YMTT Teacher Feature : Michelle

September 24, 2017

Yoga Movement Teacher Training is our only program that students can fail. At a glance that may make YMTT seem intimidating... but those willing to roll their sleeves up for five work-hard, play-hard weekends can master what it takes to graduate certified to teach YM classes to YM standards. 

Get the inside scoop from Michelle who started as a YM student, graduated from YMTT, and has taken that certification to begin teaching at YM!

Hey Michelle! Let's start at square one... why did you begin practicing yoga at Yoga Movement?
I was looking for a healthy activity to do after work, and needed something with convenient locations. I honestly became keen on YM when I saw Orchard 22 next to Dhoby Ghaut MRT, signed up for my first Basics class, and the rest is history! 

How did the confidence to take on Yoga Movement Teacher Training build up after first yoga class?
I tried the regular class types and then Level Up. Those two hour Level Up sessions are definitely more challenging... and I enjoyed them a lot! I love how the teachers break down the poses and spend more time explaining step-by-step what it meant to do poses correctly and how to safely work into them.

The longer I practiced with YM, the bigger fan I became of YM. When I saw that YM was opening its own Teacher Training it felt like the right next move, though I admit I really doubted myself. I wasn't able to do a headstand before YMTT, and was half expecting to be told I was under-qualified for the program... but actually I had already enough experience as a student to be really comfortable in the program!

A basic understanding of yoga is all that's needed to join... you were definitely well prepared! As a student who climbed YM class types, then Level Up, what was the best thing YMTT then added to your own practice? Each weekend of the program focuses on a different skill, and teachers rotate to lead based on their areas of expertise. For example, Selina and Vera have always impressed me in regular classes with their creative and challenging sequences... and then in YMTT, they lead morning practices where I got to enjoy that again, but then further taught lectures and trainings to give us the teacher's side of experiencing it!

Did anything about YMTT surprise you? Quite a few things, actually. YMTT makes you realise that being a teacher doesn't mean you have to be able to practice the most advanced variation of poses. A good teacher is somebody who can get their students to practice the best variation of poses, instead.

The "Owning the Room" and "Sequencing" modules also caught me off guard as a challenge initially. As a student you don't really think too much, you trust the teacher to guide you through the class. As a teacher, there's a lot going on behind the scenes because you have to make sure whatever you prepared actually makes sense with the students in your class.

Our YMTT batch also became really good friends. We were all of various nationalities, level of practice... but what we all were very supportive of each other! It was so much fun teaching each other and just laughing at ourselves!

How long have you been teaching at YM? How has it been adjusting to teaching life? 
I have been teaching since June, 2017 and it's been a rollercoaster ride. On my third day, I suffered first and second degree burns on my thighs so I couldn't demonstrate any poses to help explain anything in my classes! Not easy as a new teacher... but luckily we trained to lead with only cues! What doesn't kill you makes you stronger, now I'm very confident in my cues:)

You've really seen all sides of being a YM student and teacher! Who would you recommend YMTT for? Who is YMTT not for?
It's definitely hard work! I practiced an average of 8 hours a week, so maybe it's not suitable for those who do not want to work. For anybody who loves the YM brand, or anybody looking to advance their yoga practice, and of course anybody who wants to teach... look into it!

Thanks Michelle for the low-down! You've come so far... catch you next in one of your classes!