It’s the Journey: Why I Decided to Teach Yoga

Welcome to my blog! I started this mainly to document my decision to begin yoga teacher training and to chronicle that experience and hopefully beyond.

She’s upside-down again…

My journey towards this decision and this place is long. In the third grade, I started cheering and remained a cheerleader through junior high school. During the last two years in junior high, I even cheered competitively on the varsity squad. Naturally, I also took dance and gymnastics lessons for most of those years. Often, I went straight from school, to cheering practice, to dance class. When I wasn’t at practice or in class, I would spend hours practicing at home every day. It was fun for me to spend hours watching myself do toe-jumps, trying to perfect every movement. My family got a big kick out of me watching TV in strange, upside-down positions.

Cheerleading photo from my ninth grade yearbook. My pre-yoga days.
I was usually a flyer. Go Rams!

When I moved up to high school, I decided to leave my cheering days behind and pursue speech and drama instead. I got a part in the school musical, and the schedule was incredibly demanding. It was hard for me to make it to dance and gymnastics classes, so I ultimately left those behind as well. However, I didn’t want to fall out of the habit of exercising, so I bought a Gaiam tape (yes, an actual VHS!) and started practicing yoga. I had a lot of flexibility from gymnastics and cheering, so it felt like a natural fit.

My practice was pretty sporadic, but I came back to yoga whenever I felt the need for some sort of exercise program. I always fell off within a few weeks or months.

Do you even lift?

Then one day I tried CrossFit. I was a CrossFitter for over a year, and I felt great for the first several months. After those first months, though, something changed. Workouts began to hurt more than they felt good. I had done something to one knee that was making it difficult to do step-ups and squats. My lower back hurt so badly that my husband couldn’t even hug me without causing me to scream in pain. Don’t get me wrong, old CrossFit family. I loved it for a long time, and I still miss that feeling of throwing around the weights. My time in CrossFit gave me a kind of focus and body awareness I hadn’t had before. Quitting was hard, but I couldn’t keep going.

It should be clear by now that I can’t sit still for long. In deciding what to do next, I fell back on the familiar: yoga. I found a yoga app for my phone and started practicing pretty regularly. Somehow, felt different than it had ever felt before. I bought the premium version of the app so that I could get customized yoga practices delivered to me every day.

Then, almost a year ago, my local studio opened up and popped up in my Facebook feed. They were offering a Yoga 101 workshop. Although I wasn’t strictly a newbie, it seemed like a good way to check the place out. Reader, I fell in love and I haven’t looked back.

“So, when are you going to get some teacher training?”

Back in January, another classmate mentioned that she was going to do the yoga teacher training at a studio in the next town. I had no idea I could find a teacher training that close to me. The idea was tantalizing, but thought perhaps it wasn’t the right time. I’d only been seriously practicing for about 18 months, and I felt like I didn’t know enough. Still, I kept checking the registration page and looking at the application deadline. One night in February, before class, my teacher suddenly looked at me and said, “So, when you are going to get some teacher training?” My answer was honest: at that point, I just wasn’t sure it would be possible. However, the question stayed at the forefront of my mind all through class.

When I got home, I looked one last time at the registration page. I wanted to make sure I had time to get an application in. The deadline was still over a week away. That seemed like plenty of time as long as I committed within the next day or so.

Taking a deep breath, I asked my husband what he thought about the idea of me going for it. The Husbeast is one of my biggest sounding boards. We were close friends for years before we started dating, so I trust his opinion. I needed that one last little push. He was incredibly enthusiastic and supportive. I applied, got accepted, and here we are! My books are on the coffee table and the first weekend of training is at the end of April.

I’m so excited to share this journey. If you found this page because we’re friends, I hope you find it fun to follow along through my latest round of crazy. If you found me because you are looking to start yoga, or yoga teacher training, all I can say is, “DO IT!” You won’t regret it. I know I haven’t.

Headstand with lotus legs variation
Did I mention how much I love being upside-down?

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