After that initial 200-hour yoga teacher training, the desire for more and deeper information drives many of us yoga teachers to pursue a wide variety of continuing education. From workshops to retreats to 300-hour trainings to 50-hour modules to lectures and professional development through the yoga studios we work at, the information comes at us from many different angles. Unlike a 200-hour where most of the information is likely contained in one singular manual, the continuing education information comes in many different packets, books and leaflets.
This is what I would love to make clear through this post: There is vitality in keeping all that information in one place. When I started taking 50-hour modules through Laughing Lotus, I also had trainings under my belt in yoga service (Street Yoga) and kid’s yoga (OmSchooled). Decorating the messy floor of my bedroom were handouts from guest teachers and notes taken in workshops. I made a decision one day my senior year of college, mid-way through doing that 300-hour comprised of 50-hour modules and the random classes I took along the way. I went to the campus bookstore, bought the widest-rimmed binder I own, and started three-hole-punching.
While this might seem like an office-y blog post, there was a metaphorical relief that came out of putting all that living, breathing information on what yoga is and what it can do for us and the philosophy behind it in once place. It integrated all this knowledge so that, rather than being disparate pieces of information, each one confined to its own lineage, it was part of one beautiful whole of the meaning of Yoga – Union, the yoking together of various ways of getting to the same point: Wholeness. When you make your own continuing ed binder, you actually have the opportunity to define and own what yoga means for you.
Here is a brief how-to:
- Buy a large binder.
- Start 3-hole-punching all manuals (go a Staples or OfficeMax if you have to to hole punch the larger ones).
- Insert these paper pieces of wisdom into the binder. Insert them either in chronological or categorical order (i.e. kid’s yoga info goes with kid’s yoga info, yoga service grouped together, etc.).
- If there are poems that have resonated with you as you’ve pursued your yoga teaching career + education, photocopy them and insert throughout.
- Decorate the cover with stickers from yoga studios, poetry, quotes, whatever makes your heart sing and return again and again to refer to what got you to where you are!
- Write your name on it! Own it! Because when it comes down to it, this amalgamation of texts is what gives you your own unique yoga teaching voice, through honoring the wide variety of places you’re coming from.