My time invested in training to be an AYA RYT200 certified yoga instructor at the Vinyasa Yoga School in Rishikesh, India, the yoga capitol of the world, evolved into one of the most transformational journeys of my life. For the entire month of April, I immersed myself physically and mentally in ev-rah-thang “yoga”.
Meditating next to Mother Ganga! Rishikesh, India
From Vedic wisdom, to mantra, tantra, yantra, to meditation, to ayurvedic diet, to the subtle body, chakras, and nadis, to AAAAUUUUMMMMMMing; from shatkarmas (purification/cleansing techniques) to non purification of y-oreo-cookie binging in the middle of the night; from the history of “yoga” to yoga science, yoga therapy, yoga yoga, yoga fashion, yoga lifestyle, yoga religion, yoga diet, yoga poses, yoga breathing, yoga styles…it’s overwhelming and fascinating at the same time, and. the. list. goes. on….
Vinyasa Yoga School Studio & Classroom
Thus, my takeaways are twofold:
#1 I have just begun to grasp the surface of what “yoga” has evolved from over 10,000 years ago, the thousands of interpretations of what yoga is today, and what yoga will be for future generations…. we are ALWAYS LEARNING and EVER EVOLVING. This brings me to…
#2 BE OPEN TO WHAT YOGA IS TO YOU and have the patience and acceptance that even your discipline will change over time.
Learn & Be You
The depth of my practice immediately came into play less than 24 hours after graduating, coincidently surviving the earthquake in Nepal alongside Lauren Tyner (another VYS graduate and founder of Grounded8). We crouched in the doorway and breathed together, praying the house would not collapse on top of us. Yoga got us through those first terrifying seconds of the quake and gave us the inspiration to keep moving- Because if you are not moving you are slowly dying (<3 U Samed)! You can read our Earthquake stories here and donate to Rebuild Dil’s Village.
Nepal: Me, Manisha, and Lauren 1 week post 7.9 earthquake
Yoga is a lifestyle to me now. Just like Swami G shared with our class after an hour long meditation in his broken silence- “Set a time everyday to check in with your breath”- I am doing that!
Paired with a cup of black coffee, I am surya-namaskaring nearly every morning when I wake up because it feels good, and awakens almost every joint in my body, and gives me an energized mindset to share with life the remainder of the day.
I enjoy sharing my practice with friends and my puppies and always ask for feedback to improve how I lead others through asanas and meditation. The pups are great at sharing their feedback!
I am lucky enough to have an extremely supportive studio, Strive, in my hometown of Mequon, WI, where I am already subbing. And I am very thankful to have inspiring yoga instructors like Wade Gotwals, Susan Wichman, and Allison English who I continue to learn from.
Teaching at STRIVE
Here are a couple quick steps to take after you graduate:
1) Register with AYA
Harsh (founder of Vinyasa Yoga School) will give you steps to register with AYA. Do it! It costs $100 but you are officially certified and they have tons of resources to catapult your yogic future.
Reflect on your experiences in and out of the studio. What does Yoga mean to you? Why and how will you share this with others? Write it down. Create a website. Just start being, then sharing, and doing… (Scott Dinsmore provides excellent resources for pinpointing your passions and creating a life around that! Live Your Legend )
Create a YOGA RESUME… just google it and get it on paper. Here is an example of mine which you can work off of.
Connect with everyone you know who has taught you something about yoga and thank them. Talk to them about your journey. Ask them for advice. Ask them to help you. YogaTrail is a great resource for this as well as your AYA profile. But be personal. I am extremely grateful to be connected with incredibly inspiring souls through our VYS training class! Tekla, Ruth, Desiree, Meredith, Lauren W, Lauren T, Jenine, Natasha, Zane, Yanni, Kat, Susan, Emily, Brian, Cedric, Shannon, Cecelia, Lee, Karoliina, Pamela, Vikas, Kusshal, Sarita, Corey, Arvind, Maria and even Yoga Guru Omo!
Start subbing! It’s summer. Instructors have exciting lives they want to lead outside the studio. Give them a break and sub their class. Subbing gives you practice leading and exposure. Head to a studio you used to go to, or walk in to a new one and introduce yourself. Just put yourself out there!
6) Be YOU!
My first sub class, I was trying to emulate the instructor I was subbing for. This is an unrealistic expectation to uphold for me and everyone in the class noticing how hard I was trying to be the other instructor and failing miserably. Now I’m taking into consideration the pace/level/style of the class which the instructor usually leads, but putting my own spin on it. Cedric Abdeck, founder of Colife Wellness Coaching in Geneva, Switzerland and a fellow student at VYS, shared great wisdom that you should not change your style for anyone. Share the practice that is in you, and people will abide to your authenticity. This will result in an honest following.
Surya Namaskar Rise
Best of luck to your on your Yoga Journey!
Enjoy the photos below of mine 🙂
Please let me know if you ever have any questions.
Hallie LOULOU Jaeger
Lauren and I in Pokhara, Nepal.
Me and Samed in Dubai
Me & Pamela, our Yoga Therapy and Meditation Instructor. A kind, fun-loving soul!
Kusshal our Yoga Anatomy & Physiology teacher
Yoga Guru Omo 🙂 LAUGHTER YOGA
Vikas may have pushed me to places beyond where I thought my body could go, but we had fun too!
Arvind and I at the Beatles Ashram
Sarita, our Hatha Yoga Instructor, one of the most youthful, loving souls on earth. Henna time!
The gang eating at the best café in town- The Seeds of Life Cafe!
Get the band together!
Meeting new people in Rishikesh
Yog. Yog. Yog. VYS Studio
Feeling energized after leading our first class! LaurLouRen Studios
We did it! LaurLouRen Studios!
Enraptured in Surya’s Setting Presence: Zane and Sarita
Zane- an ancient, invigorating soul!
BIrd of Paradise in Paradise. Koh Phi Phi Thailand
Black Bird Fly: Beatles Ashram