Power Up: 5 Ways a Yoga Teacher Training Builds Confidence


Yoga teacher training is a metaphor for life. As in your practice, so in your life; as in your teaching, just so in your life. The aim of teacher training is power. In Baptiste yoga we use the sequence Journey into Power. We follow the tenants of being of power. It’s all about power.

There is only one way to access personal power and that’s through confidence; you have to believe it, you have to embody it. Building confidence is a shortcut to your purpose, which becomes a fast track to your highest possibility. That’s where power lives. Starting a yoga teacher training program can build confidence like nothing else.

The Story We all have bought a story called “You are Not Enough.” We live in the past story and play it over and over again in sound bytes and video clips in our mind. Sometimes we even buy the box set of our story! We remember the past with absolute clarity and certainty, maybe because we revisit it so much? But the truth is the past sort of sucks. We seem to remember all the crap, and only the crap. In a life of 8,000 hugs and one slap, we remember the slap.

Defy The Lie There’s an image of Buddha with one hand up. I was taught this means – you don’t have to believe 100% – no need to put up two hands. Just one hand is enough: Just be open, just try.

Teacher training requires you to go through the steps of signing up, studying, sharing, showing up, and standing up – these are all one handed acts of defiance against the story. The scary part? These are also an act of defiance against whomever sold us the story called You are Not Enough. The person or situation that kept his/her hand on our throat? We are taking a stand against “what they said” and “what we believed.” Considering that we all have a story, and therefore a lie to defy it is easy to see that doing nothing and living as-is is actually much harder than holding up one hand. Because as-is is a place of no growth. No growth equals slow death.

Intend to Shine Standing up is an instant trigger of You are Not Enough. Our body recreates the feeling for us immediately: nervousness, tightness, contraction, shortness and shallow breath, sweating, dizziness, forgetfulness – all shades of panic and fear.

Whatever You are Not Enough looks and feels like in the body, it happens for us all over again, and again. So we hide.

We could be stuck like this for 20 years or more. This is what the Buddha referred to as human suffering. But he also taught that suffering is optional. We simply have to step into the nervous state to alter it.

Standing up is good, but staying up is the key. If we don’t run and hide (or avoid and numb), what happens? A squeezing sensation overtakes our body, an almost unbearable tightening and a wished for shrinking. But feeling this squeeze, and not dying from it, is the place where healing happens. Nervous and excited end up being the same sensations with different labels. Regardless of how bad it goes, how messy and failed, re-creating the feeling and staying with it starts to chip away the story. The squeeze, the scary squeeze, is the place where juice starts to flow. Maybe tears as well, maybe sweat. The nervousness squeezes the old story out. The power is in this nectar.

#Scaryismyhappyplace When you finish being squeezed, you actually start to breathe again. And maybe tingle. Although you might not want to admit it – you are actually smitten – with yourself! “I did it” rushes round and round your thoughts. In pushing through to the other side we come home to I am Enough. The fact is we need to be in love with ourselves to make our life work. We need to be doing the one special thing only we can do.

Think back on some nervous experiences. At the end of the day the nerve-wracking scary thing is the most exciting part. The new experience shapes us. When nervousness is transformed into excitement, scary is transformed into happy. And then you get to use my hashtag – #scaryismyhappyplace!

Come To The Front As scary as it sounds, standing in front of a room, fully seen, and opening your mouth is a fast track to confidence.

You could meditate daily for 20 years, (which is a fantastic idea) or take a silent retreat (another great idea). Or give 30 minutes of your daily routine to personal development (genius!) or you could come stand in the front of the room.

Nothing shuts the story down faster than public speaking of any sort. You have to shut the voice in your head down the moment you stand up. This becomes a severe and serious form of present moment awareness. No back story, no room for You are Not Enough. This moment, this exact present moment, comes into laser focus. Like dancing, rock climbing, love making, delivering a baby. You are Not Enough cannot exist in the same space as you in front of the room. Once front of the room is conquered personal growth sky-rockets. The past story is no longer a factor. You choose to write the story from here on out. You stop playing small.

Why do these five steps work? Because there is only one secret to confidence and that is having a powerful presence – and the key is to be powerfully present.


Linda Fenelon

Linda Fenelon is a writer, mama of five, yoga addict and lucky in love. A Holistic Health Coach, Linda is a member of the Live Well International wellness team. As Empowerment Coach, Linda teaches and trains new yoga teachers through 200-hour certification at Baptiste-inspired RYS school, Epic Yoga in Nashville, TN. She is the co-founder of www.teachyogaonline.com, and the creator of Epic Sculpt, a vinyasa-style yoga with weights. She is honored to be a mentor with Africa Yoga Project. Follow her on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and at LindaFenelon.com.


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