200hr Yoga Teacher Training prepares you to teach, right upon graduation. It’s one thing for us to say that, but check the results - over our past 6 trainings 90% of graduates have been hired to teach yoga within 6 months!
Here is an update from some of our 2014-15 YTT graduates:
I originally signed up for YTT because I loved yoga, my body loved yoga, and I needed more discipline in doing yoga. I had no idea all the benefits I would receive. What changed most for me is listening more clearly, and communicating more clearly. I am an architectural designer, and after a few months, my understanding of client's needs was greater just by how I was listening- I took less notes, and actually listened and retained more! My communication with my partner has been more thoughtful, clear, concise, and smooth since I've learned to disengage emotion, and be non-reactive in communication. I also learned how to trust myself and my intuition. YTT is also a lot of therapy in a few months. I healed a deeper issue recognizing the negative stories I've told myself for years; 'I'm not good enough', and how this dialogue running in the background has negatively impacted my life, and my ability to help others. I have abolished that, and recognize I am good enough, right now!
I ran a pilot program teaching yoga to the Bend High School girl's tennis team. This year, three of their doubles teams qualified for state! I love working with younger people and introducing them to yoga. And most importantly at that age, teaching them what I learned so much later: You are perfect right now! I would like to work with more high school tennis teams next year, and bring yoga to more young people playing such a asymmetrical and potentially damaging sport.
Wow, its hard to believe it’s been four months already, but what I really can’t believe is how far YTT has taken me since graduation. This time last year I was about to complete my first 40 days program and was going through a huge transition in my life. I was just starting to develop an interest in AcroYoga from photos I had seen on Facebook, but hadn’t started an AcroYoga practice yet. The dream of being a yoga teacher someday still seemed far off in the future if it would ever happen at all. Today I am living almost a completely different life. Now I’m a certified yoga instructor with a regular yoga practice subbing classes at Namaspa as often as I can, which is between zero and five times per week. What is most shocking though is how much the world of acro yoga has opened up to me. I’ve been practicing AcroYoga now for about nine months and I am shocked at how strong my practice is. I learned a great deal very quickly, and studied under some of the worlds best instructors. I was offered a position hosting a new class at Namspa, the AcroYoga Community Jams on Saturday from 6-7PM, and am delighted at how successful the jams have been. Myself and several yogis who discovered AcroYoga though the Namaspa jams attended Jason and Chelsey’s Solar Immersion here in Bend this Spring and learned super human partner acrobatic feats. This prepared me to start assisting or co-teaching formal classes/workshops and am lining up my summer schedule teaching at festivals and have a new Monday 5:30-6:45PM AcroYoga class at Namaspa. I am still hoping to have a regular class on the schedule in the downstairs studio at Namaspa, but I trust that will happen before I know it.
My life has changed drastically since this time last year. I went from single and living in a crammed apartment to living with my girlfriend and other yoga instructors at a gorgeous west side home walking distance to Namaspa. I am now more interested in homesteading that I am in adventuring, and spend my free time planting veggie gardens, building a chicken coop, remodeling, and generally turning our home into a sanctuary. I’m really looking forward to installing a slackline, highline (over the house), ariel silks, rings, and a trapeze at the home and turning it into a full on carny-yogi training center. I still direct the indoor freestyle snowboard program at Oregon Olympic Athletics, and am shocked at how much my teaching has improved as a result of YTT. I also work for an arborist as a groundsman and just started serving at Chow, which fits into my schedule perfectly. I look forward to my second summer working with Blue Compass Camps, an experienential education summer school for children with autism, and look forward to guiding week long backpacking and sea kayaking trips in Washington’s backcountry this July.
I completed my training, am approved to teach at Namaspa, but am just continuing with teaching Community Classes for personal financial reasons. I have taught at a retirement home and plan to continue doing more of that.
My health is solid - a recent heart scan revealed that my heart is 'seven years younger' than my chronological age of 63 which strangely coincides with the seven years I have been doing yoga seriously. I enthusiastically continue to attend classes at Namaspa and continue to progress in my conquest of advanced poses and overall mental/physical agility. My teaching skills at COCC have improved dramatically as a result of the YTT - I just have so much connection with my students.
Right after graduation I spent two months surfing in the Philippines and Indonesia. I did yoga work-trade at a hostel in the Philippines, teaching a daily sunset class on the beach in exchange for room and board. It was a challenging and amazing experience seeing that most of the students had very little experience with yoga and English was not their first language; a lot of laughs, demonstrations and assisting! I spent two weeks in Ubud, Bali, yoga capital of the island, and had the pleasure to take classes from some amazing teachers. I noticed I got more out of those classes having gone through YTT; I was more aware of what my body needed and where my limitations were.
