How long have you been practising yoga?
I started doing yoga about 5-6 years ago at my gym. At that point, I really had no idea what yoga was. The class was a basic hatha class with a few linking postures. It was simple, but it did the job, and, most importantly, it introduced me to yoga. I immediately saw the benefits of it as a compliment to my active gym programme.
I’d wanted to try hot yoga ever since seeing a Bikram yoga studio in Australia 10 years ago. When Sweat opened, I couldn’t wait to give it a go and once I did I was quickly hooked. I’ve been a Sweat fan ever since!
What made you decide to sign up for a yoga teacher training programme?
When I first joined Sweat I had a feeling that one day I would be teaching. I’ve always loved fitness, health and wellbeing, but turning your passion into a career is a different matter and it took a lot of consideration.
Over the years I’d avidly followed the blogs and updates that Sweat shared from teachers in training, such as Lucinda. I was so jealous of them at the time. I started to do some research into the different yoga qualifications available, both in the UK and abroad, after that it was just a question of finding the right time to take the plunge.
Did you have any concerns or reservations before starting the yoga training?
I was concerned about the time commitment. When the first Sweat hot yoga teacher training programme kicked off in 2017, I was already studying for another professional qualification and while I toyed with the idea of doing both, in reality it would have never worked, I’m glad I waited.
Why did you opt for Sweat Studios’ hot yoga teacher training programme?
I had looked at yoga teacher training courses abroad, but when I attended the Sweat information day, I liked the fact that the programme offered access to a variety of yoga teachers and styles, not just hot yoga. I also knew that I loved Sweat and it was the studio that had made me want to train to be a yoga instructor in the first place, so it made sense to continue my journey with them.
Did the yoga teacher training programme meet your expectations?
Despite attending the information day, talking to Sweat yoga teachers, former yoga teacher trainees and meeting the senior yoga teacher delivering the programme, I still don’t think I really knew what the course would entail. I never expected to learn so much about yoga. I just didn’t know that there was so much to know! So in that sense it completely exceeded my expectations. I loved learning about something I’m genuinely passionate about, I loved pushing my boundaries and acquiring new skills, and I loved seeing my own yoga practice develop.
What were the highs and lows of the programme?
The time commitment is real! Juggling this with everyday life can be challenging. The course pushes you to your physical and mental limits and some weekends are more intense than others. It can be exhausting. But I had a really supportive group of trainees. All of us experienced a weekend that “broke us”, and it was a different one for everyone.
I loved the time we had practising our teaching as I could see everyone progressing each week. It gave us all such a boost seeing one another getting better.
I always have, and always will, struggle with chanting, mantras and chakras. I tried my best to take what I could from this side of yoga, but I’m also content now that my practise is rooted in the physical activity of yoga, moving for the health benefits, and founded in science. I simply love how practising yoga makes me feel. Chanting simply doesn’t do the same thing for me, whereas others in my group loved it.
What are your plans now you’re a qualified yoga instructor?
I’ve started teaching with Sweat which I’m really happy about. I’m still balancing a full time job with yoga teaching, so my time is limited and I’m also reluctant to give up my own practice. In the next few months, I’m going to start to look at options to do a few more classes both in and outside of Sweat. I also just want to keep on learning and developing myself as a teacher.
What advice would you give to anyone considering becoming a hot yoga teacher?
Go into it with a really open mind. Be prepared for your eyes to be opened, to push yourself physically and mentally. Do everything you can to free up as much time as possible, so you can really commit to learning. If you love yoga, want to teach one day or even if you don’t, the insight into the history, science and practice will change your view and what you do in class forever, for the better!
If you’re keen to follow in Kelly’s footsteps, why not read more about our 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training Programme.