I have been doing yoga since I was about thirteen years old. At the time, my sole focus in life was ballet; the second was to be as fit as possible. I took it to an obsessive level. I did Pilates all over the house, when I woke up, before I lay down to sleep at night. The “500” was my go-to when watching a movie. I was constantly moving, always looking to burn five more calories. I was not naturally thin, and I had to compete with my 80 lb friends at the studio for parts.
At some point, my mom brought home a tape (yes, VHS), enclosed in a cover that pictured a pretty blond wearing a turquoise sports bra and matching leggings, eyes closed, in and handstand backbend. She was placed in some kind of tropical location. “Yoga: Vinyasa Flow” showed bright blue above the picture of the girl. I saw the picture, and I wanted to be her. I wanted that beach, her hair, her peaceful aura.
I pushed the tape into the VHS player, and the next 30 minutes were…difficult. As a dancer/Pilates nut I wasn’t used to holding a position for longer than ten seconds. My arms burned. My legs burned. My patience suffered. Rainbeau Mars had the softest voice; she told me to let go, to relax, to breathe, to think about what was happening inside my body as I lengthened and stretched and poured sweat.
After the 30 minutes were over, I laid in corpse pose for the first time and a warm tingling sensation flowed over my whole body. My muscles were limp, my neck softly sunk into the ground, my feet naturally flopped in some variation of first position. Rainbeau told me to thank God. I said a short prayer, thanking the Trinity for giving me my body and my breath.
And my life was changed.
I would describe a good yoga experience as a good massage, combined with an intense workout, coupled with mindful peace and forced rest. The combination is, to say, 100% blissful. You leave the mat feeling energized, relaxed, alert, and at peace. Because I am a Christian, I also leave the mat with a sense of spiritual renewal as I have learned how to focus on God and pray through my practice. For me, there is nearly nothing like it.
Needless to say, because I love doing yoga so much I naturally gravitate toward teaching it. I have looked into countless teacher training programs (and there are countless programs in Southern California), but never felt like I foudn “the program” for me, until I stumbled upon Purple Yoga in Fullerton about 4 years ago. It had previously been a Bikram Yoga studio, which I liked, but when I took my first Purple Yoga class it was like a light bulb went off in my head. Hot-Power-Vinyasa yoga, in a beautiful studio and the best instructor I had ever come in contact with?
I later found out that they had a teacher training program, and I immediately wanted to do it. At the time, I couldn’t because of college and then getting engaged and then getting married and being poor (lol).
Now, however, I feel pretty ready to take the plunge and become a certified instructor. Because the full program is two months of jam-packed sessions and studying, I decided to take a “mini” teacher training intensive this weekend to see if it’s “for me”.
I begin On Friday. The intensive will be led by Travis Eliot, creator of The Ultimate Yoga series. He’s becoming a bit famous in the yoga world so I am beyond excited to be studying with a renowned teacher. The weekend includes seminars on vinyasa, nutrition, wellness, yoga sequencing, relaxation, and MORE. I seriously can’t wait. 30 hours of YOGA!? Yay.