Sara La Rocca – Yoga Teacher Training Student Testimonial
Sara La Rocca shares her thoughts and experiences on the 2019 London Yoga Teacher Training program.
Sara: So, my name is Sara La Rocca. And today is the last day of training. We’re about to graduate from this to 200 hour Heather Elton yoga teacher training.
Ashley: So, what made you choose this yoga teacher training over all the other thousands of trainings out there?
Heather, from day one, created this really safe space for us as a group to feel comfortable and be able to start speaking up and opening our hearts, but also opening up in terms of sharing our opinions or sharing our feelings and emotions.
Sara: Uh, gosh. To be- to be really honest it was a process. It was one of the very first yoga teacher trainings that came up when I started my research. So I think, very basic, (sic) Googled “London Yoga Teacher Trainings” and Heather’s was the first, and I clicked on that and read everything. And, it just really resonated with me. But, then my sort of ‘logical mind’ was like, “you can’t just pick the first one you see”, and therefore I went through various others and ended up going to a class of Heather to just feel whether I want to train with her, as well. And we met up and then I, yeah, decided that that very first thing that presented to me the very first training was actually the one, and chose to do it.
Ashley: So, there are so many elements to this yoga teacher training. Is there any particular part of it that’s really resonated you? Stood out for you? “What’s your take away?” The one or two things that you’re like, wow! I never new that and totally want to integrate that in my teaching?
Sara: Absolutely. Um, gosh. There’s quite a few things. I think my understanding of yoga overall has really deepened and- It’s a lot more than just the physical body. And, I knew this before coming to the training that something was happening to my well-being, my mind and perhaps even my spirit. But I couldn’t really- or wasn’t- I didn’t understand why and what it was.
I do believe that Heather just did an amazing job at creating this environment where we really feel like we can grow together as a group but also with her as a teacher.
So this training- with Heather’s teaching as well as the philosophy and even the anatomy, all combined together, have made me understand, you know, the depth and the reasons to why yoga’s so good for us. But I think, it sounds funny, but the most- the thing that really hit me was the fact that yoga is- the asana part of yoga- is all in preparation for meditation. And this might be obvious to some people but for me it really wasn’t and I think that’s really something I’m going to take away. That everything that we do for our body with our with our breath is sort of to prepare yourself to be in that state of meditation and for other things to happen from there.
Ashley: And, do you feel ready to teach? Can you see yourself going out and teaching now?
Sara: I do actually. I did not think I would be saying that at the beginning of this course and even halfway through, or even three quarters through it I wasn’t sure yet. And, I actually very much felt like wow this is all great but I don’t think I’m ready. But, teaching the class in front of my peers and in front of Heather, for me was kind of the big test. And, I know I’ve got a lot to learn but I can say that I think I can walk away and start teaching. Umm… and just get practicing. And, ultimately, be able to share a lot of what I’ve learnt with other people as well.
Heather’s incredibly intuitive and present and has been throughout the whole teacher training.
Ashley: Um… And…What about the personal attention on the training? Did you feel like you got, like, much attention from all the staff the people teaching on the course? And, did you feel like you could ask questions and get feedback and things like that?
Sara: Definitely. I think Heather, from day one, created this really safe space for us as a group to feel comfortable and be able to start speaking up and opening our hearts, but also opening up in terms of sharing our opinions or sharing our feelings and emotions. It does help that it’s quite a small group I think. But, I do believe that Heather just did an amazing job at creating this environment where we really feel like we can grow together as a group but also with her as a teacher. Umm, Heather’s incredibly intuitive and present and has been throughout the whole teacher training. And, I- just things like asking us how we felt every morning and really taking in out responses and often even checking in later during the day. I think that’s incredible for someone to be able to do that and it makes you feel umm… yeah, like you’re a precious part of the training and I feel the same towards Heather. She’s made all this happen and I can walk away so grateful. Yeah, she’s a great teacher.
Ashley: And, what about the group themselves. Like, what’s your relationship with them been like throughout the journey and now it’s coming to an end?
Sara: Yeah, I think I’m- mixed feelings about the training. Of course it’s been five almost five months of intense mentally, physically umm… and also a lot of u are all working, trying to juggle our life in London with the training. But, the saddest part of leaving today is definitely not having this incredible group of people to have come together and not seeing them on a regular basis. Because, we’ve really grown together I think, you know and- On the first day you’re all a bit shy but… Um…
You’re a precious part of the training and I feel the same towards Heather. She’s made all this happen and I can walk away so grateful.
I remember in particular, just to mention the adjustments, the adjustment part of the course really brings you together, because you’re very much hands on. Um, sort of touching each others body in order to correct people, to adjust people into their poses and I think after that there was a little bit of a shift toward- right, now we can really be open with each other and I think friendships have really developed and we will take some of these friendships out um- of the training into our life, yeah.
Ashley: I just have one last question. So, like- adjustments, particularly now are kind of a controversial subject. Everyone here talks about how amazing the adjustment clinics are and they com out loving adjustments. I don’t think anyone leaves Heather’s course not loving adjustments. Um- but there are lots of people out there now who don’t want to give adjustments for all kinds of reasons. Um- so can you maybe like, say something about how you felt about adjustments before and what you think it is about the course or Heather’s teaching that’s changed your mind or made you more passionate about giving adjustments in your own classes?
We came out just feeling really happy, everyone. Very energetic. And, I feel like a lot of happy hormones were flying around.
Sara: Um, I think the first- the first few sessions that we did adjustments um- it made me understand the importance of adjustments in so far as- cues are great but sometimes they are not enough for you to know exactly how a pose should maybe feel. Even though a pose feels differently for everyone, but- that adjustment or a good adjustment can sort of help you to get in this sort of “effortless effort” kind of pose and every day, in the adjustment days, we came out just feeling really happy, everyone. Very energetic. And, I feel like a lot of happy hormones were flying around form that kind of physical contact. But, again, this is within a very safe space that Heather’s created right. And we have been explained (sic) by Heather why we’re doing adjustments. What they’re good for, how we should be doing them. But also understanding that we need to be sensitive. Not everyone, especially once we get out and teach, will be happy to be adjusted for whatever reason. So, I do understand why there’s a lot of talk around it at the moment. And, I think as teachers we have to be really transparent with our- with the people that we’re teaching and be sensitive to them and completely respect their space. Because we don’t know what’s going on beneath that. But if they do want to get adjusted, even then, really think about which adjustments you are using and why are you doing them.
Ashley: Great, thank you very much.
Watch the full testimonial video below.