What a weekend I just had, it was mentally, physically and emotionally exhausting. Well I guess it wasn’t just this weekend but for the last 4 months of training and about 20 years in the making.
It all started about 20 years ago…. like I said long time coming, I attended my very first yoga class. I remember it like it was yesterday, I walked into class with a yoga mat under my arm and was super nervous and excited to try this “practice” they called it. As I walked in I noticed the yoga teacher and she smiled at me and said welcome, and asked if I have done any yoga before and I said no, then she said you can find a spot anywhere you would like. So I went to the very back of the room placed my mat down and sat waiting for whatever was going to happen.
People started coming in and the room was starting to fill up. The teacher then told us to start by lying down on our mats. We all did. She then started to tell us to connect with our breath by breathing in our nose and out the mouth. She said to set an intention for our practice and I remember thinking huh? Intention? For what? She then told us to get up in seated position and we started stretching our arms, and back with twists. Then we were going to do sun salutations. I am pretty sure at this point the look on my face was so confused it was definitely showing on my face like a wart on a witch’s face.
Anyways, she proceeded to tell us how to do these sun salutations, and she said lots of words I didn’t understand at all and I started to look around the room thinking oh goodness what have I gotten myself into!? I remember looking around at all the other students in the class trying my best with the poses. After we did a few of them in a row I was beginning to get tired and out of breath. I was so happy when she said we were going to do other postures like Warrior 1. We did a bunch more postures, we got to lie back down on our backs again and we did “cool down” and then the room got quiet. She softly told us to be aware of the room again and get up and said thank you for coming to this practice “namaste”.
After the hour long yoga class, I wasn’t sure what to think of this “practice”. I left so fast I didn’t even let the teacher have a chance to talk to me after class! I was so lost, I felt so out of place I just wanted to go home. When I got home I started to research the yoga postures she had said that I could remember. I googled sun salutation and it showed the various poses that I had done in class. When I saw these postures online I decided to go again, to see if I would enjoy it having a little more understanding of at least the sun salutations.
I went to the next class the following week, where I lived at the time it was a small town and it was only offered once a week in the evening so I went again and this time let me tell you this time I didn’t go to the very back of the class. I moved up into the middle this time so I could watch the teacher closely. What a difference that made. My experience was totally different the second time. I was so happy when I left class that evening, I knew this was something I wanted to learn more of and practice to get better at it.
I signed up for more classes and tried different types but at that time there really wasn’t a whole lot of varieties like there is today but I tried out each type and loved going to Hatha classes. After going for a while, I really was loving yoga, I even tried to see what it would entail being a yoga teacher but life got busy with having three kids, work and health issues that popped up it just didn’t work for me to attend. Plus it was getting harder to get an instructor to come out to our small town to teach classes, so you would have to drive at least an hour to a class. I did try some yoga on dvds at home but it just wasn’t the same atmosphere at home as it was in a studio or space.
Slowly my yoga practice was getting non existent. We were moving around a lot to smaller communities and it was even more difficult to get to a yoga practice because it wasn’t offered. My desire to be a yoga teacher grew more thou, due to the lack of yoga classes being offered to smaller communities but again I didn’t have the time or money to do it. When I was researching how much it was to take the training it was between $5,000 – $10,000 depending where you were going to take it and there weren’t very many schools teaching it near where I was living.
Years go by and I still had this desire to be a yoga teacher. Three years ago, we moved to another city and this time we were empty-nesters, no kids to look after, I didn’t have a job to go to yet so I took the time to take “me” time. I am not going to lie being an empty nester was not easy, I struggled with my identity, I was no longer taking care of any of the kids and I didn’t know what to do since they were my primary focus for 18 years of their lives. So I went back to exercise, joined a fitness club and thought maybe it was time to get back into shape, however I went for six months and knew in my heart it just wasn’t for me. So I looked into doing something else and I couldn’t believe that I totally forgot about YOGA!!!
I went online to find some yoga studios to find classes, well…..I was so surprised at how many there were first of all, second, so many different classes are being offered. I didn’t even know what kind they were so I tried ones that I thought were safe for me. Again, I went to a yoga class with mat under my arm, nervous and excited at the same time because it has been quite a few years since my last yoga class. Again the teacher greeted me in the room, again the same questions but this time I told her that I had previous experience but now I am limited in some of the poses. She was so grateful for me to mention this because she had said that she could help with modifications. I was so surprised when she said this to me because when I first started yoga years ago there were no modifications especially the classes I took. Class started and omg!!! I fell in love again! The instructor was so helpful with the modifications and the class was so lovely, I knew that I was going to bring yoga back into my life.
Being a yoga teacher was still something I wanted to do, so I looked online for yoga training that would be close by but unfortunately there wasn’t one. There was a school approximately two hours away and they weren’t offering a course until July and it wasn’t even offered in the same city where the school was! Again I was in the same dilemma I was years ago, where I had to drive, so I thought well…… if I have to drive anyways why not find a school that I could at least stay with family?? So I searched on Yoga Alliance’s website for schools in the Edmonton area. I looked and looked at so many, there weren’t too many schools offering courses until the fall of 2020, until I found Higher Love Yoga Academy. I read their reviews, which had the most by the way and were all excellent ones, so I opened their website to read more. I couldn’t believe it but I could feel through their website that this was the school I wanted to sign up with. So, I contacted them to find out what would be the requirements and if there were any restrictions, plus I wanted to let them know I had some limitations and if that would be a problem. After a quick response, they said it wasn’t an issue but I responded back with before committing I needed to make sure I got the clearance with my doctor to take the course.
