One Yogi’s Reflection on an online 300-Hour Yoga Teacher’s Training Course:
So, I did a thing.
I signed up, and completed, an online 300-hour Advanced Yoga Teacher’s Training Course, June 2021 to February 2022.
Not any old 300-hour course.
Nope, this yoga teacher training, Radical Darshan was different.
Not only was it a professional certification accredited by Yoga Alliance, US; Radical Darshan promised us teachings in collective care and social justice…
“a 300-hour training where social justice and collective care isn’t just tacked on, it’s centered as the fabric of the curriculum”.
“Learn how to surf discomfort as a facilitator and speak about racism in ways that promote insight and foster true liberation individually and collectively”.
“to up level the ethics of your trainings and offerings with a clear understanding of power dynamics, cultural appropriation, exploitation & extraction.”
It intrigued me.
As a Black Woman Yoga Teacher, with nearly 16 years of teaching yoga and meditation to all sectors of the population, the state of the yoga industry disillusioned me (that’s a story for another time).
So, I signed up.
And 9 gruelling months later, I can say, hand on heart, Radical Darshan fulfilled its promise, gave me this and more.
Now, true to form, I’d like to share “Unknown Possibilities” with you.
It’s a few words about my thoughts, feelings, and reflections on my experience in taking part in my first online 300-hour yoga teacher training experience.
And hopefully, if you are a yoga teacher or wellness professional, it will inspire you to reflect on the way yoga show shows up for you — on and off the mat.
Poem. One Yogi’s Reflection on an online 300-Hour Yoga Teacher’s Training Course:
19 souls in our three-by-three online boxes.
and Radical Darshan conscious Guest Facilitators:
300 hours — online and offline.
Our spirits open
to calling in the sacred invocations
to assist us in uplifting the world through yoga’s ancient pre-colonial lens.
To honour the lineage of greatness
and integrate the teachings of care and compassion into the bodies of today.
19 souls called in.
United through time and space
Our souls harmonised through the sounds of venerable chants.
Lessons in asanas — postures and shapes where I moved through space, travelled over the mat, realigned, rested and eased my body through Kemetic Yoga, Yin Yoga and Yoga Nidra.
And teachings where ancient mythology set the stage for today’s anti-racism practices and philosophies.
Receiving guidance on how to be anti-racist, inviting and including marginalised, disenfranchised communities into our teachings, classes, and studios.
How to appreciate — not appropriate, extract and exploit — the sacred teachings for personal and political gain.
How to lead and address our fear of hard conversations.
How to invite dialogue on the breadth of yoga, as an agent for social change, collective wellness, equity and justice.
We sweated through Kriyas.
I doggy-paddled through the swirling winds as my mind met resistance to internalised fears not voiced yet dictating my every move and ways of showing up in the world.
19 souls tended to the square to unlock the portals of interconnectedness, dynamic change and principled power.
19 souls, Vatas, mingled with Pittas, Kaphas and Tri-doshas. We were all there.
All races, genders, abilities and social and economic status.
Learned teachers and renowned guest teachers held the space as I squirmed and wriggled
to shift the disruptive colonial forces that tainted my thoughts
of the ships of enslaved souls and colonised nations who paid the price for me to practice what is called yoga today.19 pairs of eyes witnessing each other, trembling chins, hitching breaths as we unpeeled another sheath, another layer of internalised lies, another layer of unconscious biases, half-truths stapled and slapped into our hearts.
And then, eyes shining,
love hearts lighting the screen,
we bowed in reverence as humans were reborn before our eyes.19 souls vibrating to the
Gayatri Mantra Meditation.
Maha Mrutyunjaya Mantra
Tributes to Sri Ganesha, Maha Kali and akin deities.
oscillating in the stillness of the wheels of light.
in resonance with the silence of the universe.
19 souls dissolving.
Body’s realigning — as we bathed in the sea of online love, returning home to the healing waters of our soul.
accompanied by unseen guides, and our physical teachers, we took a leap of faith, followed the protocol and travelled to meet, in real life, on the rural lands of Boar Place, Sevenoaks, UK.
7 days of real life togetherness,
JEDI projects, meditation with the rising sun,
and intent and harm, repair and amends were the order of the day.
19 souls met in Real Life, to strengthen the commitment to create diverse and inclusive yoga and wellness spaces to allow others to rest, release and realign.
19 brave souls answered the call;
received the gift, and now carry the flame of collective wellness, radical love and freedom through the principles, philosophy, and practice of yoga, meditation, and the breath.
Now can you see why this 300-hour yoga teacher training course caught my eye?!
And why I ranked the experience several times in my article Gratitude: 101 Things I am Grateful For in 2021, which you can read here.
As you can see, the Radical Darshan 300-hours online Yoga Teacher Training Course is not your standard run-off the mill Eurocentric yoga teacher training programme.
I believe it provides the path to making the yoga and wellness industry more accessible, inclusive, kinder, and equitable for everyone.
Thank you for reading my perspective, and if you are interested in reading more about ways yoga serves as an effective vehicle for social justice and change, I invite you to check out these articles on the Yoga Matter Blog. Thank you.
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