By Kara-Leah Grant
When you’re contemplating which Yoga Teacher Training is right for you, one of the best resources can be speaking to someone who has already done that training. Of course, it can be hard to track down former trainees, so we’ve done that hard work for you.
We spoke to Helen Thomas, a Napier-based yoga teacher who did her teacher training with Nadi Yoga nearly two years ago. Helen had been practicing yoga for over ten years before finally making the decision to train as a teacher. This is her story of making that big decision.
An interview with Helen Thomas
1. Why did you sign up for Nadi Yoga Teacher Training?
I had been teaching yoga for about six months already and was really struggling to connect to any trainings that I was finding online.
I went to Wanderlust Great Lake Taupo where I meet Sandi Murphy; I felt so at ease with her with straight away, and was embraced by her warm mothering nature and empathic way of being.
Then I attended Nianna Bray’s class. I knew nothing about Nianna. I ended up at one of her Yin classes, and I can honestly say that as soon as she started to speak I was hooked. She is real and authentic, and her passion for living and breathing yoga shines through. Nianna’s 200Hr Vinyasa Yoga Teaching Training with Sandi was starting in three weeks, and I just knew I had to be there. Another reason I signed up was that the Training was in the lineage of yoga that I enjoy practicing: Vinyasa Flow.
2. Had you researched other trainings? What made this one stand out?
I had researched many other trainings, and made inquiries inside and outside of New Zealand. I became so confused. It was hard to decide on a particular training! I wasn’t sure whether I should do an intensive, or a more integrated part-time course over six months. I was also unsure what style of yoga it would be best to train in.
3. What happened between signing up and showing up?
This was a very fast process as there was only about three weeks between me deciding and actually showing up. Nianna and Sandi were amazing at supporting this process. I remember getting a message from Nianna straight after Wanderlust asking if I thought I could make it, and what could she do to support me. She helped with accommodation options and helped me make the step to actually commit.
Then Sandi sent through all the details of where training was and what we needed text books and yoga gear etc… and also made it very clear that they were available for any support leading into training.
4. What was it like turning up for training?
I had mixed emotions when I showed up for training. The day before I had left my husband and two children to take three weeks out of my day to day life just for me, which was super exciting and bloody scary all at the same time.
Whatever was I going to be faced with, I was going to enjoy to process though. When we arrived on the first morning it was so lovely. We were greeted by Nianna and Sandi and made to feel so welcomed and at ease. The group of people I trained with were so special and you absolutely form bonds for life. The venue was super lovely and clean and the food was also nourishing and enough.
5. What was the training like?
The training was fantastic, Nianna and Sandi have been on a teaching/Yoga path for a very long time, and man do they know their stuff! They are both fantastic teachers and facilitators.
We had lots of laughs and tears, and they always stayed in tune with the needs of the group.
Over the first week the Chakras were embedded into our process with self discovery and inquiry, which was a lovely theme for us to acknowledge our own self process that we were all going through.
6. What was the most unexpected part of training?
The deep self process that I went through myself! I didn’t expect that I would remove so many boundaries and barriers that I was holding onto, so that I could come into a place of power. I felt so healed and held and empowered by the time I finished the training.
7. How did you feel leaving training? Were you ready to teach? What was the process after you left?
Leaving training I felt amazing!! I absolutely felt ready to teach. We taught a class to the public at Nadi Yoga in the last week. It was such a great idea – to get that first class done before you even leave the training. We were given such amazing, clear and precise feedback about all of our teaching right through the training, and it always felt like it came from a place of love. I felt confident to teach and ready to step on the next process of embodiment and self-sadhana, to work through the Yamas and Niyamas, and to read through some of our book list that we were offered.
It was clear that the next process after training was just as big – that living our yoga was the important part… I remember clearly Nianna and Sandi saying the world needs yoga teachers who are Present. To me that showed how authentic they are, and how passionate they are about the quality of yoga teachers they were supporting out into the world.
8. How has the training informed your teaching?
I received clarity about alignment for myself, and to ensure that my students are safe in their own practice. My own practice is so much deeper now. I understand and feel into all the layers that come with yoga, not just the physical. I had been practicing yoga for over ten years before I stepped into training, and I learnt so much. Learning sequencing was really informative, and all the difference ways to sequence a class… that informed my teaching so much that I still go back and refer to my notes and my handbook.
9. What could have been done better?
This is a really difficult question but maybe over time they could tag onto the training some Yin training, as I now also teach Yin and I love how both styles of Yoga compliment each other. Also, Nianna is a wonderful Yin teacher!
10. Finally, what would you say to anyone considering Nadi’s Teacher Training?
I would say do it! You will not regret doing this training.
Nianna and Sandi (and the other amazing assistants helping run the training and coming in and teaching their specialties) are both amazing yoga teachers and facilitators with huge hearts, and years and years of wisdom leaving and practice behind them. They are real and genuine.
The 200 Hour training was a wonderful balance of all that you need to walk away and feel confident to teach Yoga and the support doesn’t stop there, you will be supported afterward with emails and calls if you needed them to talk through anything, and also by the group of trainees that you meet.