I have definitely been asked, "What IS a mentorship program?".
The idea of mentorship isn't really new, but they are definitely not common. There are so many Yoga Teacher Training programs these days (so many!), but nothing really comes after. You sink or you swim. So I am stepping in to provide guidance to new and existing teachers so you can float and learn to thrive in this ever changing industry.
I wish I had guidance after I finished my first Yoga Teacher Training program and even within my first few years of teaching.
I completed a 200hr, 1 month intensive in 2009 and followed it up with an extra 100 hours later that year. I was learning a lot, but I had so much that I had yet to absorb. It's one thing to have all the information in your head, but it's another challenge entirely to assimilate those ideas, movements and poses into your body.
I had amazing teachers. I was very lucky. But post training, trying to ask a simple question was close to impossible when 60 people were leaving a class, and another 40 were making their way in. It wasn't an option to get that personal connection that I needed.
On my own, it took me a good while to integrate and learn how to just survive, let alone thrive within the Toronto Yoga Community.
Then, I moved back to Niagara in 2012 and that was another shock! Suddenly I was teaching seniors and Gentle Hatha classes which was light-years different from teaching already supple bodies Ashtanga and Vinyasa classes that I was used to. I had to adapt....and fast! It would have been a lot easier if I had help.
So how does mentorship help you?
It gives you space to ask questions (And get real honest answers from someone that has been in the yoga industry for over 10 years.)
It helps you find your voice (Often, if you are a new teacher, you will try to emulate your teacher. It's normal after spending so much time learning from them. There are many ways to explain, cue, and direct a class and finding your way makes it so much easier!)
It will build your confidence (You may still be tentative to share what you know and feel like it has to be absolutely perfect before you put it out there, but its okay to make mistakes. You learn from mistakes! To this day I still say stupid things and get my left and right mixed up!)
It will help you find your gifts (Are you an anatomy nerd? Have you struggled with your mental health? Have you been studying yoga philosophy for years? Those things can become your your strengths and it can become so much easier to embrace them than try to be like everybody else.)
You will continue to learn (Just because you completed your 200, 300, or 500 hour program doesn't mean you know it all. Education is never ending, and what aspects you choose to learn may change over the years. There will be opportunity to learn from me, your peers and other teachers that specialize in the community.)
It is so much easier to grow and be seen when you have a helping hand.
I have been where you are.
I'm just here to help you find your way.