My Yoga Teacher Training course is coming up soon. I have never been on a Yoga course but I have attended many fitness courses, so I have a decade’s worth of experience to draw on. And I do love planning and getting organised!

Let’s start with the practicalities of attending a course and what planning you can do in advance.


Food!

I want to feel like a sponge for the duration of the course and just keep on absorbing information. How I eat and drink will affect that so planning as much in advance to help be healthy and not take up too much time!

Food during the course:
Eating and exercising can be a challenge. It is the Goldilocks effect of not too much or it can feel icky or not too little where you get tired quickly. Not eating enough can affect what you mentally can absorb as well. I will pack non-perishable snacks to take with me such as protein bars and nuts, which I find easy to eat and digest.
The course is held in a gym that I have not been too before so I have no idea what their cafe will offer. I have checked online and cannot find a menu. So I will take lunch with me on the first day and decide once I have inspected the menu whether I eat there or not.
Lunch hours are often shortened by majority rule so people can leave earlier. This is useful if you are travelling a distance to the course. It does affect my food choices as salads for example take ages to eat and I want to ensure I have plenty time to eat and digest my food. Food needs to be available quickly. Scrambled eggs!
I will take a bottle of water with me and hopefully they will have a water fountain that I can use to refill. Most gyms have this facility.

Food at home:
Planning for easy meals in the evening that are easy to prepare and fulfilling to help fuel the next day’s activity. My hubby will probably be cooking which is different to how I would cook but I will make sure there is plenty good food at home that is easy to prepare.

Clothes

A change of workout clothes is prudent, as you can never tell how much of a sweaty Betty affair it will be!

A warm top in case the studio is cold.

I won’t bother taking stuff for showering as I’ll hire a towel if I need it and use their toiletries if I need to shower. Just this once I will survive without my own!

Books and Manuals to take
The course I’m taking gave the option for ebooks. I took that and printed out what I thought I needed and stored the rest on my iPad.

I have:

  • 2 A4 folders of course work
  • iPad
  • my cheat list folder
  • Anatomy of Yoga book
  • plain A4 notepad – 200 pages worth – I made sure it has a hard back so easier for writing on while seated on the floor!
  • Yoga journal
  • Pens

Yip it’s getting a heavy bag already!

Some miscellaneous practical stuff to pack

  • hair bands
  • pound coins and padlocks for lockers
  • socks!
  • Yoga mat
  • small bag to decant stuff into: lip salve, hankies, mints etc So I can easily find them or I have popped my bags in a locker then it’s just the bits I may need during the day

During the course

There will be significant parts of the days spent sitting on a mat listening to lecture. Grab whatever will make that easier for you, blocks, ball etc. We rarely sit on the floor and it can be challenging for your seated posture without any support and your back may start to complain. Particularly if you are bent over writing notes

It’s lovely to meet people in the same industry but I am an introvert, so I find when I attend courses I need to create a wee bit of space for some quiet time and to reflect on the days learning. Most courses do not teach in the way that the ideal way for me to learn and can often be a bit jarring.

People react differently to learning new things. Some people are like myself, perpetual students and always curious. Others do not enjoy the learning process; some can become stressed teaching their peers. It is important to recognise the differing energies people have. If you are an empath it is easy to pick up others energy which can become very tiring in this environment.

I take a stash of crystals such as black tourmaline, malachite and yellow jasper with me to help with any funky energies around the class.

Well hello DOMS!
It will hurt exercising for back-to-back days. Pencil in some time for a bath or what ever you normally do to help with DOMS.

I have made an appointment for a massage a few days after the course ends.

Double down on the basics of self-care. Eat well, sleep well, lots of water particularly on days when there are lots of twisty asanas.


The day before

Where possible I clear my diary the day before and day after the course so that I can create some mental bandwidth before the onslaught of information that happens during a course!

Other practical things to do:

  • Personal grooming (no hobbit feet!)
  • Paint your toes
  • Check your travel arrangement again. I usually get the bus before the bus before I need on the first day. Arriving late and flustered for a course is not fun. If you are delayed, treat it as time to do some breathing, as there not much else you can do to get yourself there faster!


The night before

It is easy to sit the night before any training and think that you have not done enough.

Keep in mind you are right where you need to be.

Set an intension that on the course you will:

  • see what you need to see,
  • hear what you need to hear and
  • feel what you need to feel.

You will have everything you need to get you to your next step!

All is well.


Samantha Valand is the author of “The Menopause Diaries: A practical guide to healthy eating and exercising in your menopausal years”. You can find out more about her book here.