My Experience in Square One’s Yoga Teacher Training

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A note from Margaret Hanson…

I had a lot of doubts when I was deciding whether to start a 200-hour yoga teacher training, and most of them were self-doubts. Was my practice advanced enough? What if I wasn’t good enough by the end of the training to teach? What if I went through the entire process and decided teaching wasn’t for me? I can’t say that I chose to move ahead with the training because I reached some sort of yogic clarity about these doubts—rather, they were still present when I started the training. But I can say that Square One’s program eventually helped me overcome those doubts, and in their place I now feel a joy for teaching.

Early on in the program, I was relieved to find out that other trainees had similar concerns. It was a smaller group than many programs, which I was thankful for, and a diverse mix of ages and experience levels. Instead of wondering if my practice was advanced enough, I started thinking: I wish I had done this years ago! And because that’s not a particularly helpful thought, I turned it into: Let’s do this, then! There were trainees who either knew they didn’t want to teach or were unsure, which helped me understand that the program was just as valuable for deepening my own practice as it was for preparing me to teach. This took some pressure off of teaching as the be-all and end-all of investing in the training.

My instructors captivated me the entire time, so much so that I was sad when each module ended. I loved that Square One brought in a diverse mix of instructors, all experts in their fields, because I’m the type of student who likes to encounter different points of view. I was able to dive deep into questions and evolve my own practice in a way that I never could in public classes. I felt my relationship with yoga expanding, taking me beyond my predominantly physical practice to a place of seeking knowledge—about history, philosophy, anatomy, and the subtler aspects of yoga. Now I had more context, I felt enriched, and I understood the meaning of what I had been practicing for years. The more I learned from these teachers, the more I realized how little I knew, but that made me more excited to continue.

We’re never done learning, and for that reason, it’s normal to graduate from a 200-hour training and still have some insecurities about teaching. For me, that last bit of doubt was hanging on: What if I’m not good enough? This is why it’s so valuable to train with a studio that offers support after graduation. Even though I had my doubts, Katy Cryer—the owner of Square One—knew I was ready, and thankfully she pushed me out of the nest. Square One has opportunities for graduates to teach community classes immediately following the program. For anyone who might want to teach, this is a great way to keep the momentum going after training.

People have asked me how I chose Square One’s training over others in the Bay Area, and I tell them I was very pragmatic. My ideal training needed to check a few boxes: it had to work with my schedule, be super convenient to get to, be in an environment where I felt comfortable, and be at a studio where I knew a few teachers and enjoyed their approach. Naturally, these priorities led me to the studio where I was already practicing regularly. I appreciated that Square One had four modules, offered three times a year, with the option of completing each module on the weekends or in an immersive weeklong. This allowed me to space out the modules to fit with my schedule, and I had a choice of how quickly I wanted to complete the training.

With how happy teaching makes me, I’m grateful to myself for starting the process, and grateful to Square One for giving me a strong foundation. I draw on my training every time I teach. Good thing I didn’t let those doubts stop me.

Lots of Love,
Margaret Hanson
Square One YTT grad and yoga teacher

PS. I am forever thankful to my teachers: Katy Cryer, Broderick Rodell, Kendra Diaz-Ford, Deborah Burkman, Kristyn Demko Marshman, Jeremy Marshman, Mitch Hall, Jennie Pearl, Stacey Swan, Suzannah Neufeld, and Eden Tosch.