Santosa Blog | In Conversations with...
This week I have the pleasure of sitting down and sharing a cuppa with Bridget Whitehead, Inner Yoga Trust Course Tutor, as prepares to lead the next year of the IYT 500 hour+ yoga teacher training diploma in Wales.
What inspires you in your own yoga practice? What brings you back to your yoga mat every day?
My body always brings me back to the mat, which stops the fragmentation that can occur, so brings me back to the whole, that's why I practice. Oh - and it makes me feel good!
What is your yoga mat like - how long have you and your mat been partners?
Well I have several mats! One I use for teaching, one I use for my own practice, this one is a bit thicker these days which is nice on the knees! It was a very sad day when my original yoga mat disintegrated, (that was a while ago now!) - it was light green and came from Ruth White Yogs as at one time yoga mats were had to come by and she sold loads! I did replace it though and so still have a light green mat that I sometimes use.
How do those nearest/dearest to you see your teaching? How do they feel when you are heading off to the residential yoga teacher training weekends and retreat weeks when you are off –limits to family?
My two children have grown up with it, they are used to it, it’s just something mum does! They used to join in with my home practice when they were little, but not at the moment as they are 20 and 13. The eldest came to class recently and found it really hard. The youngest finds it really helps with her back when it's sore from all her dancing! They are used to me going away, my partner is very supportive and never minds when I'm away (embraces the peace and quiet!).
One of your most inspirational moments/experiences when leading the IYT yoga teacher training programme?
Gosh there are so many! Generally it is always when students acknowledge and share their journey with you, it is such a privilege being part of that process and transformation.
Most challenging aspect of teaching on the 500 hour+ residential programme for you?
The most challenging is probably all the stuff going on "behind the scenes", making sure all the paperwork is up to date and being prepared for each session, trusting that all will be well and that you can facilitate the programme.
Describe your first yoga class - as a teacher - how did it feel?
My yoga teacher Nancy, made me cover for her, I was very reluctant... I had written a list of things to teach and I think I'd covered the list in about 10 minutes, and it was an hour and a half class! The class were very supportive and somehow I managed to get through and, well, I'm still here teaching!
If you had the opportunity to time travel back in time to the same first class what would you do differently and what would you do the same?!
Slow it right down of course, but then on the other hand you've got to start somewhere!
Bridget Whitehead has been teaching yoga since 1999 and is an Inner Yoga Trust course tutor, member of the IYT School Board and a registered elder member of the Independent Yoga Network.
As well as leading the IYT teacher training programme in Wales and holiday retreats, Bridget will be teaching workshops at Santosa Edinburgh in Spring 2018. Bridget lives in Pembrokeshire with her husband and children.
For more information about the Inner Yoga Trust 500 hour teacher training diploma visit inneryoga.org.uk. The IYT Year 1 Structure and Practice of Yoga foundation course is running at Santosa led by Pauline Sawyer.