I’ve studied yoga through various studios, books, videos and online for many years. I’ve studied a variety of styles of yoga including yin, Iyengar, ashtanga and hatha. So it wasn’t a big surprise that a desire to attend yoga teacher training began growing inside of me.

About five years ago I looked into the possibility of taking yoga teacher training but it didn’t work out at the time for a variety of reason. Then about 2 1/2 years ago my life took a drastic change and set me on a path that forever improved my life. While the original catalyst was extremely difficult the outcomes of making some new, very amazing friends, continues to inspire me to press on towards my life goals. Through many discussions with a good friend (and incidentally great life coach) Sheldon, I figured out what I truly wanted for myself and started taking steps towards that goal. One of which was yoga teacher training.

Then everything seemed to fall into place. I saw a tweet about yoga teacher training at Feel Good Yoga. I looked into the schedule only to discover that it fell on weekends that my son was at his dad’s. I only need to find child care during the Friday evening classes. The studio happened to be smack in the middle of where my son’s grandma and aunt lived – both eager to have time with my son. So I took the chance and applied. I had nothing to lose, there was no application fee. Within a few hours, I had been accepted. Then me being me I started to question whether I was being impulsive or not. I re-read all the information on Feel Good Yoga’s website about their training. I knew the stars had really aligned and this was the path for me when I discovered what truly sets Feel Good Yoga’s teacher training apart from every other studio/school offering the same course in Victoria. Feel Good Yoga is the only one that offers the requirements for certification with the BC Recreation & Parks Association. The significance of this is that the job market is slightly more open once all my certifications are completed. This was only the first example of getting more than I bargained for.

In February I started yoga teacher training which has been extremely challenging not just physically but also mentally and a bit spiritually. The physical challenge I anticipated but the mental and spiritual challenge is more than I expected. There is so much to keep in mind while teaching someone how to come into a pose and what to pay attention while they hold a pose. I also learned a lot more philosophy and healing aspects of yoga than I ever knew existed. Part of our training includes breathing and meditation exercises. It’s truly amazing how trying to focus on breathing for a mere seven minutes can be challenging! It’s also amazing how breathing in different ways can have a significant impact on overall health and well-being. The meditation and breathing have mellowed me out significantly in the couple months I have been practicing these skills. I am now able to focus on the now rather than worrying about the future. I have also experienced a few other crazy side effects of breathing exercises that I will save for another blog post on another day.

There are many changes I have made in my life as a result of yoga teacher training that I never anticipated. My life has somewhat been turned upside down. I’ve learned things about myself that I never realized before such as why I may have struggled with certain poses and how to increase happiness in my life. Even my personal yoga routine has changed. I’ve moved from a more yin and therapeutic style of yoga to a more fitness oriented routine and my practice has moved from 20 minutes to closer to 60 minutes. However, one thing remains the same – I’m interested in how yoga heals.

Another unexpected gift from my yoga training is that it healed me as a struggling mother. One of the most valuable lessons I have learned so far is how to be present in the moment. As a single parent, I struggled to balance work, family and generally keeping my sanity. Yoga has kept me more grounded and focused. I can now focus on what my son is doing in the moment and relish the time we have together rather than being caught up with the woes of life. We have a lot more fun together now. Partly because the increased happiness has also increased my energy. I still have my days when life gets the better of me and fibromyalgia zaps my energy but even in those times, I’m able to remain focused on what my son is doing and saying to stay more connected with him as he learns and grows. We just tend to do less energetic activities such as painting, puzzles or reading rather than bike rides, playgrounds or photo adventures.

While I expected to learn how to teach yoga I did not realize how much yoga teacher training would enable me to simply be a better person. As my training is now over the halfway mark of this course I am excited about how I can teach others to live better lives.

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