Sarah started her part time 200 hour yoga teacher training with us in July 2021, and since she completed it, has gone on to join the Hotpod team and teaches in our Newark Studio. We sat down with Sarah to talk about her yoga journey, and her experience learning and teaching with Hotpod Yoga.
How did you first get into yoga?
I first got into yoga with a friend of mine when we were in our early twenties. We worked together and used to go to yoga as a way to relax. My overriding memory of the classes we went to was of me falling fast asleep every week in Savasana and my friend having to jab me awake because of my very loud snoring! Having then gone on to practice Hatha yoga for many years, I discovered Vinyasa flow yoga in 2017 at Hotpod Yoga Newark, and I was hooked! The strong movement linked with breath really suited my head space and helped me to deal with a multitude of personal crises. The almost meditative flow part of the practice really helped me to switch off and gave me a mental break from the heavy stuff going on in my life. It gave me a connection with yoga that I’d never felt before, and one that I’m so grateful for every day.
Why did you decide to embark on your journey as a yoga teacher?
I have always loved teaching and I used to teach floristry. After a struggle with my mental health and issues with anxiety, I had to take a step back from that. Yoga really helped me through this and I knew that this was something I wanted to teach. I decided to really start to focus on my practice and gave myself two years to commit to practice regularly. I wasn’t sure I could overcome my anxiety but I really wanted to try. After doing an online 6 week introduction to yoga during lockdown with Sian and Elodie from Hotpod Yoga, I knew that they were the ones to help me on my journey.
When did you train and why did you choose HPY?
My training took place from July 2021 until December 2021. I practiced regularly with Hotpod Yoga for about three years before signing up for the Foundations of Yoga online class. This really sparked my interest and I loved Elodie and Sian! Their style of teaching, honesty and integrity really spoke to me. I trusted Hotpod for my practice and I just knew it was the right course for me, even though it was in London and I live in rural Nottinghamshire! It was the beginning of an adventure.
What was your favourite part of your Yoga Teacher Training (YTT)?
So hard to pick just one thing! The people, the journey, the support, the incredible teaching! I loved every bit of it, learning so much, being taught by truly wonderful teachers and sharing the experience with people who have become my friends for life. But mainly it’s the journey. Starting out as one person and finishing as another. Overcoming extreme and crippling anxiety. Overcoming nerves so severe that I burst into tears the first time I spoke in front of my group. It’s been an absolute game changer for me. I can’t thank my teachers and friends and colleagues enough for their support.
What was your biggest fear going into YTT?
Not being good enough, strong enough, flexible enough. Not being able to stand up in front of people and speak.
What did you do after you completed your YTT?
I qualified on 9th December and on 15th December I had my first teaching class at Hotpod Yoga Newark. It was terrifying but exhilarating and I loved it. After doing masses of holiday cover over Christmas I started a regular slot which has turned into 3 classes a week with Hotpod Newark and Lincoln as well as 3 community classes in my local villages and private sessions. It’s been a whirlwind 3 months and I’m loving it!
What are you currently planning on learning more about?
I’ve signed up to do a 300 hours training which starts in a couple of weeks. I’m so excited! I’m choosing different modules to study but the first big one that I’ve been reading up on is Yin yoga. The science behind it is fascinating and it’s been a challenge for me to be able to find that stillness. I’m looking forward to studying this practice in more detail and know it will be a great compliment to my Vinyasa flow skill set.
If you were to narrow it down, which three qualities/skills do you think are most important in becoming a great yoga teacher?
Humility. An ability to relate to your students. An ability to laugh at yourself and share your mistakes.
Best piece of advice for someone considering starting their teacher training?
If even a small part of you thinks you can do this, then you can do this. Embrace your fears, throw yourself wholeheartedly into it, study hard, practice lots and just enjoy the ride, it’s like nothing else you will ever do.
If Sarah has inspired you to start your own journey to becoming a yoga teacher, then read more about Hotpod Yoga teacher training here.