Barefoot Body graduate, Aiste Kalinauskaite, reveals how her first year as a yoga teacher has been unfolding including teaching for the over 50s, following your heart, and her tendency to over-plan.
What made you decide to become a yoga teacher?
I had been delaying my own yoga practice with many excuses (e.g. not flexible enough, not good enough, not knowing the forms being practiced, etc) for many years, until I eventually just went to the first yoga class.
I had several years of chronic pain prior to the class and at the end during Savasana had experienced a pain free minute or two. It was bliss and I was hooked on yoga. The more I learned, the more I found out how much I didn't know.
Over the years of my own practice, I realised I wanted to share the joy of yoga that I was experiencing with others. That's how my decision of becoming a yoga teacher was born.
Although initially it was very tentative, it grew stronger and stronger every day while training with Barefoot Body Training amazing faculty.
Why did you choose to train with Barefoot Body?
I spent months researching, attending taster sessions, exchanging emails with various schools of training, but things just didn't seem to fit - some courses were too long, some too short, some too expensive, for some I just didn't get a good vibe for the teachers.
I met Beverley at the OM yoga show in London, when I don't think Barefoot Body was born yet. We had a brief chat and months later I found out she was going to have a 200H Yoga Teacher Training. I was very excited.
I attended the taster day, so I could meet other teachers (I only knew Beverley, Tiffany and Judy at a time) - just to make sure they were nice. The faculty was a great selection and I signed up shortly after.
I especially liked that there was no push for specific style of yoga (who knows what I want to be doing when I finish?) and the emphasis on embodiment, on own experiences. I felt I could really relate to this exploratory way of learning (and teaching).
I also liked that there were no essays - I spent years at school and university writing them and never enjoyed it so for me this was a definite plus.
What did you like best about the training?
The various perspectives from each teacher - all bringing something different, but also complementing each other. I also enjoyed embodied practice, and the focus on our own experiences.
What have you been up to since you graduated?
I started teaching during the very end of my practice. At that time I already knew what I wanted to do. I am teaching twice a week now - once at the over 50s wellbeing centre at Toynbee Hall and once for their staff.
I always wanted to teach for the older public. I enjoy the challenge of trying to adapt the practice to suit my group's needs and also incorporating chair yoga too.
I like planning my classes, but I find that I often over-plan and need to adjust during the class (I do stick to 1 hour usually). I hope knowing how much to include in the plan will come with experience. It always takes longer to teach than I think it will.
What are your plans for the upcoming year and beyond?
I would like to teach more classes, expand into more classes for the elderly, but general ones too. And also continue learning myself. I haven't yet fully decided which areas to expand on yet.
I am extremely grateful for every teacher on the Barefoot Body faculty. They made the teaching fun, enjoyable and informative. I'm also enjoying every part of the journey, which I hope will continue for many years to come.
What advice would you give to anyone considering becoming a yoga teacher?
Examine your motivations for wanting to teach and follow your heart.
You can find out more about Aiste on her website: www.footprintyoga.co.uk
Our unique and accredited entry-level teaching qualification takes an embodied approach to yoga practices and philosophy, weaves trauma-sensitivity throughout, and nurtures your personal enrichment as well as your professional development.
Bursaries available. Learn more here.