When one is introducing something new to life, something else has to go. This is true for relationships, for habits, routines and increased productivity.
The pecking order of our priorities needs to shift to make space for the new person, job, routine or thing.
This certainly applies when we invest so much time and energy into learning a new skill. Often our home routine or active social life will have to take a step backward, to make room for the increased knowledge and experience you are acquiring. It’s OK. Let go.
If you are in the middle of a yoga teacher training, the best thing is to put your focus on your yoga practice and study.
Your home will fall apart, laundry will pile, bills will wait until there’s time, food will go bad in the kitchen, communications with friends will be lost, systems in your life will fall apart. It’s OK. I didn’t pay bills for a month and a half (yikes!) and my cats would leave large, brown droppings on the bathroom floor (blech!) reminding me of my neglect to them.
For many of us, we may beat ourselves up for not keeping up with things. But we can’t keep up with everything when we are busy bringing more into our life.
To maintain balance, something has to fall off when we add more to the plate. The good thing about this is, we can always pick up some of the things that fall, once we’ve rearranged what’s on the plate to make room.
Until then, if you find yourself feeling quite frazzled and overwhelmed, that is the exact thing you should be feeling when in the middle of a journey. There are a few things that can help you during this important time.
7 Tips to Manage Life During a Yoga Teacher Training
By Jeanne Heileman, Published at Yoganonymous
1. Yes, you ARE getting this.
At every training I’ve taught, there is at least one student who has moments of anxiety, fear and confusion that manifest into wanting to leave the training or yell at me that I’m not teaching well enough. There is no way for a student to completely assimilate and understand all of this information right away. It’s impossible.
A good training will offer knowledge over and over again, in different ways, so that you learn in the layers. Just as we learn our asana through repetition, we will learn about yoga, through repetition. It’s all going to come together, in a really magical way, at the very end.
2. A butterfly must shed the form of a caterpillar to become something new and fabulous.
It’s trite but true. And in this scenario, you are the caterpillar, shedding. The problem is that you don’t get to go to a cocoon and sleep into the change. You have to actually sweat, struggle, feel muscle fatigue and brain confusion and any other challenges that come with it.
One goes through a metamorphosis that basically changes the individual. Hang in there.
See your discomfort as a practice of shedding layers of your earlier identity as you develop a new connection to the way you see the world. They don’t call these trainings life-changing for nothing. Your life is changing, right now, for the better. It’s just not finished, so you can’t look around and make comments. You need to breathe and focus on the very present moment.
3. Keep up with the program.
You are going to want to quit. You are going to find all kinds of things wrong with the program and the teachers. Unless you are being harmed in some way unless the philosophy is completely against your moral code, see if you can hang in there.
Continue taking yoga classes and attending the lessons with the adjustment of 60 percent performance instead of 110 percent. When we go through a long journey we must quickly realize that our days are not all designed for ultimate, top performance. That will wear us out in the end. Showing up and operating at a moderate pace is more valuable than recognized.
4. Keep up with the homework, to the best that you can.
The homework will become so valuable to you in the end. I’ve seen many students scoff at the homework during the process, only to realize days before the ending, that they do want to complete the program. So they now cram months of learning into a few days of application. It doesn’t allow the necessary process of making mistakes and learning from them. It also doesn’t allow the teacher to provide valuable feedback, which is a significant component to the learning process. Even when you doubt the process, keep up with it.
5. This is for a specific period of time and has an end date.
Remind yourself of this fact, over and over. Plot the length of the training on a calendar and cross each day as you complete it. Instead of looking to the end with the feeling that you don’t think you will make it, look at the beginning and all that you have accomplished so far. Start to look at all that you know instead of what you don’t know. Seeing the positive instead of the negative is important and will help you get through the tough moments.
6. Start a list or journal noting the things that you are enjoying about the training.
Find one thing each day. It could be about a fellow student, an adjustment that felt good, a piece of information that really helped you, anything. It sounds dumb at first, but near the end, everyone always gets sad about the ending and (gads!) doesn’t want it to end. We are funny creatures like that. When you have a list of the positive experiences, it will help you retain the special moments of the whole journey.
7. Start a list of all the fun things you are missing.
It could be missing weekend gatherings with friends, movie releases, performances of your children, birthdays and holidays, or anything that matters to you. And, create a separate list of things you want to do to balance your home and life. When the training ends you will naturally enter a phase where you are exhausted and don’t know what to do. Using the two lists will help propel you to reconnect with people and things that matter to you, as much as your yoga.
The best thing to do DURING a Yoga Teacher Training is simply to keep showing up, listening and applying all that you are learning, to the best that you can. Let everything else get messy for now. You are in the process of changing your life, so hang on. Soon you will fly out of your cocoon, but the developmental process is not yet complete.