One of our 200-hour yoga teacher trainees, Emma, tells us what it was like to navigate the training programme during the pandemic lockdown.
An unexpected type of training
The Covid-19 lockdown announcement on the 23rd March came a week after our monthly training weekend at The Arc Centre in North London.
It was not entirely without warning as all of us had taken precautions at the last session, staying well away from each other and not touching each other, washing and sanitising out hands.
Even so it did not stop it feeling like the rug had been pulled from underneath our feet. Personally I had started teaching and was 2 classes in to my 6 week beginners course. This had to be stopped abruptly and it felt sad as we were just building momentum and I felt my confidence was growing.
But Barefoot Body Training sprang into supportive action.
All updates on how to proceed were posted to our learning platform and weekly Zoom calls were set up.
Training through a screen
The Zoom calls turned out to be invaluable.
They raised some interesting and varied conversations and kept a wonderful cohesion to the group. The support through these hour long weekly calls was fabulous in reassuring us and providing topics to delve into and explore.
Of course all of us had up and down weeks and this was a safe space to discuss issues and struggles. There were trepidations and concerns about training online for our upcoming weekends. How would it work? Was it practical? Would the hours we needed to qualify be covered?
...The answer turned out to be yes!
Of course it was different and training and concentrating into a screen for the weekend was tiring. But with a little creativity and imagination things were fine.
Teaching practice on Zoom was difficult, seeing various bits of people’s bodies and not the whole body was a strange, but gave a really good insight and opportunity to explore this teaching medium.
Navigating the uncertainty
In terms of qualifying and timeframes, there were of course concerns, but the team at Barefoot Body were quite honestly amazing.
Shifting the date for practical assessments to a date later in the year to make sure everyone felt ready to move forward. Organising in-person training as soon as it was practical and offering options to attend in person or not, whatever felt most comfortable with no judgement.
Training online meant that the YTT200H could continue and we were not left in a state of unknowing as to when we could start training again. The pace obviously altered but this was no bad thing and meant that everything else going on in people’s lives could be accommodated.
The care time and consideration that has gone into reformatting the course to make it accessible online and still cover the syllabus has been very well managed. Expectations have been managed and any questions, worries or problems have been resolved effectively and efficiently.
Care and compassion
As a trainee I feel as though I have been super supported and do not think I would have received this level of understanding, care and compassion from any other training provider.
This is NOT conveyor belt training the faculty really care and want you to get everything you can from the course.
Nothing in this training is learned by rote. Everything is felt and embodied, new things, explorations and inquiries arise and are offered to be taken forward.
I could not imagine taking the first steps on my teaching journey with anyone other than Barefoot Body Training. I am already planning what to book next!