Having recently completed our first 200HR Teacher Training for 2020, and with a new intake quickly approaching in November, we thought we would catch up with one of our gorgeous graduates, Maria Ermides, to hear about her experience and see what she is up to now!
What made you want to do your Teacher Training with Yogaventures?
I remember sneakily looking up yoga teacher training on the Yogaventures website during my former 9-5 job, and planning my escape. It wasn’t the job that was particularly bad, but more a nagging feeling I had, as though there was something else I could be doing – something that felt more aligned with who I was. I’d been attending regular classes for almost 2 years, but I didn’t know at the time if yoga teaching was a path I could actually pursue. It seemed strange to visualise myself in the position of the teachers I had long admired.
I had been following Emma on social media for a while, and because I genuinely loved her teaching style, I actually did some research to find out where she had studied for her first 200hours! When I was on her website, I saw that she leads her own Teacher Trainings and I honestly couldn’t click fast enough. It’s so, so important to resonate with the program and the teachers you’ll be learning from, and I can definitely say that I did!
How did you feel in the lead up to training?
It’s crazy how much my confidence has improved since the start of the year, because when I enrolled initially, I didn’t think I would be ‘good enough’ to teach. So instead, I looked at YTT as a path of self-development, as that was something I was always open to and always ready for. I figured that developing myself whilst practicing yoga every day next to a beach was a win/win situation. I remember looking at the anatomy book we had to read as part of the pre-course reading, and feeling so nervous! I was confident in the philosophy behind it and could easily tell you why I loved yoga, but I felt apprehensive about whether I’d be able to pick up the alignment and anatomy side of things.
However, the moment Emma sent through the schedule and I saw exactly how the next two weeks would unfold, the fear began to dissolve. Everything was so well organised and planned for, that while we would be learning a lot in a short time, all of the modules complimented each other and I knew we were going to be supported in this process. So from then on, I gave myself a little pep talk, began to pack my many pairs of printed leggings and started to prepare for my journey from Brisbane to Coolangatta!
What was the first day like and what can others expect throughout the training?
From day one when we had our opening circles and stated our ‘why’, I felt a familiar sense of ease being surrounded by women who loved yoga as much as I did. And that’s when I realised that the pressure was off. I didn’t have to worry about comparing myself for the sake of comparison, or feeling like a fish out of water. As I came to find out, this training was designed in the most nurturing way possible, to lovingly push us when we needed to step outside of our comfort zone to honour our reasons for being there.
Each day really did feel like a new adventure. Practicing twice a day and spending so much time immersed in learning, my passion for teaching grew. Beyond the poses and what I thought I knew yoga was all about, I came to find the practice resonating with me on a much deeper level. This was strengthened by the knowledge of the different teachers we had for each module, who were handpicked to share what they loved so much about the practice. From an aspiring osteopath, a meditation teacher and a transpersonal counsellor, we covered so much ground without the feeling of being overwhelmed. Another great thing about how each day is structured, is that you always have enough breaks to let everything sink in, with time at lunch to even go for a quick swim!
How did you feel after training and what have you been up to since?
From a simple ‘self-development’ motive, to now wanting to go and teach and even do workshops, my confidence has exploded. I remember feeling so daunted by the prospect of teaching a class for our assessment, and then when I actually did it, I couldn’t believe how far I had come! If I had to use one word to describe how I felt on the last day of training, I would just say “ready”. Ready to go out and hold space for others, so I can bring forth my own unique voice and style of teaching. Currently, I’m in the planning stages of holding a workshop here in Brisbane, which will be focused on exploring feminine energy! This is something I didn’t even know I felt as passionate about prior to YTT, and I really credit Yogaventures for helping me step into my power in this way.
What advice would you give to others?
I truly think that whatever you believe you will get out of YTT, you will end up surprising yourself and get even more. I believe that yoga teaching has to come from the heart, and you can tell that this program has come straight from Emma’s. A big advantage of having her lead you through the experience, is that she is able to pass on the wisdom she has learned in the business of yoga itself. It’s not something that is readily taught, and she has made the training so practical to ensure that by the end, you feel confident enough to dive straight into teaching!
For anyone who finds themselves lingering on the YTT enrolment page, I encourage you to look beyond the fear and ‘what if’, and lean into the curiosity. It’s an experience you won’t forget easily, and one that, like me, you will take forward into a new chapter of your life.
You can find Maria on IG @maria.ermides
Our next 200HR Yoga Teacher Training begins 29 November 2020. You can find all the juicy details (and oodles of inpso) on our website. Spaces are limited, so get in touch now if you'd like to join us this year and step into a life of fulfilment and connection!