1 Year Reflection

Just over a year ago, I completed my 200-hour yoga teacher training and became a certified yoga teacher. April 24th, 2016. The time has flown by! I jumped right into teaching and have been at it ever since. Over the last year, I have learned a lot and want to share my reflections with you.

1. CONTINUE TO SEEK KNOWLEDGE.

THE MORE YOU LEARN, THE MORE YOU REALIZE YOU STILL HAVE TO LEARN.

When my teacher training started I had this crazy idea that once I did my 200-hour training I would be a yoga expert. Well, I learned very quickly that I still had a lot to learn. The best way I can think of to explain this is with the analogy of a house. You are in a house and each time you open a door it leads you to another room that has two more doors inside. You become curious about what’s on the other side of the door so you open it up. You learn what is behind the door you but it’s just a room with two more doors inside. This continues infinitely. It’s just a fact you need to eventually accept. You will never know EVERYTHING. But, you can always learn more and grow more as a teacher and a yogi.

Seek knowledge. No matter where you are in life or how old you are or how many yoga classes you’ve taken, continue to seek knowledge. In this endeavor, you have nothing to lose and SO much to gain! There’s plenty of space in our brains for new, exciting information. Every new skill you learn adds depth and breadth to your experiences and will help you become a smarter, stronger and more influential version of yourself.

2. FIND YOUR NICHE.

YOU CAN DO ANYTHING – BUT PICK WHAT EXCITES YOU THE MOST.

I recently had an interview to teach yoga at a studio I really admire. I told the interviewer there were some specific styles of yoga that interest me the most but I was willing to teach anything to get my foot in the door. She quickly encouraged me to do the opposite. She said she would rather wait to hire teachers until she can give them the style of class they are passionate about teaching. Any yoga teacher, she acknowledged, can create a Vinyasa class or a Restorative class or a Hatha class, BUT, will they teach from the heart? Will their passion for the modality shine through as they teach?

Whether it is teaching yoga or some other trade – do what you are passionate about. Stick to what excites you and don’t settle for less. When it comes to yoga, find your niche. Maybe it’s Vinyasa, Ashtanga, Bikram or Prenatal Yoga. There are so many options and paths to explore. I’m still in a bit of the discovery phase. Right now, I know what I like but I also don’t have experience with everything so how can I know if I like or dislike other styles. There’s only one way to find out – TRY DIFFERENT CLASSES AND STUDIOS!  Try different styles of yoga and also take the same style classes from different teachers. Maybe it will be awkward to try something you’ve never heard of – BUT – maybe it will be AMAZING!

3. PUSH THROUGH.

WHEN THE GOING GETS TOUGH, KEEP GOING!

As a new yoga teacher, there are some situations I’ve dealt with that I could have let get me down but I continued to push through.

There will be days when no one shows up to your class.

There will be weeks on end when no one responds to your job applications.

There will be times when people question your authority because you are new.

There will be jobs you take for pennies on the dollar just to get experience. (Which can be worth it, by the way! Especially in the first few months free or donation based classes are a great way to get practice teaching!)

But at the end of the day, it is all worth it! Every time an experience happens you have the option to see it as a failure OR you can learn and grow from it.

*PS: Even if you get the first job you apply to, your class is always full, the studio pays you $100/hr and your students worship you like a God – eventually something will go awry. Be ready to come at each moment with clarity and an open mind. If your eyes are open wide you will see something that will help you learn and grow.

…AND THAT TAKES US FULL CIRCLE BACK TO SEEKING KNOWLEDGE.
At the end of the day, you have control over how you choose to learn and grow.

Keep learning, keep pushing through the hard times, keep your head up and eventually, you will find your niche – and the rest will be history!

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Yogi Tones

My friend and fellow yoga teacher, Tony Baker, started a podcast series, Yogi Tones, where yoga teachers talk about teaching yoga. The ups, downs, ins and outs of the business. Everything from awkward teaching moments to times that they felt the most rewarded. Check out my episode here! And then check out the rest of his site for more amazing, informative and inspiring interviews with other yoga teachers!

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Holiday Stress Relief

LET GO OF HOLIDAY STRESS.

 

After a stressful Thanksgiving where I sunk into a week-long depression as I grew homesick for friends and family back in Seattle I had to snap myself out of it.

Why did I let it get to me like that?!

There is nothing wrong with missing the people you love. But, there’s got to be a better way.

Do the Holidays need to be stressful?

Here is what has worked for me over the last few weeks.

 

LET GO OF EXPECTATIONS. 

 

I have found this to be true in many areas of my life, especially holidays.

Let go of what others expect you to do. Let go of what others think you should do/say/wear/etc…

You don’t want to buy presents for acquaintances you barely know? Don’t!

You don’t want to buy a new dress for a dinner party? Where whatever the hell you want.

You don’t want to bake cookies for hours? Skip it this year!

You don’t have the time to put up all the lights and décor? Let it go.

You get the picture…

 

LET PRESENCE BE ENOUGH.

 

Maybe money is tight. That’s OKAY!

The Beatles got it right when they said “Money can’t buy you love”. As far as I’m concerned, love truly is the best gift you can give.

I know that my favorite thing to do with my friends and family is to spend time with them. Even if they never bought me a gift or gave me some type of monetary reward, I would still want to spend time with them.

Shouldn’t that be obvious?

Buy a few gifts if you are able to/want to. But then write letters. Call people on the phone if you aren’t able to be with them in person.

Let the people you love know that you love them.

