A yoga teacher training update

Hi friends! Hope you’re having a wonderful afternoon. I’m so glad to hear I’m not the only one who was feeling meh about Three Wishes. Farewell, book. Starting something new tonight! (I have quite a few on the Kindle I haven’t cracked open yet.) I got my Invisalign aligners today -more on that to come, but I am so happy with them so far- and am getting ready for afternoon BODYPUMP. I’ve had a few requests for an update on yoga teacher training, so I thought I’d do a little post since we’re about halfway through the 200-hour program. When I finish, I’ll write a final recap and will include details on teacher training if you’re local and interested, and also teaching details… because I’ve decided that I do want to teach.

When I first signed up, I was really excited because it’s something I’ve always wanted to do to deepen my own practice. I desired to learn more about the spiritual aspect of yoga, in addition to the correct alignment for all of my favorite poses. I figured that going through yoga teacher training would help me as a group fitness instructor and trainer, and that I’d be able to take the learning points off the mat and into my own life. So far, that’s exactly what has happened. 

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(Photo: Danny Chan)

When I signed up, I received a binder, packed with information and segmented into the following categories:

-What is yoga?

-7 Spiritual Laws of Yoga


-Pranayama and bandhas

-Role of Yoga Instructor

-Yoga Techniques

-Yoga and Pregnancy (yesssssss)

-Anatomy and physiology

and we instantly jumped into the history and background of yoga. We are reading two books: The Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga and Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, in addition to the information in the binder (which is about 200 pages). 

Yoga reads

Each week, we discuss two of the yoga sutras from Patanjali and how they relate to life and our yoga practice, before diving into the topic for that week. I love that we’re breaking down the sutras each week because there are a LOT; it makes it easier to relate to each one and spend some time contemplating and applying. This is a huge reason why I’ve enjoyed this longer course, instead of doing a quick total immersion training. I’ve had time to really absorb the information and start to use it as we move along. 

I’ve enjoying learning about the philosophical aspect of yoga, because it’s something that’s intrigued me as I’ve practiced over the years. I’ve gotten hints here and there from practice at various studios, but it was the first time I learned about the limbs of yoga, the 7 Spiritual Laws, the sutras, and the soul questions.

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During the first class, which I wrote a bit about, we sat in pairs and had to ask each other, “Who are you?” over and over again for 2 minutes. It was a very challenging exercise, especially since many of us tend to rely on superficial or external categories to define ourselves. (For example: “I’m a wife. I’m a mom. I teach fitness classes.” These are all parts of my roles and responsibilities, but at my core, they’re not who I am.) Our instructor, who is INCREDIBLE, told us that these questions would become easier to answer as time went on. 

As I expected, during YTT, we’ve all had to peel back and explore different layers of ourselves and make time to listen to our inner consciousness. This can be especially intense if you’re not ready for it, as it can be heavy and emotional stuff. Some of the self-discovery has been the most challenging I’ve done, and the most-needed. I’ve noticed that I’m far less stressed than I was before starting training, and I tend to not let external factors affect me in the same way. 

Currently, we’re focusing on anatomy and physiology, and as a personal trainer, I’ve found it helpful to dig deeper into the systems, glands and organs, and how our practice can affect each of these components.  

I’ve already started to implement what I’ve learned in my classes, and am excited to see how this changes me as an instructor. As someone who is always searching for opportunities to expand my fitness knowledge, I have to admit that this intimidated me from enrolling in yoga teacher training and has been in the back of my mind for years. Since I’m starting training later -though I’ve been practicing for a while- I felt like I was “behind” and that there was no way I had time to learn enough to be a *good* yoga teacher. I’ve learned that yoga is an art and a science. You can always learn and improve, and it’s never too late to start. All you need to be a *good* yoga teacher is a genuine love for the practice and desire to share it with others. 

As far as teaching goes, I was worried it would take away some of the magic from my own practice, but instead, it’s made it deeper and richer. I’ve taken the law of the day and applied it to my practice (for example, today is Wednesday, is the Law of Least Effort, which means that nature’s intelligence functions with effortless ease. Sometimes in order to be the most effective, you have to take a step back and let things fall into place without resistance.) and meditation, and have used the yamas multiple times on my mat and daily life. Yamas are the rules of social behavior, and the first one is ahimsa, which means nonviolence, or “do no harm.” This seems like common sense, but if you really dive in and think of the times you’re harming instead of helping yourself, it can allow you to reassess and adjust. I’ve been practicing ahimsa often on my mat, and instead of fighting my way into the more challenging poses, I show myself kindness, patience and sometimes surprise myself. Many times, if you relax into the posture instead of forcing your way into it, you’ll be able to achieve a more advanced variation (if that’s your goal). 

I taught my first practice flow yesterday, and while I was nervous about it, the second I started, it felt right, and SO good. I love that there’s extra room for silence and breathing -I talk a LOT in BODYPUMP and Barre- and that I can adjust, and sing (Kirtan is one of my favorite things in the world). I’m teaching my first community class in a couple of weeks, so in the meantime, I’ll be continuing to study and practice. 🙂

If you have any questions for my final recap post, please let me know and I’ll can be sure to include them!