I've enjoyed uncovering ways that the YTT experience has influenced my life beyond yoga. Mostly in how I interact with others, listen, and how important language and communication are, especially when traveling and converting a school bus with my partner.
The YTT program has been essential in building the foundation for my personal practice, which was literally non-existent before. I am also more comfortable approaching different types of yoga, and with an inquisitive mind. Overall I feel more comfortable in not just my yoga practice, but all facets of my life...perhaps because YTT also fostered an awareness that yoga isn't just for a sweaty 75 minute session.
Since graduating YTT in February, my life has been a nonstop whirlwind of drastic change for the better. I am no longer afraid to step into my power and show the world who I truly am by embracing and loving all of myself as opposed to being ashamed of my flaws and trying to hide them behind a mask. I am no longer afraid to take what I need and take care of myself instead of constantly exhausting my energy on other people. YTT challenged my perception of myself and who I want to be in this world, but it also made me realize that I’m a bad ass, fierce, and powerful lioness capable of achieving anything and everything I want in my life. I’ve been spending a lot of time sitting with myself trying to determine what direction I want to go next. I just finished my second to last term in the COCC massage program and will license in January 2016. After that…I’ll be closing my eyes, spinning the globe, and trusting the winds of wanderlust to pick me up and carry me off to my next big adventure. I envision bringing the combined healing power of yoga and massage to all corners of the globe while I immerse myself in different cultures and different modalities of healing. 'Not all those who wander are lost...'
Look for me this summer teaching kid’s yoga, subbing classes, occasionally guest teaching our new acroyoga classes, and teaching around town!
I am teaching a Vinyasa Flow at the Redmond Athletic Club (RAC) twice a week and twice a month at The Fit Zone in LaPine. I've found such joy in bringing yoga to a community where many would never go to a studio because they didn't know how to 'do yoga right'. All ages come to my classes and do what they can, where they are in their life journey and with what they have currently to offer up on the mat. This is my roots as I was one of those who gradually gained confidence to go outside of the gym, into the yoga studio world to deepen my practice. I hope to give back what was given to me, the peace and joy gained from yoga.
YTT opened my mind and world to possibilities...always opening to and seeing what life has to offer. Not being afraid to put my Sankalpa (the yoga tradition that offers a profound formula for realizing your heartfelt desires-without asking you to change who you are) out to the world and reap what comes back. I plan to pursue my 500 hour YTT in the next 12 months and I'm almost ready to launch my website, YogaZenShop, where local artists and small start-ups can sell their products. The website will also have a social media aspect that will inspire others to step outside of their comfort zone and dream big. To empower and change lives through yoga and YogaZenShop.com is my heart's desire!
In the months since completing YTT at Namaspa, I’ve been exploring the local yoga scene in Portland (my home this year). Anticipating an upcoming cross-country move, I’ve chosen a less traditional route than studio teaching. I have led weekly classes for the employees of Deschutes Brewery and have loved the opportunity to offer free classes to my students. We alternated practicing in the pub (tuning out the noises of a brewery pre-opening hours is a challenge in meditation itself!) and outside in a local waterfront park. I developed a Baptiste-inspired sequence targeted to the bodies of those in the service industry. It was a joy to watch my students transform in their bodies and their energy.
This summer, I also taught weekly classes in the Active Living Room at Lorna Jane, a women’s athletic store in Bridgeport Village (Lake Oswego, OR). Again, I was glad to find a way to offer free classes to students as an alternative to the sometimes prohibitive cost of yoga.
I will be moving to Princeton, New Jersey this fall to pursue my PhD in Medical Anthropology and hope to find my home in the Princeton and NYC yoga communities. In fact, there is a Baptiste studio right across the street from the Anthropology building, which is too much serendipity to let pass unnoticed! Teaching yoga — perhaps even more so than practicing myself — is when I find myself most utterly present.
YTT unleashed an ever-growing thirst to deepen my teaching practice. On the horizon, I look forward to pursuing my 500H (as well as anatomy-specific training). I also hope to train in Yoga Therapy, as I believe embodied movement is an essential way to process trauma and anxiety. I am ever grateful to the Namaspa teachers and my incredible cohort of YTT’ers for inspiring me along this journey!