinship. We shared a lot of laughs and, in true teacher training fashion, the occasional tear. But, what really blew me away was that this tribe of fiercely supportive women stuck together after the training was done. A year later and we’re still reaching out for advice on class themes and music resources, while providing each other with tons of encouragement. Practicing teacher or not, everyone is keeping in touch, and this support has meant the world to me!
A common thread among the women in our training, other than a love of yoga, was an interest in health. Woman’s health, nutrition, fitness, phycology, postnatal care; everyone had some background in or curiosity for human wellbeing. It was incredible to experience prenatal yoga alongside women with expertise in so many different areas! Not only did their expertise add a lot of depth to the content I was learning, but it’s also continued to be an incredible resource for me. Since yoga is considered a wellness offering, students often ask their teachers for recommendations for alternative caregivers and specialists. It’s great to have a trusted community at your fingertips that you can refer your students to, especially one that shares an understanding of yoga. Massage therapists, Chiropractors, and Pelvic Floor Specialists all compliment a healthy yoga practice. I for one have been seeing my massage therapist on a more regular basis, which keeps me in-tune with my muscular health, not to mention extremely relaxed!
Respect & Admiration
Who really sits around contemplating the miracle that is birth? Certainly not me, and I was pregnant at the time! Up until the training, delivery seemed miles away. I had an over-simplified concept that delivering a baby would just sort of happen to me. Toss me in a yoga training that was all-things-pregnancy and boy was I surprised to find out how varied and unique the birth experience is to every woman. Some women want to deliver in the comfort of home, others wouldn’t dream of being anywhere but a trusted hospital. There are women who choose to give birth vaginally, those who prefer to book a C-Section, and those who medically have no choice. These choices are laced with emotional and psychological effects, which linger long after the ‘push’ is over; I soon developed a massive respect for each woman’s desire (and right) to choose her own birth experience.
One of the amazing things about practicing empathy for others is that it’s difficult to do without also extending oneself the same courtesy. The Prenatal Yoga Teacher Training taught me to support, encourage, listen to, and appreciate other women, and I realized that I deserved this kind of radical love from myself! Over time — and with continued practice — I’ve learned to be kinder to myself; more patient and nurturing. To focus on positive internal speech, and to witness the wisdom of my body with wonder and awe. Most importantly I’m learning to measure my successes by way of personal growth, rather than comparing myself to any other mama. Admittedly, a competitive spirit can serve you well in other aspects of life and work, but as a prenatal yoga teacher in training, you’d best leave it at the studio door.