Going Deep With Yoga Teacher Training

Recent 200-hour Mesa Rim Yoga Teacher Training graduate Nicole shares her experiences with the program and how it helped her gain a more thorough understanding of the practice and the confidence to lead her own classes.

The Mesa Rim 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training program was a wonderful experience! Through the 4-month-long program I learned yoga postures, alignment, yoga history, philosophy, and anatomy. The training was thorough and helped me gain an in-depth knowledge of Vinyasa Flow Yoga and Restorative Yoga. I felt the curriculum was well rounded and allowed for a deep dive into yoga postures and how to teach them safely.

There are many forms of yoga, and I love that Mesa Rim’s program exposed me to a variety of them. The other styles I learned about were Yin Yoga, Bowspring, Acro Yoga, Thai Yoga Massage, Ashtanga, and Yoga Therapeutics. Even though time did not permit for in-depth training on all these styles, I was able to experience them and find which ones I wanted to learn more about. I was inspired to continue my yoga education and seek out other trainings focused on specific types of yoga. In the upcoming year Mesa Rim is offering trainings in various styles, such as Yin Yoga training and Ashtanga training, which is super cool to see! I hope to join in on some of these in the future.

Some of my favorite parts of the training were the anatomy sessions with Kevin! He is a fantastic teacher and made learning anatomy fun. Sometimes learning the anatomical terminology can be daunting, but the way he taught it made it exciting and relatable. Kevin used an anatomy program to show us 3D models of the bones and muscles. It was fascinating to watch how the muscles and joints move! He also did a wonderful job of relating the anatomy that was learned in lecture to the yoga practice. By the end of the training I found myself using some anatomical language in my teaching!

Another aspect I loved about the training was the practice teaching exercises. Almost every day of the training we had the chance to practice teaching yoga postures or short sequences. The instructors created an environment where I felt safe to try out various types of cuing and find what worked and what did not work. It was ok to stumble over your words and attempt new things and sometimes fail. I received valuable feedback from the instructors and my fellow trainees, which helped me discover how to effectively and safely cue yogis through yoga postures.

During the second half of the training each trainee was given 60 minutes to teach a full class. I loved having the chance to try out teaching a full class before graduation. By the time I taught my class I was more familiar with the other trainees and felt comfortable and confident in my teaching abilities. I learned so much from teaching a 60-minute class to my peers and was able to take what I learned into teaching public yoga classes. Not only did I learn the fundamentals of the many forms of yoga but I also found a deeper understanding of myself and who I am as a human being. The personal growth that happened during the training was immense! One of the most memorable personal growth moments from the 200 hours of training was the last day. Two of the instructors, Anika and Pearl, led us through partner and group meditation exercises. As I went through the various exercises I was surprised by the deep emotional and visceral response from my body. As I progressed through the visualization and sensory exercises, I was able to be more vulnerable and open with my fellow trainees. I hadn’t realized how much emotion and vulnerability I was holding in until that moment. It was a cathartic and amazing experience that I will never forget!

The instructors, especially Sarah Haughton (the lead instructor), are all extremely knowledgeable and supportive. Each instructor taught authentically from their own experience and created a safe, welcoming, and supportive environment. They also helped foster confidence in my teaching and gave advice on how to continually improve my teaching. One of the things that makes Mesa Rim’s program unique is the wide variety of instructors. I loved how we got to hear from over eight different yoga instructors. Each one had a unique yoga journey and brought fresh perspectives on the practice. It was also encouraging to see that all the instructors were continuing to learn and grow. If they didn’t know the answer to a question, they would say, “Let me do some research and get back to you.” I believe that even as we become experts on a subject, we can continue to learn new things and should always be students.

I highly recommend Mesa Rim’s 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training. It is an exceptional program that is intelligently educating yogis. The program emphasizes teaching how to create a safe space in your yoga classes, safe alignment in postures, cuing to safely bring students in and out of postures, the history of yoga and how it influences western yoga today, and cultivates curiosity in the evolution of yoga. It creates a well rounded yoga instructor who is able to value and appreciate all styles of yoga. I hope that Mesa Rim continues to grow the yoga teacher training program and offer more continuing education courses in the future.

Interested in learning more about Mesa Rim’s Yoga Teacher Training program and the upcoming session beginning February 2020? Click HERE to get up to speed on what the program offers and how you can benefit from it.