Guest Post: Why you should take Teacher Training

December 25, 2013

Guest blog post by Camille Moses-Allen, Yoga Instructor RYT 500

Camille is Cyndi Lee’s assistant for the upcoming OM 500 TT program. She is also a yoga teacher and teacher training at Charm City Yoga in Baltimore.  You can learn more about her on her website, www.camiekarma.com or her FB page.
ImageI’ve been a yoga teacher for 7 years.  It’s been my full time job for almost the entire time and like almost everything that happens in life, I didn’t expect any of this to turn out the way that it has. I never really thought when I graduated college that I’d be a yoga instructor let alone instructing people to become yoga teachers or takings hours and hours of yoga trainings.  I got into yoga after years of dance and some gymnastics and it was kind of the next part of the progression. I started taking classes with my mom who had also been a dancer and after I finished college I totally fell in love.  I was young and flexible and it was fun!  I was good at it and that made me feel good.  I worked in corporate America in my early 20’s and I realized just as quickly as I started there that well, cubicle life wasn’t for me.  I took a 200 hour at Charm City Yoga in Baltimore, and have never really looked back.

I met Cyndi Lee last year when I was lucky enough to attend the yoga journal conference in NYC. Cyndi’s workshop was literally one of the last ones of the conference and even though my body felt tired and sore as I don’t know what, my friend Allison was with me and she’d taken one of Cyndi’s workshop before so I was ready. Since I’m a full time teacher, whenever I take workshops, a part of me is always thinking about how I’m going to apply what I’ve learned in my yoga classes. The workshop was called Stabilize to Pretzelize which essentially meant- how you can have a stable mind when you’re in a challenging yoga pose or whatever difficult situation. I had never met Cyndi before and I unfortunately had never been to OM Yoga before its doors closed. Cyndi started talking and said that the last workshop of the conferences are always when the dedicated people show up and stay around for one last intense yoga session. I was smiling on the outside but my body was already so sore!  And since I was ready for full speed ahead, there I was with my mat right in the front and notebook in hand.

ImageIf you have never met Cyndi Lee before, you will find that she is witty, a lady with zest and a good sense of humor in addition to being someone who has a ton of experience and knowledge of yoga and Tibetan Buddhist philosophy (on and off the mat).  As soon as the class started and Cyndi started to address some general basic principles of Tibetan Buddhism.  One thing that Cyndi mentioned was the word GOM, which is a Tibetan word which means- getting or becoming familiar.  The use of this word essentially means getting familiar with your thoughts and habits (like when you try to meditate and think you can’t concentrate so you tear yourself down and then, you do that every time something doesn’t exactly go the way you think it should).
 
Cyndi then when on to say that we practice meditation so we can recognize our habits and patterns and learn to let them go.  We do this by consciously placing our mind on the breath.  No crazy breathing, but just simply focusing on the chest rising or falling or the belly expanding and contracting.  While these weren’t things that were necessarily new to me, several light bulbs went off in my head.  I quickly realized that this is what I’d been working on (professionally and personally) all along.   After teaching and practicing for several years, I started to hone in on my own stuff- you know, the drama and neurosis and crap that we all have but sometimes don’t really want to deal with.  I wanted to live fully, be happy, confident, and be less judgmental and demanding without feeling like I wasn’t deserving of what I really wanted.  It’s not really a secret that I’ve seen a social worker (who I love) for several years and I have to honestly say that seeing her and the combination of having a yoga practice has really synced things together.
ImageAll of the workshops I attended over the conference weekend had underlying Buddhist principles behind the conscious alertness and wakeful states of being.  As yoga teachers, we try to convey certain principles of the yoga practice to our yoga students; yogic philosophy as well as anatomy and other essentials of the physical asana practice.  However, sometimes these terms (in sanskrit as well as anatomical terms just for example) can mystify students.  I realized I was one of those people! I was in loved with all of the Hindu gods and goddesses and their names, pictures, colors, and what they stood for even though their meanings never really jived with me. Like I didn’t believe it in my gut and carry that on with me throughout my day.  Cyndi mentioned this once in a workshop and I secretly thought to myself- oh yeah, that’s me, I’m one of those people.  And while that may seem simple; that’s sometimes how things click.  Subtlety and when you’re not waiting or expecting it to happen.  Tibetan Buddhist philosophy was not what I was expecting to find myself in mind 30’s to be pursing but meeting Cyndi really opened up what I feel like a million new doors and pathways to understanding myself and my yoga practice.  And in turn, will make me a better yoga teacher.  Cyndi’s teaching was very real to me- show up as you are and as she’s said, work with what you have right here and right now.
 
