Today I have the pleasure of presenting one of my good friends Katie; who is one of the smartest, kindness and warmest people that I know. Katie radiates light from her entire being- effortlessly it would seem; and today she shares her journey to become a Hatha yoga teacher and the lessons she learned along the way.
I sincerely hope you enjoy!
Katie’s Hatha Yoga Journey
It is my pleasure to share with you my passion for yoga and the well being I have come to know through the exploration of my practice.
How Yoga Found Me
I was a twenty-something student who had been practicing yoga for a number of years and was struggling to deal with the stressors of life in school, a failing relationship and grappling at this so-called attitude so many adopt towards life, called balance. Yet I always found a sense of sanctuary within myself during each yoga practice and felt like such a different person when I was lying in shavasana, or corpse pose, at the end of each class. Coming out of a class taught by one of my favorite instructors at my favorite studio, I stumbled across a poster advertising the 200-hour Hatha yoga teacher-training program that was being offered. It was mid-June and I had been juggling a few jobs during the summer to save money for the upcoming school year—which at that time would have been my third year of university—and in this blissful, euphoric-after class state I decided that a teacher training program was a great idea. Through the use of savings and a few gracious loans I was able to afford the cost of tuition for the teacher-training program, which began as a week long intensive in August.
My Learning Journey
Following training sessions of 8 hours a day for a week, we spent 20 hours each weekend at the studio, for two weekends a month (some months had only one weekend retreat) for six months. Our sessions were spent learning about the history and philosophies fundamental to yoga, the tangible physical and spiritual practices that students are familiar with (what they are taught during a typical class) and to my surprise, we spent a great length of time exploring our individual selves; what it was to find and have balance, health, vitality and happiness within ourselves.
Of the approximately forty or so women that experienced the teacher training together, the average age range within the group was mid-to-late forties. At that time I was twenty-two. In many cases, some women had children my age, but there wasn’t a gap that existed on an emotional or intellectual level. The love, support and encouragement that existed within those sessions was truly incredible. Any level of physical fitness, mental or emotional state is the perfect frame of mind to bring into a teaching program—as long as you approach the sessions with an open mind and heart, transformation follows.
Every Journey Is Unique
There were those who felt as though they were struggling (like me) and those who had injuries and found solace in yoga. Some were looking to begin new careers and others just really liked yoga (again, me). I would strongly encourage everyone, regardless of your current state of health, to listen to the little voice inside that says “I could/want to be a yoga teacher…”. For those who are passionate about doing yoga and relish the quiet euphoria experienced after a great class—a teacher-training program may be for you. And, although, I haven’t yet found a time or a place to teach to a loyal following of students regularly, this allows me to savor the experience of my training journey all to myself until the right opportunity unfolds for me to share my passion and experience.
Yoga Teacher Training Was Just the Beginning
While there are many blogs about the health benefits of a strong and regular yoga practice, I want to share a differing opinion. The processes behind physical activity and the skills that you use while making a nutritious meal for yourself are one in the same. Finding a place to foster a healthy state of mind towards health and well being is more important, in my opinion, because negativity can be a debilitating crutch. The amount of personal growth I experienced during my yoga teacher-training program was unparalleled to any other time in my life and has been the catalyst for a lifelong path towards seeking well-being through the practice of yoga, taking care of myself and others; and most importantly, accepting the idiosyncrasies of my character and others; and, therefore, finding humility and value in them.
The 200-hour hatha yoga-training program was just the beginning of my journey—I will continuously look for ways to learn, grow and hit the mat in a downward facing dog! Finding the vitality in every aspect of the things we do is a guaranteed recipe for success.
Thank you Bianca for the honor of writing this post!