A Journey to the Heart of Yoga Teacher Training By: Susan C Jackson “Life is a journey, not a destination.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson What exactly is Yoga Teacher Training? Taken at face value, it is exactly that: a program designed to teach yoga students how to become yoga teachers. We practice poses (Asana) and their mechanics, study anatomy, learn methodology for effective teaching (of ourselves and others), and through it all, become more disciplined in our own personal practice on our mats. We breathe together, move together, and meditate together. In fact, it’s pretty amazing how much one’s personal practice evolves in the course of 9 months of intense study. So what makes InnerLight Yoga School, different from just any old training program? “Not only did I learn about the asana part of yoga, the history of Yoga and different kinds of Yoga but I also learned so much about myself. InnerLight Teacher Training was an unbelievable journey and it has changed my life forever.” – A.E. – ILYS Class of 2013 Things are rarely what they seem at the surface [of the mat]. If we truly want to live deeply and happily we must begin at the depth of our being: we commit to digging deeper, we give ourselves permission to take risks, and we learn to live fearlessly not just on our mats but off of them. Thanks to Ralph Waldo Emerson, most of us have been inspired multiple times to ‘go with the flow in good times and in bad’ by his famed quote: “Life is a journey, not a destination.” These simple and inspiring words convey a great truth that this moment, here and now, is the only moment we truly have. So why stop at mere inspiration when we have the flame of transformation already within us? Below the surface of InnerLight Yoga Teacher Training lies exactly that, and invitation to look at our whole journey – what drives us, who are we at our very core, and what is our purpose (Darshana) and path (Sadana) is in life? “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.” -Steve Jobs When I envisioned InnerLight Yoga School I was determined that it would be more than just a teacher training program, more than just a place where students could improve the physical part of their practice and learn about someone else’s Yoga. Either this school would live up to its name and its philosophy or cease to exist. So what is the philosophy? There is of course the long “official” version but simply put, YOU are the philosophy. ILYS is a safe haven for you to learn more about yourself through the study of yoga…but not my Yoga, or the sage’s Yoga,…but a Yoga that is truly your own. “I came to ILYS looking for improvement in my asana practice and I was hoping for a bit of a mental makeover. My experience far exceeded my expectations; my individual practice makes me feel so empowered and confident (I can’t thank all of the instructors enough for inspiring me to try new and challenging poses!). The biggest thing I took away from my experience however, is self-acceptance: a willingness to accept my weaknesses along with my strengths. This has already changed my life and keeps me motivated to continue my […]
Meet Brittany- One of InnerLight Yoga School’s Teacher Training Graduates – Class of 2013 Q: Tell us a little about yourself and your interests and inspirations off the Yoga mat. A: I spend most of my time working as an automation engineer and I was looking for a little balance in my life. I started YTT because I love yoga and I enjoy teaching. Q: Can you share something about yourself that many people may not know? A: I am a karaoke addict. Q: What was the biggest surprise about your YTT experience? A: I came to YTT for a mental makeover, but was not sure what to really expect. I have been so pleasantly surprised how much it has actually improved how I feel. There is so much about this process that requires us as students to go inward and explore ourselves. Susan gave us an assignment about “Finding your voice,” for which we had to answer questions and really take the time to think about these deep questions “ex: What is something that truly angers you?, When was the last time you cried?” This was a turning point for me. Being forced to really explore my feelings and having a structure to do it with was amazing. Q: When did you start practicing Yoga and why? A: About 10 years ago, I went to my first yoga class with my mom at the YMCA while I was in high school. We were just trying one new fitness class after doing aerobics, spin, kickboxing, etc. None of those classes fit me because I am NOT highly coordinated and I’d spend the class being frustrated because I could not follow the choreography and bike seats hurt. The yoga class was so much slower (which was good for me) and it was so challenging I was really surprised when sweat dripped off my eyelash in downdog – Ha! Q: How has your perspective on Yoga changed since enrolling at InnerLight Yoga School? A: I look at Yoga as so much more than a workout now. I still use it to stretch out my muscles and gain strength and tone, but there’s more to gain than being proficient at asana. I use it therapeutically for my tight muscles and when I feel things are strained or pinched. I use it mentally to relax and keep my mind in a positive place. And experiencing these truly wonderful feelings inspire me as a teacher to pass those feelings on to my students. Q: What’s your favorite pose and why? A: I have so many favorite poses! I love headstand because it was the first goal I set for myself during my YTT that I achieved – practicing an inversion away from the wall. And pigeon. None of my practices are without pigeon (ironically this was also the first pose that made me laugh when I tried it because my body was soooo not ready for it). Q: What is your funniest and/or proudest Yoga moment? A: My proudest yoga moment was during one YTT weekend; I was teaching a short sequence to my fellow trainees. As I closed the class and the students opened their eyes, they couldn’t stop themselves from smiling because they were proud of me! Their support and genuine excitement for me was so special and it made me proud of myself too! Couldn’t be more proud of this amazing Graduate! Congratulations Brittany!