ImageMy new found love of Buddhist philosophy (I was a philosophy major in college so it’s not totally foreign) has been a real source of curiosity, practice and interest for me.  I’ve been able to infuse that into my daily yoga classes, but I’ve also been able to hone in on being more mindful myself.  And well, it’s not ever perfect but that’s where the beauty lies.  It’s a practice and when you realize that oh, I’m really annoyed with my mother/boyfriend/sister/cat etc right now- that’s where you put that moment of clarity to work!  At the end of January, I will start my 500 hour teacher training with Cyndi Lee in New York City and even though a large part of me taking the training will help my job; I am really taking it so that I can continue to learn how to be familiar with myself and become more awake, aware, and compassionate to not only myself, but to everyone else as well.  As Pema Chodron says “Being satisfied with what we already have is a magical golden key to being alive in a full, unrestricted, and inspired way…meditation is a process of lightening up, of trusting the basic goodness of what we have and who we are, and of realizing that any wisdom that exists, exists in what we already have.”
 

 

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  • Terri Bender Morrison, Owner, Mindful Motion Yoga, OM 500 TT 2015

    "Cyndi, I feel that my teaching has shifted a bit - sequencing is more interesting and effective. As I was driving home tonight, I thought about the statements of "leaving crumbs" and "connecting the dots". While you meant that for us as direction to be better teachers, I recognize you were doing that for us as well. I believe I am just now processing some of the things you taught this summer. The subtle parts of classes escaped me, but I am getting them now. Thank you for the crumbs, for leaving plenty of space between the dots....I think I see the moon."

  • Zan Margolis, OM 200 TT , 2012

    "The more yoga I experience, the more I realize how special it is that in your teacher trainings you actually teach your yogis how to *teach*"

  • Susan Golden, Studio Owner, Maine

    "Cyndi’s sense of humor and genius teachings have made this OM 500 TT very, very stimulating every minute of the day. I’ve learned so much. I can’t wait to let it all come together and bring this to my teachings and to my life."

  • Natalie Levin, OM Yoga Graduate, OM Warrior Weekend Teacher Training Program 2003

    "I am a graduate of the OM 2003 Warrior Weekend Teacher Training Program.  I had the honor to teach at OM yoga in New York City for several years.  I have since moved to another city and was instantly offered teaching jobs based solely on the fact that I had been a teacher at Cyndi Lee’s OM yoga.  Studio owners in my current city thought so highly of Cyndi Lee’s OM yoga Teacher Training that they hired me immediately and I found and continue to find that my OM yoga Teacher Training opens door after door for me.  OM yoga (practicing there, teaching OM yoga, and learning from Cyndi Lee) helped me professionally in my own yoga-teaching career.  Even more meaningfully for me, I feel that the path of mindfulness and attention to alignment that pours through the pores of OM yoga has influenced me and helped me to soften enough to become more “myself” since I first walked into the OM yoga studio."

  • Jeri Wilson, Studio Owner, Maine

    “I’m Jeri and I’m a studio owner in Maine and I just finished my 500 hr TT with Cyndi Lee. It was an excellent experience, partly because I had been trained primarily in Anusara and I was challenged to think very differently. I found it was very helpful to come back to teach with Cyndi’s influence. She is very, very funny and she will work you and challenge you and you will feel like you have actually gained something really deep from the training.”

  • Jeanie Gasque, Yoga Teacher, South Carolina, OM 500 TT 2015

    "Cyndi's skillful guidance lead me to a greater clarity of alignment based vinyasa.  The yoga combined with the charm of Lynchburg made the Sun Session an unforgettable experience."

  • Gina Callendar, Yoga Teacher, Yonkers, NY, OM 500 TT 2015

    "Cyndi truly follows the middle path and instills that in her teachings.  She combines disciple and humor to create an engaging, thought provoking and enlightening experience.  I had the pleasure of taking her 500 hour OM Yoga Teacher Training.  I have deepened my practice, work to continue challenge myself and never want to stop learning.  I am pretty comfortable teaching, but withCyndi’s guidance I am more confident in my hands-on adjustments and clarity of instruction with my students.  Thank you Cyndi for reinforcing my foundation, challenging me as a student and becoming my teacher.  I hope to continue to learn from you for many years to come.  Namaste."

  • Erica Settino, Founder, , Karuna for Animals

    "I have been teaching yoga for 12 years and over those 12 years I have often felt burned out and at a loss for inspiration. Now that I have taken Cyndi Lee’s OM 500 Teacher Training, I feel completely different, completely inspired, and so, so blessed. If you are even considering it, you must do it."

  • Donna Levenstien, Yoga Teacher, Lake George, NY

    "I am a student of the OM 200 and OM 500 TT. I keep learning from Cyndi Lee who is just a master teacher, every class I take, every hour I’m here she says something wonderful that I can bring into my life, onto my mat, into my classes with my students. As a teacher and a student, I feel enriched every time I’m with her and in her class."

  • Ann Megyas, Actor, Yoga Teacher, , Hospice Worker

    "I’m so glad I decided to take Cyndi Lee’s 500 hr TT. It advanced my personal practice in ways that I could not imagine. There is no pose I am afraid of anymore. It’s advanced my teaching practice, it’s advanced my dharma study. It’s just been a thrilling experience the whole time."