I finally started my apprenticeship this week. On Monday we had our first meeting with our mentor, and she shared what was expected of us over the next six months. We have to assist one class a week, take one of her classes each week and then take 34 additional classes over the course of the program. Even though I don’t have the same amount of homework I had in the 200-hour program, I feel like our assignments now are going to really define who we want to be as teachers. Plus, we have a final project—we have to come up with a program that we’d like to teach and present it to all of the mentor teachers at the end of the program. No pressure!
One of first assignments is to establish a home practice, which naturally, I’ve already been struggling to do. We are also required to journal our way through the program, which shouldn’t be a problem for me, but I’m afraid it’s going to end up being an inventory of what I think my failures as a teacher are. I’m not the strongest yogi in our group—I can’t do arm balances and I struggle with Urdhva Dhanurasana—and after assisting last night I’ve come to the conclusion that I must have a really ugly, ungraceful practice.
I was the first in our group to assist, and last night was my first class. I was excited and a little overwhelmed when I walked into the studio, but I gradually started to relax. Not much was required of me that first time—but it was still scary. When I was doing my 200-hour program I observed a beginner’s class and a lot of the students looked how I feel when I practice—clunky, unsure and a little wobbly. I’m assisting a Level 2 class, and most of the students are pretty serious and have extremely strong practices. I was blown away by a few of them because they are so graceful and watching them flow through was like watching a dance. I’m jealous of their Chatarungas. I immediately got insecure about my abilities as a teacher because I guess I still feel insecure as a student.
Over time that may change. I hope it changes, but I’m still excited about this because I know it will eventually make me a better student and hopefully a good teacher. At the very least, I may establish a home practice after all.