Have a great night and I’ll see ya in the morning <3



Check in with today’s workout here. 

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  1. Your yoga training sounds similar to mine! I was also in my first trimester when I completed it (a 21 day immersion program.) It was much more of a …. spiritual bootcamp than I anticipated forcing us to ‘get raw’ with ourselves.

  2. Are you planning on teaching yoga right away and will you be giving up any of your other classes?

    • Fitnessista says:

      as of now, i don’t think i’ll be giving up any classes (unless for some reason pregnancy doesn’t agree with it anymore)

  3. Such an interesting journey you’re on! I love yoga but I find it a little challenging as a sahm with access only ti online videos and dvds.

  4. Someday you should read Autobiography of a Yogi, if you haven’t. It’s free on Kindle because it’s so old it’s out of copyright. It’s not always easy reading but I’m so glad I finished it. It’s about one of the yogis who brought yoga to America.

    I love Chopra, I’ll look for his.

  5. That’s so awesome you’re in yoga teacher training. As a personal trainer, I’ve considered it myself. I’ve always loved yoga. I can’t wait to read your recap.

  6. Thank you for this post. I’m registered for a 9 month teacher training class. I’m intimidated because I know my current yoga teacher of 10 years and other current yoga teachers are also enrolled ( this yoga teacher trainer is extremely highly respected). It’s encouraging to know that everyone can benefit from the training and even though one is relatively advanced in their practice, we can all learn together.

  7. i am so happy that your training is going well! I would love to go through YTT. And you are so right about not fighting yourself into poses. I have definitely noticed that when I relax and breathe into the pose, I am able to deepen it in some way.

  8. A friend of mine just expressed an interest in yoga teacher training. I’m going to send this on to her so she can read about your experience!

  9. It sounds like your yoga teacher training is going really well! Happy to hear!

  10. I’m so glad your training is going well and you’re enjoying it! I can’t wait to one day take a class from you 🙂

  11. Sounds like you are getting a lot out of training! I am still someone who has to force myself to do yoga which means it doesn’t happen very regularly but I’m glad that this training has made you love it even more!

  12. Crystal says:

    Beautiful post Gina!

  13. is your training local?

  14. That’s so great that you’re enjoying TT and finding it to be a good experience. Sadly my TT experience was the opposite – I “graduated” 2 years ago and haven’t had the urge to go a yoga class since. I thought I wanted I wanted to deepen my practice, but it turns out my practice was perfect the way it was. TT kind of ruined yoga for me 🙁

    • Fitnessista says:

      that is such a bummer. looking back, what do you think happened to affect it so negatively??

      • I think it turned yoga into something way more emotional and intense than I wanted it to be. We did a lot of “opening up”, just like you guys, and I think it was just generally overkill. It took away from the relaxing and simple nature of yoga as I knew it.

  15. This was a really interesting post. Thanks so much for sharing your experience so far. Glad it’s going so well!

  16. Ahh, I love the idea of silence while teaching a workout class. I used to teach boot camp classes, and the constant talking… especially 4 classes in a row… ugh. I got so sick of hearing myself say “keep your core tight”

  17. I’m loving reading about your YTT journey! When I took my first intro to yoga class my teacher would read from the Yoga Sutras at the beginning of almost every class and she gave us practical ways to take lessons we learned on the mat and incorporate them into our daily lives. I loved those classes so much because it made yoga a lifestyle, not just something I’d do for an hour a few times a week.

  18. Thank you so much for the update! This makes me so excited for my YTT to start next month. I can’t believe you’re already halfway. It feels like you just started!

  19. Lauren W. says:

    This is awesome! Super excited to read the final recap on your training.
    Not sure if you’ve ever heard of it, but the book “The Untethered Soul” by Michael Singer delves pretty deeply into almost everything you mentioned (and beyond) about consciousness and ‘who am I’, etc. It’s a really wonderful read..

  20. Glad you’re getting so much out of it. I took Hindu Philosophy in college and it kinda changed my entire outlook on life 😀

  21. Hello, could you link to the program you’ve signed up with please? I’m in Orange County and have been thinking about taking certification classes. Sounds like you found a good one!

  22. LOVE. Are you taking it at Yoga6?

    • Fitnessista says:

      no, i still haven’t been! now i have to wait until after baby since all the classes are heated

  23. Oh, you will love it! Which program is this then, if you don’t mind me asking? I actually started the CorePower one last year, and then my job got in the way and I had to drop out (and I realized I couldn’t pay my rent being a full-time yoga teacher 🙁 sadly ).

  24. A few years ago, I really wanted to do a YTT because I was getting really into yoga for the spiritual reasons. It’s definitely on my bucket list, though!

  25. How do you find being in YTT while pregnant?

    I am just finishing up a 100-hr certification but opted out of the 300 hour because of my day job/being a new mommy/family commitments. It hurts me inside a little for sure to not continue on. I can go back next year when things are hopefully less crazy, but we may try for our second kiddo then, so not sure how that’ll work out with an 8 month program. Would love to hear your thoughts!

  26. YTT literally changed my life. It was the best money I ever spent. I’m thrilled you went through this great program. It seemed to be very through. I love the Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga and follow them on and off the mat.

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