I have always been fascinated by how the body works, and I’ve always had the need for introspection on many aspects of life. I love to dig around and find out how and why things work the way they do.
When I began to practice yoga a few years ago I was amazed at the rapid physical changes I noticed. For example, tennis elbow that I had been plagued with for a couple of years disappeared in a week. Other changes happened on a more subtle level as well. In class one evening I was thoroughly enjoying the flow through the shapes – until we landed in “that shape” and suddenly I was furious – absolutely raging. And then that passed as quickly as it had appeared and I finished class feeling relaxed and refreshed, and greatly puzzled! My teacher assured me this was very common and actually helpful in releasing pent up emotions. This really piqued my curiosity!
I noticed that teacher training was being offered in my studio, so I very tentatively approached the teacher. I hadn’t practiced yoga for very long and I wasn’t sure I knew enough to take the step into the teaching world. After a long conversation and spending time in her classes, the teacher assured me that if I chose, I would be welcome to join the teacher training program.
My teacher training program is probably the longest running session in history! For several reasons a program was offered that ran half a day once per week over a period of 20 months. This was a beautiful gift as it allowed me the time and space I needed to practice, to absorb the theory, and to integrate everything before I started to teach. Delving into yoga philosophy was completely new to me. The more I studied, the more things seemed to fit with my life. I could understand concepts from the yoga perspective that I had never before been able to really grasp from other perspectives.
When I first began my teacher training, I wasn’t sure I would actually teach. It has always been painfully challenging for me to speak in front of a group of people. As we worked in our training though, it began to come with a bit more ease. Then one day I was offered an opportunity to teach. I was thrilled and terrified. The only thing that kept my feet moving toward that first class was the promise I had made myself to be open to all new experiences.
The commitment to be open to new things has been a great boon. It has lead me to many things that have brought great enhancement to my life – all the way from how to use a neti pot for rinsing the nostrils to learning how to chant! Some things I’ve learned about haven’t been that easy to accept at first. When I first started teacher training it seemed that for the first time people actually listened to what I had to say. Then, as my practice progressed I realized that people had always listened to what I had to say – it’s just their response was different from what I wanted so I chose not to hear it. This was not a pleasant discovery at all! Findinghonesty in oneself is very challenging – the reward of this process is a growing sense of compassion for our self. As this sense of compassion develops we find that it extends to those around us. Then our courage also begins to grow and we find we’re able to show kindness and compassion to those around us. It’s like watching the bud of a flower. It takes a great deal of energy to make that bud, but then as it starts to emerge from its sheath there is no stopping the beauty that emerges.
Being a yoga teacher has offered me the space to share this kindness and compassion. I believe that the human condition is of kindness, compassion, creativity, and ultimately joy. Our everyday life is very demanding, and sometimes very daunting, so our core of kindness, compassion, being at ease, and our sense of joy becomes lost or buried beneath the worries and struggles of making the rent and putting food on the table, of facing serious illnesses, or of the complex balancing of relationships. The space of a yoga class is one where we can meet ourselves, take a breath, and refill our well.
As a teacher the ability to offer this safe space for people to come and land in their own personal space for a few precious minutes fills me with gratitude. I also believe that everyone has an innate need to be useful, to be of service, to others outside of our self. Finally finding a place where I can be of service is like coming home.
I have discovered that teaching yoga allows me the opportunity to share the joy of endeavouring to live with ease in our bodies and our lives – even when this is not easy! Teaching is always interesting, challenging, and full of opportunities to learn and grow. My heart’s desire for student’s of yoga – for everyone – is that we discover and strengthen our faith in our own inner teacher, to discover the inherent strength and resilience that lies within, and to ultimately understand our own True Nature.
I teach a variety of styles including Yin, Restorative, Beginner’s, and Vinyasa (Flow). I am a registered yoga teacher with the Yoga Alliance (RYT500 & ERYT200) and with the Canadian Yoga Alliance. I also teach kayaking for fun; and on occasion can be found firing random arrows down range in an effort to understand the mysteries of archery!