Final Favorite Things

As my yoga teacher training journey comes to an end I have one more blog post to write sharing my favorite things since beginning my training. I still adore yoga for how it makes me feel and what it has been for me. In this last month I have taught yoga a couple times a week and it's been a magical experience.
Five people in easy pose sitting on yoga mats outside
This class was so much fun! Everyone had varying levels of experience with yoga and I got great feedback from them. I'm looking to integrate more breath work in my classes and hopefully some yoga chant and more BodhiSpin. 

First, I have learned that though I don't feel I know enough to teach I do know more than some people who have never practiced at all and if I can share what I know with them it can be really inspiring. I have seen complete and total beginners find a love of yoga and some who have practiced in the past learn new things from the classes I teach. My absolute favorite thing is when someone lets me know they have integrated something they learned in our time together into their personal practice. I don't know if anything is better than that!

DeLayna, Franque, Amy, Jentry, and Heather pose for a selfie after yoga class
I had such a great time with this group. We had two complete beginners, one recovering from surgery for a knee injury, and one with pre-existing hip issues. I learn so much more from practicing with people who are learning and adapting yoga to their own body and needs than if I only practiced with really fit and healthy individuals. 

Second, I have found that yoga is something that allows me to connect with others who I might not meet otherwise. Most of the people I did my practice teaching with were people I knew but I was in awe that those folks would open up their contacts and connect me with their friends and family to help me on my journey. I have found many delightful people in my time practice teaching and hope to continue to connect with them and others as I move forward.

Screen shot of a Zoom call with Amanda on one side and Heather on the other
If you ever want to test whether you're effective in how you talk people through your yoga class do an online class. Students don't have the easy option to look at you or others and sometimes you might be partially out of frame. If you're certifying I highly recommend doing some online classes to test your knowledge.

Finally, I was reaffirmed that every time I teach I get something back. I feel at peace, I feel myself building strength and flexibility, and I learn that each time it gets a little easier and I feel a little more confident. The more I have practiced the more I have enjoyed my time teaching though I truly feel I continue to learn even as I teach. I guess it's true that yoga is the guru and I am just the guide through this very personal practice.

Two women and young girl smile for a picture
My second to last class to complete my certification hours was with the amazing Maribel who made a new friend in baby Kira.

Beyond these things I must express my deepest gratitude to Syl Carson for creating a training that I feel is comprehensive and provides a strong foundation for teaching. Other than my truly young years when I initially practiced because it was fun and I was really flexible at the time, I realize that yoga is so much more than a workout and it should be honored as such. Syl has created a teacher training that goes into the history of yoga, the energy work within a yoga practice, the anatomy and modifications for poses, and different ways of teaching and sequencing the poses to maximize the benefits to those who practice the Bodhi Yoga style. I chose to train with Syl because I saw the depth of the information I would be receiving and it spoke to what I knew I wanted. I have seen that I am able to use that knowledge to help people with specific physical conditions, complete beginners, and those using yoga as a way to support their mental health. I don't believe every teacher training equips you to be able to go in depth the way Syl's training does and I know that I am always welcome to sit in those future trainings and refresh my knowledge and learn more which is a benefit that is truly priceless.

Young girl on a green yoga mat in a down dog pose
I hope that Kira will keep wanting to join me as I practice yoga so one day she can enjoy the benefits of a truly life long practice.

As I move forward as a certified yoga teacher I plan to dig into how I can honor the roots of yoga in ways that understand the complexity of where yoga came from and what is happening with yoga today. I want study and reflect on how I can uplift diversity and inclusion in my practice and teaching style. I plan to continue to study the psoas, yoga for mental health, kids yoga, chakra and energy work within yoga, yoga anatomy, and yoga for those with special needs. I want to integrate my love for music without diminishing the traditions of yoga and I want to continue to provide a space where all can feel safe while they practice with me.

I want to thank every person who was willing to practice with me so I could earn this certification and I especially want to thank those who were able to make it out and practice with me. Stacey, Emily, Stacy, Jana, Kenzie, Eryn, Meredith, Sarah, Franque, Amanda, Courtney, Maribel, Kiki, Amy, Rosemary, Stephanie, Nathan, DeLayna, Jentry, and my dearest husband, Joseph. I have learned so much from each of you and enjoyed sharing so much time together. I hope to continue to practice with you in the future. I also need to thank my dearest friend Tara who chose to certify with Syl as well and was persistent in getting me to come out and be a student for her while she certified! That experience confirmed for me that the training she received was the one I wanted for myself.

If you are interested in deepening your yoga practice or would like to learn to teach I would wholeheartedly recommend you at least explore the options Syl has at Bodhi Yoga in Provo. She has options to certify online as well as two in person options (an intensive and multiple month option). You will have detailed information, ongoing support, and a community of past graduates and current students who will help uplift and support you throughout your journey. I'm considering going back to participate in the Restorative Partner Yoga training but Syl also offers Online Chakra Therapy, Yoga Nidra Facilitation, and Soul Weather Life Coaching as stand alone courses you can take without having completed a yoga teacher training.

If you happen to know of spaces where I could start hosting some yoga classes in the future please reach out. I am not looking to pay for space at a yoga studio or gym or commit to a set schedule at this point as I'm just looking to continue building my experience and offer yoga on a donation basis so it remains accessible to everyone regardless of their ability to pay, their skill level, or their experience with yoga.

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