How I Got Inspired to TeachThinking back to what sparked my initial interest in teaching, I can still vividly remember an info session led by Master Educator Roger Gabriel during my first event in which he told us that if we enjoyed our practice and wanted to deepen it, teaching others would help us to experience those benefits a hundredfold. While it initially sounded like a catchy marketing strategy, something about those words resonated with me. I think I almost saw it as a challenge; if I really wanted to dig deep into my soul, becoming a teacher was the way to do it. I didn’t know it at the time, but what began as a means to expand my personal knowledge and understanding would eventually blossom into an incredible path of fulfillment and Dharma.
During that Primordial Sound Meditation Certification program, I was immersed in a thoroughgoing exploration of Vedanta and the incredible roots of this ancient meditation tradition. It was, as all who have completed it can attest, an incredible experience of learning, sharing, and discovering our hidden talents as teachers. By the end of the certification, I felt energized, inspired, and enlightened; ready to take meditation to the masses. After returning home and a short settling-in period to figure out all the details of where, when, and how to offer classes, I began to teach … and that’s where the real magic began.
Starting My Teaching JourneyFor me, teaching opened the door to an entirely new way of learning and self-expression, which has become a vehicle for my own transformation. This teaching “feedback loop” is the mechanism by which a teacher can grow with their students. As we share our knowledge and interact with the students through discussions and questions, the exchanges in turn stimulate and refine our own understanding of the lessons we teach. Often a student question or comment opens up an entirely new perspective on a topic that helps the lesson evolve or incubates an insight that hadn’t existed before. In this way, the teacher grows as much as their students. From teacher to student back to teacher, the cycle of growth is endless.
As I continued to teach my meditation classes, I felt the pull to know more, and consequently teach more. This pull drew me to the Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga teacher certification. When the home study kit for this program arrived, I was slightly intimidated by the amount of information I would have to absorb, but at the same time excited to learn and transform myself through the process. I immersed myself in the material unlike anything I had ever studied before. I didn’t want to just learn it; I wanted to know it inside and out, to become it. This intention carried me through the first week of certification training so I could begin my practice teaching with a dedicated group of coworkers and friends. During those hours of practice teaching, I watched the glowing spark of passion for these teachings grow into a bright flame of inspiration that carried me on to the second week of certification training, presentations, and testing.
Once I had graduated, through a series of coincidences, I found an ideal location to teach a class after work. Five years later, I’m still teaching to an ever-growing group of dedicated yogis.
All the while, I could feel myself changing as well. I found that the more I taught, the more I began to embody the essence of the teaching and started to speak more from my soul and less from my intellect. On those occasions when I was really in the flow, it was as if the lessons took on a life of their own and were speaking through me, rather than by me. These changes and observations still happen in my life.
By this point, though the idea of a Chopra Health Certification Program was attractive to me, I doubted whether I would pursue it. Meditation and Yoga felt so natural, but I wasn’t as sure about Ayurveda. Somewhere along the way, I felt that familiar pull once again. My soul wouldn’t rest until I took that final step on the Teacher’s Path.
Becoming a Vedic MasterOf the three mindfulness teacher training certifications, the Chopra Health Certification Program undoubtedly contains the most intensive workload: 244 Sanskrit terms, nine texts, eight webinars, and one pretest. Fortunately, much of the material was a review from my previous trainings. By the time the week of the certification rolled around, I was almost giddy with excitement.
As the week unfolded, I was overjoyed to be in such a wonderful learning environment with an amazing group of fellow seekers and teachers. Even more exciting was the sensation of completion that pulled everything together into one coherent body of knowledge, and the gratitude I felt towards myself for deciding to take the final step.
In end, I’ve actually returned to the beginning in a sense. I continue to teach what I most need to learn; I embrace the one-of-a-kind feeling that comes from helping other people grow and transform; and I ride the “Dharma High” of knowing that I’m doing what I came here to do.
But most importantly, I’ve discovered that becoming a Vedic Master is akin to earning a Black Belt in the martial arts. It doesn’t mean training is complete; it just signifies the end of the beginning and where the real understanding starts.
Ready to become a teacher? View our Chopra Teacher Training Certifications here.