It’s been about a month (wow! how time flies!) since I graduated from The Hot Room’s Original Hot Yoga teacher training program and I am still processing the whole thing. I have rewritten this blog post about five times now, because honestly it’s hard to put into words how transformative this program was for me.
I am so grateful to The Hot Room and to Hye Jin, Corrie, and Laura for everything that they put into this program. This teacher training was incredibly well rounded. We focused on the dialogue in a very manageable way through dialogue drills. Laura and Hye Jin dissected each and every posture throughout our weekends together to explain why we say what we do and how it creates movement in the body.
Not only did I learn the dialogue, I learned the ins and outs of the poses in posture workshops lead by Corrie: their primary purposes, what the body was supposed to be doing in each pose, and how to adjust the postures for those who may need modifications. It was an amazing opportunity to ask questions about my own practice and to learn from my fellow trainee’s practices as well! After getting to know the postures, we would then have the opportunity to teach the postures to a small group. Practice teaching was a little bit nerve-wracking at first, but it helped me learn the dialogue and helped build confidence in myself as a teacher throughout the process.
In addition to learning the dialogue, going through posture workshops, and practice teaching, we spent weekends taking a crash course in anatomy, the history of yoga, and the business of the yoga studio. THR’s own OHY and Inferno Hot Pilates instructor Jadyn gave lectures over the entire human anatomy and how certain poses access different systems in the body. During weekend four we had the opportunity to have Lily Kessler speak to us about the entire yoga lineage, history, and it’s evolution to the practice that we’ve all come to know.
We also had an amazing opportunity to meet with Josh Biro, a traveling business consultant. As someone who is new to the business world and eager to grow in this field, it was a great chance to pick Josh’s brain. He made a great point that has stuck with me- this yoga is really the best product ever. It doesn’t break, doesn’t expire, it never loses value, and it can change your life for the better. Can you name anything else that does the same?? This program didn’t need to include any of this information – but it did! It has not only equipped me with a number of tools to be the best teacher I can be, but it created a new curiosity and admiration for the practice itself.
The biggest “aha” moment for me was during weekend two after the anatomy weekend, when it really dawned on me how the series of postures are perfectly put together. Everything is systematic – one pose will raise your heart rate, the next will bring your heart rate down to normal (think balancing stick and standing separate leg stretching pose). Tree pose is a great example of a posture that brings together all of the elements of the postures in the series before it. Even the breathing exercises are perfectly placed – we start with Pranayama to expand and prepare our lungs for class and we end with Kapalbhati to get rid of any last metabolic waste and cleanse the mind one last time before final Savasana. From start to finish the poses thoughtfully build on one another until everything has been accessed, inside out, bones to skin, fingertips to your toes.
The best tip that I got during this training was to listen during class. This may sound silly, but it wasn’t until then that I realized how often I was going to autopilot during my classes. I had taken Original Hot Yoga so many times that my body was just moving in autopilot. I started really listening again, only moving exactly on what the teacher said. I almost always hear a new cue that really lands on me and my practice has grown exponentially because of it!
My favorite part of the whole training (which is also my favorite part of the Hot Power Vinyasa training too) is the relationships that I built throughout the process. You begin the teacher training as a group of 18 strangers essentially- some people you recognize because you both take Mary Beth’s 6pm class downtown, others you have never seen before in your life. But over the eight weekends, during all of the posture workshops, dialogue drills, practice teaching sessions, these strangers become your people, your cheerleaders through the good times and the hard times. I feel lucky to have had gone through my training. I could go on endlessly talking about how amazing they all are and how amazed I am by the hard work we all put into the training.
This community wouldn’t have happened if it weren’t for the leadership of Hye Jin, Laura, and Corrie. They dedicated 200 hours of their time to help train us. They set aside time during their busy schedules to meet with me so I could practice teaching postures to them. They took the time to answer all of my questions. They helped me make breakthroughs in my teaching and in my personal practice. They are a huge reason this training is what it is.
This training was transformative- not just for my practice, but for my day to day life. I learned so much about yoga, but also about myself. It showed me that I am capable of hard work and that I’m stronger than I think I am. It taught me how to make the most of every day. It showed me the steps to take toward my personal goals. At the end of the day, I feel the same way after the Original Hot Yoga training as I did after my Hot Power Vinyasa training at THR: I wish everyone had the opportunity to go through this.