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My First Yoga Training Experience

I showed up to my Teacher Training Info Night with a fire burning in my soul. Only, it wasn't the pleasant flame one usually imagines, or even, the voluptuous campfire dancing in the night.

It was wild, volatile, and threatening to burn down everything good in my life.

Sometimes, destruction is needed to bring about a new start. This fire, however, was a recurring one.

Every time signs of new life sprang and I started to breathe fresh hope, the flames would reignite.

I don't think my soul and psyche could withstand another breakdown in isolation. My happiness could not take another sabotage.

I remember the day leading up to the Info Night. My class got out late and I would be late for the event.

Full of self-criticism, I didn't want to be “that person” walking in, turning heads, and interrupting the imagined solemnity. I messaged Susanna, the instructor I had never met, about being late; she encouraged me to come anyway.

I was hesitant and ready to come up with another excuse, but that small voice within grounded itself long enough to say,

“Go. Just go.”

On the way, there was an intense battle of the excuses.

Thoughts like, “You should go home and do homework, or meal prep (ha! still working on this one), or clean (and this one), or get some rest.”

“You can barely afford rent, how can you afford teacher training?”

“You haven't done yoga in over three years. You can't even sit up straight in criss cross applesauce.”

And so on…

I was at risk of turning to go home. Between excuses, the little voice lifted it's head and kept saying,

“Go. Just Go."

Every internal plea to “go” was followed by a fleeting moment of peace.

My intention was to get information. If I was going to sign up, it was only to save me from myself.

I never imagined that I would have the courage, confidence, self-acceptance, or discipline to teach.

I didn't see myself as a reliable person.

I wasn't even sure if I would follow through with the course. Up until my Teacher Training, I hadn't completed a dang thing in my life. Except for high school, and that experience completely lacked integrity.

At that point my apartment, my education, my job, my relationship with family members, my relationship with my amazing partner were all at risk.

Entering the training, I hoped for a tribe. I hoped for inspiration. I hoped for the capability to achieve my goals. I hoped for peace. But, I had hoped for so long I stopped believing my hopes would become reality.

The training brought back my belief. It brought me peace, joy, and healing. Most of all, it gave me tools and a support system to help me cope with my anxiety, fears, and traumas. I often use these resources and go back to my training when I get overwhelmed. Self-doubt and insecurity still haunt me, but I'm not afraid of them anymore.

Maybe you are called out of curiosity to attend this Info Night.

Maybe, you want to take the training to deepen your own practice. You don't have to become a teacher, or you can. Either way, everyone deserves to find their voice, their people, their sense of direction. Maybe you are curious about other trainings and musings. Whether it's this training, a ceramics class, a dance class, a Nerd Night gathering, or saving the environment. Find that thing you love and, “Go. Just go.”

Samantha Santiago, RYT-200, began her yoga journey in 2008 while modeling and acting in Los Angeles. Yoga went deep, taught her to let outer and inner expectations melt away and drop into the present moment. As your yoga guide, her goal is to share the gifts of presence and self awareness. To benefit your body, physically, she combines breath work with dynamic and still postures. To benefit your mind, she offers guided visualizations combined with a sense of exploration and playfulness. Together, they create an experience that will leave you feeling connected, strong, clear minded, and ready for your day.

Samantha teaches YTT 200 for Ignite in Kissimmee, FL. Click the links below to follow her on social.


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