Reflections on Teacher Training: When the Student is Ready by Michelle Cartier

My yoga teacher training experience started as a lesson right from the start, reminding me of the wise adage "when the student is ready, the teacher will appear." 

As someone that had been practicing yoga for over 15 years, I had often thought about enrolling in a teacher training program but timing or life circumstance just did not align.  The internal call to seek out a training program continued to build until I felt an overwhelming YES, it was time to further my own practice and explore the idea of sharing that knowledge with others.  Unfortunately, when I made this decision, the timing did not align with local training programs, I had already missed the enrollment and the start of the teacher training program. 

I was feeling really passionately that this was the right timing for me so I talked with my husband and we decided that I should search for a teacher training in the metro area and commute.  I did an online search of teacher trainings in Minneapolis, and the first result that appeared was The Yoga Center of Minneapolis (YCM), advertising an outreach teacher training program right here in the north.  YCM and Yoga Tree in Superior partnered for a teacher training program that would begin in mere weeks!  I felt excited, scared and ready to take the journey.  Looking back, I am so happy for the timing of my training, it unfolded exactly as it should have, not forced in any way.  I was ready and the opportunity of a teacher presented.

The Yoga Center of Minneapolis teacher training program was a 12-month program intensive.  This was a very sacred time in my life and one that is really difficult for me to put into words.  It was a time full of great awakening and personal growth.  I felt the knowledge of many of my life experiences slowly smoothing over jagged edges, transitioning into pearls of wisdom of the heart, body and soul. 

I have gone on to add additional trainings and certifications to my mental knowledge base, but as a lifelong student, I continue to hold my practice and life experience as daily teachers.   For me, every approach to my mat or cushion is a new opportunity to return to this sacred place.   Allowing space for whatever is here to simply be here, connecting and honoring it as best I can, regardless of labels good or bad.  Just breathe, breathe in and breathe out.  A simple act, one that I have performed mindlessly, countless times over and over in my life.  Suddenly, this becomes a moment of complete possibility and if I allow it, my greatest teacher.  Just like the waves of the ocean, each inhale crashes onto the shore of this moment, and each exhale rolling out making space for the next.

I am so thankful for my yoga teacher training experience and for everyone that I have had the privilege to walk alongside as a fellow student.  In many ways, my training awakened me to the wisdom that the teacher is and always has been present, now I am just aware and willing to observe.  I am ready to be a student for life.