300 Hour Yoga Teacher Training Week 1

This is a write up of my experience in week 1 of the 300-hour yoga teacher training with Sampoorna – Yoga Teacher Training School in India. If you haven’t already checked it out, you might want to look at my first blogs in the series which looked at considerations and advice I would give before committing to a choosing a yoga teacher training and my preparations before starting the course.

Week 1 started with an opening fire ceremony with the 300-hour and 200-hour classes coming together to open the course.

300 hour yoga teacher training course india

The significance of the fire ceremony is to gather together and pray for overall growth. We prayed for wisdom, to perform the right actions, to remove negative emotions and to inculcate positive qualities.

300 Hour Yoga Teacher Training Week 1

Week 1 Timetable:

Week 1 Timetable

As you can see the timetable for the first week was jam packed, so we were straight into it!
Luckily there was quite a bit of revision from the 200-hour course in anatomy and philosophy in the first week. Students on the course would have studied the 200-hour YTT course in different schools and for some people this might have been a long time ago. It is therefore good that there is a review to ensure everyone gets up to the same level by the end of week 1. Throughout the rest of the weeks, there were also some other areas of revision where the topics linked in with new material.

A bit more about the classes in the timetable below…

1-to-1 meetings student/teacher
On the first day there was an opportunity to discuss your background and goals for the course with one of the teachers. This is also a good chance to discuss any injuries you have come with so that the teachers are aware of this in your practice.

We were a class size of 24 and had 4 teachers and the course director would take the meditation and philosophy classes. The teachers were all highly experienced. The lead teacher had been teaching yoga for around 20 years, was a yoga studio owner and had taken courses with famous teachers such as Jason Crandall and Paul Grilley. The other teachers had a variety of experience including a dance background, boxing and strength training background and experience in different aspects of yoga such as business areas, social media and photography. They were all able to add their unique experience to the course and content.

Sampoorna Yoga - 1-to-1 meetings student/teacher

Vinyasa Class:
There is a 2 hour Vinyasa yoga class every morning with one of the teachers. This was probably my favourite part of the day! I You might have concerns about whether your standard of yoga is good enough and I had that too but really don’t worry about it and remember you are a yoga teacher too so there is no need to compare yourself to the other yoga teachers you are training with. Yes, there are things that you won’t be able to do but that is one of the things we love about yoga and the fact that there is always that bit of challenge! I loved being challenged by the classes, it was satisfying to achieve some new poses and great to come out of the classes with that determination to work towards some of those I couldn’t quite do.
I am often quite competitive, and I was surprised at how little competitiveness I felt during the course. I think for me it was because everyone was so different, both on a personal level, and in terms of their yoga. You couldn’t really compare yourself to anyone. Everyone had different strengths and weaknesses we were all very encouraging with one another.

Sampoorna Yoga- Vinyasa Class

Other Asana Class:
The second asana practice later in the day varies in style. Some examples of the types of classes we did included Yin yoga, animal flow, vinyasa flow to the beat of a metronome and a pregnancy yoga simulation.

Individual Differences:
These classes were interesting and followed on from some of the pre-course DVDs. In the 200-hour teacher training there hadn’t been very much in the way of how bodies of students could differ so much and how this can impact what works for them in certain poses. I don’t just mean on a muscular or tissue level, this was more focused on how the shape and length of joints can impact yoga and as these aspects of our bodies can’t be changed, it is something that must be accepted.
This is just one example of a big theme that came out of the 300-hour teacher training in that yoga is not actually as black and white as you maybe thought after the 200-hour yoga teacher training!

200-hour teacher training goa

Alignment and Adjustments:
Learning more about how to adjust and being comfortable with adjusting was one of my goals for the course because I hadn’t felt hugely confident with this from my 200-hour teacher training and did minimal adjustments with students in the classes that I was teaching before the course.
I thought these classes were the perfect mix of demonstration by the teachers and then practice through adjusting other students.

Student Teaching #1: 20-minute warm up sequence
Towards the end of the first week we had to teach a 20-minute warm up to a group of other students. Even though I have been teaching classes for 2 years this was surprisingly nerve-racking! I think it is because you were teaching other teachers and there is the idea that you are being judged and assessed. It is the first exercise, so you are not sure what to expect. There was no feedback given for this first exercise as it was just a chance to get used to the teaching. The teachers were good at helping you feel confident and they were understanding that this was difficult environment to teach in. The students were supportive of each other and it was a good opportunity to get to know people better in your teaching group.

There was a quite a variety of teaching experience amongst students across the course. Some people had completed their 200-hour training recently and had not taught classes yet whereas other people had been teaching for years. The style of teaching varied as well with some people only having taught either group or private classes or different styles of yoga/workshops.