You’ll see the smiles on their faces and hear the warmth in their voices. You’ll soon see that those feelings are more satisfying than any gift.

 

HAVE GRATITUDE.

 

For me, I have focused my energy on all of the great things I have here in San Diego. Even though I couldn’t be with my family on Thanksgiving I was able to spend that time with some wonderful people here in SD.

For you, it will be a little different. But the basic goal is to focus on what you are grateful for rather than what you wish you had or where you wish you could be.

What you have is enough. Who you are is enough. Where you are is where you need to be.

Be grateful and send thanks this holiday season.

I hope this is able to help you in some way!

Kindness Starts Here

Kindness Starts Here.

I recently moved into a new apartment and quickly discovered that I now share a wall with a very challenging neighbor. She lives below me. For the first month, she came upstairs every couple days to knock on our door and complain about the noise.

Let’s make it clear that we never had a single friend over and didn’t play music loud during this entire time. We were just walking around doing normal activities like cooking, using the bathroom and cleaning the house. There wasn’t much we could do to please her because the noise that was upsetting her was just the sound of us living our lives.

Now the story goes on and there were many encounters with this woman and her husband that made it difficult to enjoy our new apartment. But regardless, I challenged myself to face them with kindness. I baked cookies for her, left her a note, and always heard her out when she came up to complain. It was a bit exhausting but my efforts soon began to pay off.

One night she called to thank me for my card and suggested that we go out for a drink to get to know each other better. Then, a few days later, she gave me a hug and thanked me for my efforts to make nice.

The cycle was complete! Although it took over a month, the kindness I had put out was slowly but surely coming back to me.

Everyone has heard of the saying “kill them with kindness”. I’m not sure if “kill” is the best word here, but the saying rings true. There are hundreds of ways to say it…

“What comes around goes around”

“Be the change you wish to see in the world”

“Lead by example”

It’s all TRUE!

Kindness starts here.

It starts with you and it starts with me. All of us hold so much power – we just need to be patient as we await the results. Love will not happen overnight. World peace will not be achieved with one gesture of kindness. Each and every little smile and helping hand will slowly shape the world. It starts with each individual and then spirals outward. Have you heard of the 6 degrees of separation? [if you haven’t click here!] With that in mind, it won’t take long for your kindness to spread.

It can be difficult to stay above the hate and drama and anger but the hard work will pay off when kindness comes back around to you and the people you love. It is a daily challenge and some days are harder than others but I cordially invite you to put kindness ahead of everything else this week and look for the ways kindness comes back to you.

Weekly Inspiration

Today, a quote showed up on my friend’s Facebook feed and it was exactly what I needed to hear.

The quote was from the founder of Think. Grow. Prosper., Ruben Chavez, and goes like this…

“I know you have big dreams for yourself but don’t forget to appreciate how far you’ve come already. Remember the days you prayed for the things you have now.”

-Reuben Chavez

Today, I put myself in a situation where I was challenged. In that moment, I was bombarded by a little voice in the back of my head that told me I wasn’t good enough, that I’d never be as great as my role models. That I’d never get the things I wish I had in this particular situation. It took quite a bit of effort to tell that voice to shut the f#@! up.

Now, there is nothing wrong with wanting more. On many levels wanting more can be a good thing. Wanting more keeps us motivated. Wanting more can fuel us for growth. But wanting more can also hold us back. It can hold us back from happiness and contentment. It can make us feel unworthy or not enough.

Yoga teaches us to be thankful. Thankful for our bodies and our minds. Thankful for our community. Thankful for the support of the things and people around us, and thankful for opportunities we are given.

Today, I challenge you to be proud of yourself. Write a list of the things you have accomplished and then take a few minutes to look at the list. Read it again. Be proud of where you are today. Sure, we all have places we want to grow but don’t let all your hard work and progress go unnoticed. Your effort deserves recognition, self-recognition. Don’t wait for someone else to tell you you did a good job, tell yourself, be proud, shout it from the rooftops. Give yourself that today.

You are enough. You are successful. You are exactly where you need to be.

Peace & love, friends.

The Yoga Sutras

yoga-sutras

Over the last few months I’ve been reading through The Yoga Sutras. They were written about 2,000 years ago and became the backbone of present day yogic philosophy. The yoga sutras are a compilation of the teachings of Patanjali (a yogic sage). I find them to be inspiring and informative.

The second of the sutras is one of my favorites:

“Yogas Citta Vrtti Nirodhah – The restraint of the modifications of the mind-stuff is Yoga.” – The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali as translated by Sri Swami Satchidananda

In more plain language: “yoga is the cessation of the fluctuations of the mind”.

I posted this photo a while ago to my Instagram account. It is funny but it is true! One of the goals of yoga is to calm the mind. Let go of the past & not worry about the future. Let it be. Come back to reality later but while practicing the yoga poses, just let it all go!

99probs.jpg

It is important to keep this in mind while practicing yoga. Even if you give yourself even just a few minutes a day to “cease the fluctuations of your mind” you should start to notice a shift in perspective. Ideally, you will be able to more efficiently sort through your thoughts and find new, creative ways, to solve problems rather than getting overwhelmed or absorbed in them.

“If you control your mind, you have controlled everything. Then there is nothing in the world to bind you” – The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali as translated by Sri Swami Satchidananda

First Post

Hello Internet World!

I’ve created this website to reach more people and make myself easy to get in contact with if students have any questions or comments for me. I’ll be using the blog to post & share ideas, updates, recipes, favorite poses, and tips & tricks to help you live a healthier happier life.

I can’t wait to connect with you!

Namaste.