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I’m a Shiny New Yoga Teacher – Here’s 5 Things I Know (And More Importantly Some Things I Don’t Know)

The first thing you will realise at the beginning of any yoga teacher training course, no matter how many years you’ve been practicing yoga or in how many different countries you’ve travelled, classes you’ve attended or new styles you’ve tried, is how little you actually know about it.
Don’t get me wrong here; I simply mean that there is just so much to know and learn and experience about the practice of yoga that once you put the gap in your own knowledge into context it will ultimately seem a million times larger than it was before you became aware of it. Make sense?
It’s humbling, really.

So much so, in fact, that even after completing an intensive 3-week YTT in Bali last year where equator-sweats and crawly insects during savasana were all incorporated into the standard flow of our 3-hour morning practices, I still emerged on the other side feeling as if I knew less than I had before. There was just so much to process.
That being said, here are 5 things I have learned/realised during my short time as a shiny new yoga teacher..

  1. Fear of the Unknown
    The awareness of our potential as humans, as individual souls and sources of internal power that we achieve through an intensive and in-depth study of yoga and all its teachings makes us infinitely more aware of ourselves, of our place in the world, and of both how little and how large it all really is – all at the same time.
    The largeness being the scary part – the unknown. That part that we usually block out simply because it’s just easier that way. Yoga teaches us to embrace the dark, uncomfortable and unfamiliar parts of ourselves. Because only by becoming familiar with every aspect of our being can we truly accept ourselves as we are. 
  2. Progression and Sharing

    As a new yoga teacher now home in Dublin and seeking to expand my understanding and teachings further, I can’t help but marvel at my own expansion and personal growth having remained firmly rooted in my practice since my return. I would previously have been one to scoff at the mention of any ‘transformational’ qualities of yoga and I wholeheartedly admit to having giggled through my entire first ever yoga class as a hungover fresher in college – but therein lies the proof of it. I have come so far from the person I was then – unhappy, confused, directionless, lethargic and unhealthy both in mind and body, and by becoming aware of myself and my own capabilities I have somehow finally gotten a grasp on how to handle my own individual energy and ensure that it is used now for good. To help others. To share this awareness, this knowledge.
    To teach.

  3. The Importance of Self-Awareness

    I don’t know what will make you feel good. I just feel I now have some understanding of how to encourage energy in the right direction and increase awareness to allow students to recognise this for themselves. It takes a certain level of personal introspection and self-investigation for a student to feel the change, and change in all things takes time, but having been both student and teacher in this scenario I now feel a certain connection to this transformative quality of the practice we seek to embody.
    This for me is what a daily practice supports; encouraging energy down the right pathways and away from the ones which serve us negatively. Becoming aware of where and how your energy is used. Realising that energy takes many forms, and that the physical expression of it is just one of its many manifestations.

  4. Adapting is Key

    In terms of the classes I’ve taught so far, yoga for kids and teens and teaching yoga as Gaeilge have proven probably the most unexpected of challenges I could have anticipated facing in my first months as a teacher, the skills I so carefully honed alongside an array of nationalities all having taken place in English and with a goal of cultivating stillness, not the animated energy of a class of 6-year olds. But yoga also teaches us to be flexible, in both body and mind, and so my creativity has been put to good use in adapting what I’ve learned to suit whatever class or age group I’m faced with. Being able to “read your room” being some key advice I’ve received here for when you’re faced with an unexpected challenge.

  5. Yoga is Definitely a Legitimate Career

    It’s difficult for me to consider yoga as a ‘career’, mainly because most of my friends and family don’t really take it that seriously and also because I just enjoy doing it so much. But both of those things for me are reasons to continue down this path – the feeling of achievement, fulfillment, energised and contented connection I feel having successfully delivered a class or engaged in conversation on a certain level or aspect of the practice…that’s the sensation I want to maintain. I need that sensation in my life from day to day, and so it makes sense for me to pursue this as a ‘career’, or as whatever you want to call the thing you do everyday that pays the bills.


In conclusion; I don’t know how to solve the world’s problems, yoga teachers aren’t miracle workers, and we’re most certainly not the image of bendy and toned perfection we often see in the media. I do know however that inside every human being resides a certain energy, a life and a deserving, powerful force of creative potential that is just waiting to be given the chance to emerge. We are in ourselves entire universes composed of systems, thoughts, emotions, sensations and experience, and so by healing ourselves and providing ourselves the best possible life we can imagine – are we not improving the world? One little human at a time. One little tiny step. One breath, one movement, and one heartbeat at a time. Change takes time.

We’ll get there.

More from Jenny at Upward Facing Blog and Jennybean818 on Instagram


Author Matt

I started YogaHub out of a room at the back of someone else's house back in 2012 with nothing more than an idea. I'd been teaching Yoga since 2008 and had no intention of opening a Yoga Studio. I think, like everything I've done, I just decided one day I was going to give it a try. And try I did and if you're reading this I guess I'm still trying.

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