Come on out to InnerLight Yoga School in Cary this Sunday, October 20 from 2-3 PM for a great FREE Yoga Teacher Training information session. Location: studioVIBE, 200 Cornerstone Drive, Suite 103, Cary, NC Whether you think you would like to teach Yoga or are just considering a teacher training program to deepen your practice, this FREE Info session is for you! The session will include information about InnerLight Yoga School’s 230 hour yoga teacher training program based on some commonly asked questions: what’s involved, investment/tuition, am I ready?, and more. There will also be time at the end for any specific question(s) you may have. Please sign up in advance for this seminar so we know to expect you and feel free to share this info with others that may be interested in learning more about the program. You can comment below to RSVP or head on over to the event on our Facebook page. Hope to see you there!
We’re so thrilled to be sharing another InnerLight Yoga School teacher training student spotlight with everyone today. Meet Alison! Read on for more about what inspires her Yoga practice and what her proudest Yoga moment has been to date. Hope you enjoy! As always, feel free to leave a comment for Alison at the bottom of the post. Have a great day, everyone! PS – it’s also not too late to enter Week 2 of the triYOGA challenge. Here’s how. Q: Tell us a little about yourself and your interests and inspirations off the Yoga mat. Alison: My story begins with my proudest accomplishment, my wonderful family. My husband and I met in college at the University of New Hampshire and in May of this year, we celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary. We have two amazing daughters who inspire us with their positive attitudes and great zest for life. I have moved 12 times but Cape Cod, Massachusetts has always be a constant among all the change and I am lucky to know such a special place. I work full time as a Project Manager, enjoy traveling, staying active, keeping in touch with friends and, of course, yoga. I am constantly inspired by the power a positive attitude has on life. Q: How have these inspirations shaped your Yoga practice? Alison: My family has been my biggest cheerleader. They encouraged me to sign up for yoga teacher training and have supported me the entire way. Bringing the inspirational positive attitude to my practice everyday is so important. As we all know, some days are better than others and a positive attitude always helps me appreciate the time on my mat with the gratitude it deserves. Q: Can you share something about yourself that many people may not know? Alison: I was 5’10” tall in 6th grade. Q: What motivated you to do Yoga Teacher Training? Alison: Teacher training is something I’ve thought about for a few years but the top three motivating factors to do it now through InnerLight Yoga School were; #1 – Susan Jackson, #2 – Susan Jackson and #3 – Susan Jackson. Q: What got you hooked on Yoga? Alison: Savasana – Where else do you get to lay down, close your eyes and think about nothing after you exercise? Q: What is your favorite inspirational quote? Alison: “Life is a Boomerang” (author unknown but it could be me!) Q: How has your perspective on Yoga changed since enrolling at InnerLight Yoga School? Alison: I have a new awareness. This includes – my body, my mind, my spirit, my posture, what I eat, what I read, what I say, what I think, my surroundings, people – EVERYTHING. I’m a whole new me or maybe I am just now aware of me! Q: What’s your favorite pose and why? Alison: Trikonasana. My body loves Triangle pose. The benefits I receive from this pose carry me through my day. I don’t let my day begin without a few good Trikonasanas. Q: What is your proudest Yoga moment? Alison: During one Teacher Training weekend, I accomplished a handstand, headstand and backbend. I never dreamed I could do them. What a feeling that was! Q: What was the biggest surprise about your YTT experience? Alison: The biggest and best surprise has been the relationships & friendships I have formed with my fellow teacher training yogis. The support and love from these people, who I didn’t know 10 months ago, is amazing.
I think everyone can agree on this….music makes the world go around! And it certainly is a great addition to Yoga practice, too! Right?! If you’re looking to switch things up a bit and see what types of music inspires all of the InnerLight Yoga School fans, check out this fun list of inspirational yoga songs we compiled with their help on Facebook. Hopefully, you can find some new Yoga inspiration in this fun music playlist! “Anthem” by Gus Gus (good upbeat song to get you moving!) “Aqueous Transmission” by Incubus “Sweet Disposition” by The Temper Trap “Speed of Sound” by Coldplay “It’s Time” by Imagine Dragons “Breath of Life” by Florence and the Machine “Midnight City” by M83 “Where The Light Gets In” by Sennen “Finally Moving” by Pretty Lights “The Winner Is” by Mychael Danna and DeVotchKa (Little Miss Sunshine) “Sita’s Prayer” by Krishna Das “Above the Bones” by Mishka “Shivo’ham” by Dave Stringer “Angeli” by Sasha Lazard “I’ll Follow You into the Dark” by Death Cab for Cutie “Open Your Eyes” by Snow Patrol “Safe & Sound” by Taylor Swift (TWO MENTIONS…check this one out!) “Dust to Dust” by The Civil Wars “Videogames” by Lana Del Rey (the non radio remix version) “Simple Man” by CMH blues “Shine On You Crazy Diamond” by Pink Floyd Other artists to check out as suggested…. Ray Lamontagne, DJ Drez, MC Yogi, Lorde, Pitbull, Jack Johnson, Madonna, Prince, Michael Jackson, and The Beatles. Thanks so much to everyone for sharing their favorite Yoga practice music with us! If you have others you would add to this list or want to comment on any of the songs above, please share your thoughts in the comments below. It would be awesome if we kept adding more and more songs to this page as an ongoing playlist! Happy Wednesday, everyone!