This week’s blog entry was written by guest author Katie Burns. Katie is a student in Whole Life Yoga’s teacher training program. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Five years ago during my first yoga series , I noticed that my body felt better, and I felt more grounded and focused after I left class. From that first experience with yoga, I knew that I wanted to pursue a long-term relationship with yoga, but being afraid of commitment, I needed to embark on my own journey before coming to the point where I was ready to plunge into a yoga teacher training.
I started seriously thinking about taking a teacher training a little over a year ago. To begin, I researched various teacher training programs from multiple lineages and offered in a plethora of locations. I could move to India for a month to study in Dharamsala or perhaps I would trade in our rainy Northwest winters to spend a handful of weeks in Costa Rica or Mexico at a teacher training retreat center. Then again, I could move back up to Vancouver, BC for a one-month intensive training and study through the school where I used to regularly attend classes. The more I reflected on my options, the more I realized that although those choices were quite appealing, they would not help me to meet one of my personal goals: integrating yoga into my daily life.
Around this time, I came across Whole Life Yoga’s ten-month teacher training. The more that I looked into Viniyoga, the more it seemed like the best fit for me. On a personal level, I liked that the training was spread out over the better part of year so that I would have time to fully absorb and integrate the material, philosophy, and practice. I appreciated that the class meets at least once a week which provides the opportunity to create community with the other participants as well as a designates a weekly time and space for learning about and practicing the different components of yoga. Furthermore, the training schedule allows me to continue working full time while I complete the program. However, most importantly, Viniyoga takes a student-centered focus that meets the differing needs of each individual’s body and situation. Instead of taking a one-size-fits-all approach, Viniyoga is flexible and adaptable. It meets each student where he or she is currently. This tenant of Viniyoga is connected to my personal as well as professional motivation in participating in the Whole Life Yoga teacher training.
Professionally, I work as a mental health case manager with homeless and formerly homeless individuals. After completing the training, I would like to offer yoga to clients at my agency. Further down the road, I would like to integrate mental health counseling with yoga as the body holds so many emotional memories and traumas. I hope to either open a private practice or work at a wellness center and serve clients who are interested in working through these duo modalities. Finally, I would also like to teach yoga classes at a studio in addition to my work in mental health as I believe the physical, emotional, and spiritual benefits of yoga should be accessible to all who are interested. In line with this belief, I would like to offer a by donation class at least once a week so that money is not prohibitive to potential students. While these are my initial goals, I am open to future opportunities that may present themselves.
The journey has already begun for each of us. Your journey may include a teacher training or it may not. Regardless of where it takes you, I encourage you to trust your instinct and follow your passion. As Rumi said, “Let yourself be drawn by the strange pull of what you love. It will not lead you astray.”