Your First Is Never Your Last



I almost hate to tell new yoga students that their first Yoga Teacher Training will probably not be their last. Almost.


Rather, the first YTT it is often the start of a long list of interesting, beguiling, compelling and potentially confusing workshops that draw the good teacher in like a Pandora’s Box. Furthermore, once you “know” something, and know it for sure, then it changes. Like the pelvic tilt; can’t it just stay in one place? Or how about legs straight, or slightly bent?


The problem is, there is no one answer for all people, all the time. And then it’s not a problem at all, but a wonderful possibility to study, and study and study.


The very best yoga teachers are (in my opinion) not the ones with all the answers, but the ones who continue to ask the questions and study many disciplines. Pilates, gymnastics, dance, physical therapy and weight training all inform the practice of yoga, as does aging and illness. Nothing teaches us like our own physical limitations.


My first love was Ashtanga yoga, but then I got a little frustrated. So, I turned to Power, and then Vinyasa, Anusara and Hatha, taking courses and certifications in each. I even dabbled in Bikram for awhile.


My husband used to joke that some wives go to the mall while I go to yoga teacher trainings. He no longer laughs as I have spent a small fortune on this stuff. Yoga is more than my vocation, it’s my passion, and who can put a price on that?


Last year Christina Sell, with whom I finished my 500 Hatha Yoga certification in 2012, invited me to drop in on a YTT weekend. It was such a pleasure to take the seat of a student again after teaching for more than a decade. Christina revived my light.


Every single time you take the seat of a student you learn something new. Every single time you say, “I don’t know everything,” you learn something new. Every single time you put down your “knowledge armor,” the idea that there are definitive answers and you should know them, you learn something new.


I am so excited to be part of several upcoming yoga teacher trainings. I hope I see you and that we have a chance to share what we know. Together we will continue to learn and grow – all the way home.


Michelle Marchildon is the Yogi Muse. She is an E-500 RYT in Denver, Colorado, and the author of four books on yoga, most recently “Theme Weaver: A Companion Workbook to Plan Yoga Classes,” available wherever yoga books are sold, which is basically amazon.