After, I got the clearance from my doctor there wasn’t anything stopping me to join so that day I paid the tuition and was registered! I still remember it like it was yesterday! Jan 17, 2020 and class was to start on Jan 24, 2020! It was one week away! I felt so excited and overwhelmed because I felt maybe it was a rash decision to do this but I paid the tuition already and I went that first weekend in Edmonton. The first night meeting all the ladies and Sara the instructor whom I had been in contact with felt so right being there that I knew I was meant to be there. Training was for 8 weekends through out 4 months, the training was all weekend and very intense. Lots of yoga in the short amount of hours in the weekend that we had to learn. I remember about the 3rd weekend in I hit a wall, I didn’t know if I could continue or if this was for me. One of the instructors, Kristen told us we would at one point hit a wall but assured us we would push through and she was right! Kristen was so supportive when I told her I was hitting that wall, and I did push through!
Then Covid 19 happened……and the world shut down. I was so worried, wasn’t sure what was going to happen because we as the world wasn’t allowed to be in public places with more than 15 people and we had to social distance! Well how do you do that with yoga? You are constantly in close contact with people. However, thank goodness for the internet and Sara, she told us that we would continue our training online and Yoga Alliance was allowing this method and we would be still recognized as yoga teachers. So we did our training online and at first it wasn’t easy because we had to figure out how to teach online, but as time went on we got it! We did our training as scheduled as if we were all in person. I looked forward to seeing everyone even thou it wasn’t “in person” but it was still great to see them virtually. Especially when we had been house bound.
Now fast forward to this past weekend, this was our practicum weekend and we had to teach our own 1 hour sequenced class to our peers. I chose to teach prenatal class for my practicum because I eventually want to further my education to prenatal yoga teacher. Now I am not going to lie, teaching prenatal was harder than I thought, so many safety cues to point out and to figure out what poses were safe for pregnant women. I had put a sequence together and with the help of my teacher making sure I wasn’t putting any poses that could potentially put pregnant women at risk and practiced it. Boy did I practice, I think out of the 4 weeks of practice I only missed 4 days due to a “quick bathroom” renovation haha. So this weekend we all taught our sequences to each other and it was AMAZING!! But also intense because it was a lot of yoga in a day! I had my “class” at 3:30 on Saturday last one of the day, I was excited and nervous at the same time. I had my sequence printed on paper in front of me so I could follow it along like I had practiced all month but I was so nervous that I didn’t even follow it! I was rambling but probably wasn’t but you think you are when teaching because you are in your head too much haha but I pushed through and finished. I couldn’t believe it, DONE!! I received my pass and I couldn’t be more grateful. I PASSED!!! I completed my 200hr YTT!! I am a certified yoga teacher!
I still can’t believe it! I did what I wanted to do for almost 20 yrs and now it’s here. I have been so emotional that I have been crying off and on because I DID IT! I DID IT! I am sure it won’t really sink in until I start getting out and teaching, once the world comes together again one day. Also I want to say is I have been a firm believer in everything happens in your path for a reason and it’s all about timing. I now know why it took me almost 20 yrs to become a yoga teacher and I couldn’t be more grateful for this opportunity now. I know I wasn’t in the right mind set to be a yoga teacher in the last 20 yrs and with my new business flourishing I know that this is apart of it.
I had seen a medium about 2 yrs ago and in my reading she was telling me things about my dad at the time and out of the blue she mentioned a name……..Sara, she says, she asked me if I knew a Sara and I said no I didn’t. She said to remember that name because this person, this Sara was going help me bring out my creativity side. I didn’t think much of it until the first weekend I met all the ladies at my yoga teacher training, it occurred to me the second night when I woke up I remembered my reading. I went back (I had taped it lol) to listen to it and there it was! Sara!
Right then I knew this was my timing and she was the one who was going to help me on my journey. I am so very grateful for this woman, Sara is one of the most remarkable woman (insert tears lol) I have ever met with her quotes of wisdom and stories, she has made me want to be a better person. I have learned so much not just with her but also with the history of yoga and what it represents and how to apply it to my life. I have forever changed from this learning and I hope to continue to share this with as much passion as she does who has done this training and teaching. I am forever grateful for the knowledge of the 2 other instructors who taught us anatomy, trauma and all their experiences, Lisa and Kristen you have brought so much to this journey that it added so much more than just yoga for that I thank you both as well.
Last but not least, I am so ever grateful, honoured and proud for the ladies I shared this experience with it has been such a pleasure to get to know these ladies, and can’t wait to see all of our journeys ahead. So thank you Hailey, Roshni, Pam, Jessica, Alana, Dee, Valentina, Joanna, Kate, Kristel, Alicia and Chantelle. You ladies are always going to be my family, love you all. We all rock! We are going to be the best teachers!