You know when you want to tell a friend about yoga — what it’s done for your life and why you love it so much — and it’s really hard to find the right words that don’t sound trite or Hallmark-ish? (We have that challenge too.) It’s even harder to describe what Yoga Teacher Training is like and why someone might consider doing one — especially if they don’t want to teach. We could say that it’s powerful and enlightening and it will enrich your life beyond what you can imagine. But what does that really mean? If anyone can speak to the experience, it’s going to be a past graduate. See below for a sampling of recent quotes from IAY YTTers from over the years. Or come to the It’s All Yoga Education Program open house this weekend. I’ll be there with some past grads to share a bit about the programs and answer any questions.
Information Open House 200 and 300 hour Yoga Education this Sunday at 11 am Whether you want to teach or deepen your practice, if you are at all curious, come and listen in
It’s All Yoga YTT Graduate Interviews
Why did you choose teacher training at It’s All Yoga? Tamara (2009): I was interested in a holistic concept. A program which would incorporate anatomy, philosophy, play, chanting, chakras, adjustments, alignment theory, and teaching to diverse populations. It’s All Yoga has all of that. Bella (2013): Michelle’s vision is/was the closest match in Sacramento to my own personal practice style with its focus on alignment and anatomy, abiding curiosity and slow exploration. All this AND an appreciation for the big picture of yoga…the world beyond asana. What did you expect to get out of the program? Gina (2012): Honestly, I wanted to be a better, stronger, wiser practitioner. I wanted to be better at my inversions and the “advanced” poses. Tami (2009): I expected to get a better understanding of the history and philosophy of yoga. I expected to get a better understanding of how the poses work. I expected to get an idea of how it all works together. Bob (2009): I recognized the spiritual value of yoga, and wanted to delve into its depths. I wanted to fill a void that was in my life. What did you actually get? Jeanne (2013): My expectations were met, and then some. I gained a community of loving, intelligent, curious, spiritual, funny and inspirational people. I learned how to teach a yoga class that is suitable and fun for all bodies. I learned what it feels like to speak authentically and from the heart. I honed my skill of listening and being present in relationship. I learned to love myself more – all of my characters, my dark and my light. I gained clarity on deep-seated fears, which have enabled great achievements, while limiting the expression of my Truth. Cara (2013): A deep understanding that most of the practice of Yoga is what happens off the mat but that it’s important to get on the mat, too. I learned that what happens internally while we’re on our mats is the actual practice of yoga–the energetic flow, the way we talk to ourselves, how we learn from our own bodies, how there are as many ways to make a shape with our bodies as there are bodies. I learned how to facilitate a class that could be accessible to anyone–props and instructions that are inclusive and molds the practice to the students rather than the students expected to contort into shapes that might not work for their bodies. That the real work is internal–asana, emotions, thoughts, sensations, beliefs. I learned more than I thought I’d learn about anatomy. I also made friends and learned immeasurably from my cohort. I had no idea about the potential for the community of learning that happens when we were all together. Oh, and we laughed a lot together. 🙂 Leili (2010): Deep change. It planted the seed for me to better connect with others, and myself. How did teacher training at IAY change your yoga? Your life? Gina: It made it a part of my everyday life. It made Yoga a part of my thoughts, decisions, actions. It shined a light on what makes sense to me in life and took away (well, still work in progress) the things that distract me from me. If you are speaking of asana, I think I did accomplish what I originally wanted…”better, stronger, wiser”. I think it is it hard not to be when you practice daily. In life? I think Yoga and life are one of the same to me now. I practice everyday on and off the mat. Constant learning in motion. Jeanne: While I had benefitted greatly from a yoga asana practice, I did not realize how many different ways I could “do yoga”: meditation, walking, singing, swimming, loving, being in community. IAY TT opened my awareness around how accessible yoga can be for me and others in my life. Before IAY TT I had difficulty maintaining a regular seated meditation and now it is a daily affair. Through meditation I have been able to gain more clarity around my thought patterns, thereby reducing my anxious tendencies. I have a greater awareness of my emotional states and am able to embrace the waves with more grace and acceptance. Candace (2010): IAY TT completely shifted my perspective on what a “yoga practice” is. It’s not just about showing up to class and moving my body through postures stated by a teacher, it’s about being present in the moment, in this body, in this breath, in this life really; in short it taught me presence. TT has helped me to be a better mother, sister, friend, etc…I am more patient, more compassionate, a better listener and this happens both on and off the mat. These qualities were not things that I had experienced under other teachers. Bob: More than just the YTT, Michelle has changed my life. We each have a handful of people in our lives that have been a significant influence — parents, a favorite teacher, a coach, a boss, and close friends. Without a doubt, Michelle has been one of the top five major influences in my life. Even now, I am inspired. I will eternally be grateful. Were there any unexpected effects of you IAY TT experience? Jeanne: I thought I had a strong grasp of anatomy and alignment of postures, but I realized that there is so much juicy information to glean. It was like quenching the thirst of my fascination of the human body. My love of poetry was rekindled and I realized how it can be a meditation. Candace: I realized I was a much more spiritual person and had been missing that aspect in my life until I experienced TT. What did IAY TT help open the door for? Tamara: This training has allowed me to diversify my teaching into a prosperous career that includes teaching at a school, a mental health facility, private sessions, and studios. Without the scope of information offered by the It’s All Yoga training staff, I may have been limited to just teaching in studios or health clubs. Jeanne: IAY TT blasted my life wide open – I had been asking for certain changes in my life but I did not know where to begin. I was crippled by fear of the unknown and fear of others’ and my own judgements. I was living a very “comfortable” lifestyle, and the thought of making a drastic change created a lot of internal friction. While the ultimate “BIG” change happened 2 years later, it was process of awakening to my Truth that started in TT, and now I have devoted my life totally to Yoga and its transformative healing capacity. What still stands out for you about your TT? Leili: There are so many themes and lessons from IAY TT that are ever present in my life: noticing patterns of duality; looking for ease; identifying my emotions; using dialogue techniques with others. Jeanne: Meditate daily. Community support. I am my own best teacher. Do you recommend It’s All Yoga’s Teacher Training? Jeanne: YES YES YES. The experience changed my life. Michelle’s experience and style of leadership and teaching is permissive, nurturing and enlightening. The structure of the training allowed me to weave it into my life, which was so important because I did not want the experience to be separate. Cara: The time, money, and effort were 100% worth it! I would recommend this program to anyone. Maybe especially to people who have taken other teacher trainings before. After talking with a variety of yoga teachers about their own training, I think it’s rare to receive this kind of wholehearted and well-rounded training. This program is about YOU, and you are what you have to offer to your students. You are why people will come to class rather than watching a yoga video at home. An investment like this in you will benefit yourself and also anyone who learns from you. Gina: I recommend 110%. Words can’t describe the presence, warmth and education Michelle has. Her passion for Yoga is contagious and you want to learn more and more. She is a diamond in the rough. Even if being a teacher isn’t your goal, TT is so much more than that. “Self discovery therapy session”, the kind you want to put your money towards. Was your time, money, effort “worth it”? Worth it?! It damn near created my life as I stand today! Worth every penny and minute. Um…I did start IAY 300 TT just 6 months after I completed IAY 200 TT. Excited to say the least. Thanks Michelle! Bella: Absolutely.