I made it to a week and two days before I walked out yesterday feeling like crap!

I am going to try my best to write this blog with God in my heart and a reminder that backbiting is something that I do not want to entertain, but also inform my readers of my experience because I do feel like they have some yoga teachers out there that are taking full advantage and are becoming money hungry little monsters.

WARNING SIGNS AND RED FLAGS

Honestly, my biggest lesson this past month was that I needed to listen to my gut. Odd how that seems to be my lesson all the time (ha-ha)

When I investigated Yoga Teacher Training, I couldn’t find anything close by, and going back home to Canada seemed like it was not an option as I was very much married to my job at the time.

With much hesitation, I decided I would do one in Trinidad, where I live now (I can’t wait to move).

I did some classes with the teacher and her other instructors, and you know what. The teacher was good, but the people that came out of her yoga teacher training were not so good.

It did make me wonder about her training and why these teachers lack so much personality.

Photo by Polina Kovaleva on Pexels.com

RED FLAG

I noticed my yoga teacher wrong mouthing many people in the yoga industry. I mean everyone from teachers in Trinidad to ones in Canada.

I was a bit turned off by this.

Last year with her, I noticed this as well, and she also thought it was necessary to tell everyone how broke she was.

I repeatedly heard how Syrians in Trinidad are just bad people and take everyone’s money even if this might be the case; why even talk about it.

There was a serious “Broke” Mentality/Vibe going on, and it was getting to me just as it did last year.

I did not spend over USD 6000.00 to hear anyone bitch about money or how they think so many people have done them wrong.

The way the teacher described the Yoga Industry was enough for me to say, “This shit is not for me.” I already went in with my fears of being a modest, curvy, older woman of colour.

I am not represented in anything yoga related, and I often have to take little tidbits from another woman, and I guess that is great cause no one will have the complete package.

For example, on IG, I follow a woman that does yoga and is plus size and is very much confident in her body. She is not the most religious, but I love that she is confident in her skin.

Then I follow a Muslim Yoga teacher who is slim, fit, modest and in her 40s.

I can root for all women, and we don’t all have to be in the same faith.

Photo by RODNAE Productions on Pexels.com

WARNING

Last year my teacher asked me if I could be a witness for a court case; she mentioned that someone wanted to sue her.

Fast forward, I said okay, because I already knew she gave no refunds; trust me, I know this because I tried. Then I knew she tried to set the yoga training to another date.

Yes, Covid was hard on everyone, but I don’t think any trainer at that time should have withheld money from any student if the training didn’t happen and if the student changed their minds.

I also understand that money was spent preparing the training, but it never happened.

Anyways

Now this time around, I was trying to get myself excited about the training; she was advertising like she did before that International Teachers were coming in to teach us.

Something in me was saying, “Melissa, this is not for you, don’t even bother,” but of course, I didn’t listen to myself; I told myself, “Girl, you paid your money, at least try and get your money’s worth, and you will see other teachers from Canada and the USA.”

Photo by Anna Tarazevich on Pexels.com

GOD WILL TAKE YOU TO WHERE YOU HAVE TO BE

When I got to the first day of training, I met another student 50 years old extremely fit man from Toronto.

On the first day, we spent almost half of the day trying to figure out the training schedule. I was told before that I can be flexible with morning and evening training.  

That was not the case; the schedule was already done for evenings.

“like hello, I have a Dog, and my bedtime is 8 pm.”

 “Also, CRIME, we live in a country where women are not safe, and you want me to drive home at 11 pm.”

I didn’t say anything, and I just kept praying in my head, “Allah, give me the strength to go through this training, oh God help my body, mind and spirit, God, I don’t think this is right for me anymore, but guide me.”

By the 4th day of the training, I was pissed.

Not only was I not learning yoga, but I was also doing aerobics and having the worst time.

This will also be when I discovered that nothing was organized for the training, none of the international teachers were going to be in person, and everything was online via zoom calls.

I QUIT

When I had to sit at the side of the room while she taught an aerobics class. I wanted to cry.

