A Journey to the Heart of Yoga Teacher Training
By: Susan C Jackson
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 Yoga journey.” – B.Z. ILYS Class of 2013
Although you will be exposed to a multitude of philosophies, strategies, and
opinions, both time honored and new, ILYS provides a platform for you to put
everything you learn to the test and to find out what your Yoga looks like, feels
like, smells like, tastes like, and sounds like from the inside out, so you can
begin to LIVE IT, both on and off the surface of your mat. For those who want to
teach…think back on some of your most inspiring teachers you have had. Did they
teach simply by the book, or did they teach from the heart, encouraging you to “find
out for yourself?”
“It has been such a great honor for me to participate as a teacher with ILYS. I have been both a Yoga student and teacher over the past 12 years and have been to many workshops and trainings with some of the best teachers in our industry. I can say that this program has exceeded to compare and be with the best. The knowledge, inspiration, and joy of Yoga are reflected in both the presentation of the material and the journey of watching students grow and become teachers. I feel so inspired to continue to evolve with our school and am truly grateful to all of our teachers, students, and friends for being true.”
Phyllis Adams – Senior Teacher, InnerLight Yoga School
Make no mistake, Yoga Teacher Training will not solve all [or any] of life’s
dilemma’s, it will not make you a better person, nor will it tell you what you are
here in this lifetime to do. But what it can do is open a door; the rest is up to you.
The question is: are you ready to look through that doorway, and secondly are you
ready to ante up and walk though? For those that are, get ready to amaze yourself!
“My YTT process was transformative inside and out. Not only did it improve my
practice in beautiful way physically but it allowed me to bloom. It opened my mind
and heart in ways I didn’t expect. I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything
and the connections I made will be long lasting.” – S.K. – ILYS Class of 2013
I can tell you what Yoga is for me and how it changed and saved my life in many
ways, but that doesn’t make it yours. I can describe to you how each asana and
pranayama technique feels in my body but that doesn’t make it your own. I can tell
you about meditation and its life saving benefits but that doesn’t make it easier
for you to meditate. Instead, this experience is not about me telling but about you
doing. Empowering yourself each day to find that open doorway to your heart which
takes you beyond mere knowledge and to a lasting personal wisdom. Remember;
“Life is a journey, not a destination.” So Live Big, Live Fearless, and Live BRIGHT!
-Susan C Jackson, Founder of InnerLight Yoga School
An immense thank you to all the fearless self-explorers (students and teachers),
past, present, and future, who make this experience possible. Without your
curiosity and enthusiasm for Yoga and self-exploration InnerLight would not be
here. Thanks also to amazing friends and family, including Patty and studioVIBE for
supporting InnerLight’s vision and giving it such a beautiful home in your heart and
in Cary, NC. Please visit studioVIBE’s blog to learn more about InnerLight
and all of the other amazing programs in our wonderful community.
Photographs by: Julia Wade Photography