No way was my body prepared for this HITT type of workout, and now I was feeling like crap about my body as if her Yoga Studio filled with mirrors wasn’t enough for me to deal with.

I had already mentioned to her that I had a knee injury.

I felt discouraged and like crying. This was just not something for me.

Oh, I forgot to mention something.

On Day 3 of my training, she sent me a text message asking me if I could pay more money or give her a loan until next year…..Yeah, I know what you’re thinking; why did I even go back after that text message.

But you know what? I was determined to take it as far as possible, and I was determined to pray my way through it all while trying to be mindful of my words and thoughts.

I’ll be honest; cussing in my head was difficult to control, but I tried my best.

Yesterday, I felt like I was going to pass out from exhaustion and frustration, and my soul was trying to speak to me.

At lunchtime yesterday, she revealed that she has a few court cases against her from students suing her, which all have to do with her Yoga Teacher Training.

“Just get out of there, melissa, get out.”

I got up, packed my bags and told her I needed to go home, packing everything and not leaving behind my yoga mat.

I HAD ENOUGH

She was teaching her studio classes while teaching our training class simultaneously.

We were being shuffled around like we didn’t pay good money and sitting on hardwood flooring for hours as if we were in a hellish place.

No coffee, tea or any refreshments are provided; just an empty binder, some pens and water are what you got.

And zoom online training from other teachers.

“PUT SOME DAM CLOTHES ON”

As a modest person who chooses to be like that by choice, I understand that not everyone is that way.

I also was aware that the training was open to men and women.

The other student was a 50-year-old extremely fit man from Toronto.

I felt uncomfortable in his yoga attire, which was shirtless and extremely short, short short short shorts. I think I have underwear that was the same as his sorts.

Wait, I’m not done here; they were also tight besides being short. Did I mention this man was a black man? I didn’t; I left that part out for this section.

“Lower your gaze, Melissa.”

After I got my eyes to be modest by not looking at this half-naked older man.

I got angry again that not only did this man think it was okay to be half naked in front of me, but the Yoga Teacher didn’t tell him to dress better.

I found it to be a double standard that she spoke to us about Women Yoga teachers needing to dress better and wear leggings that didn’t show when we did a forward fold, yet here is this shirtless man in very tight short shorts exposing the outline of his package (sorry I have no other way to put it).

Is there a reason why men don’t have a dress code for yoga?. Is there a reason women have to do a squat test for leggings and men don’t have to do a tight crotch test?.

Anyways, folks, that’s it with my YTT, and I am so done with any YTT.

FINAL THOUGHTS

I don’t regret leaving the training; I listened to my gut and tried my best.

The training was taking me away from all that I believe in.

I didn’t feel included, I didn’t feel like I got my money’s worth and when I sat there with tears in my eyes and my body hurting, knowing that I paid approx. $6000.00USD and was never going to teach or had the desire to; I felt hopeless.

My whole journey into yoga was getting to know God; it was me getting to know myself.

Getting into my Islamic faith has made me more aware of many things, most notably my surroundings.

I have paid attention to what feels good and what feels off.

The energy in that training was heavy; maybe the half-naked Yogi didn’t feel like that because that was the place for him.

It wasn’t the place for me.

I think God knew that I was not meant to be there and tore my body down more than I was used to, and God also knew that while searching for him, he needed to put something in my way for me to call upon him every day on the hour.

I would still practice yoga for myself; I would still go to a yoga studio (not in Trinidad)

Maybe I can say I lost UDS 6000.00, or perhaps I can be at peace that just as God gave me $6000.00, he will replenish me again, and this time, before going on a chase for God, I will sit with some of my ideas and desire and ask myself a few questions before I reinvest that type of money.

Questions I will ask myself.

Does this feel right?

How can I help others in this action?

Will I be safe?

Does this support my deen?.

Who will benefit from this?

Can my body or family handle this?

Does it bring me joy?

Does it support my community?.

How was your week, my readers? Anything funny happened this week ?.