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Training Story

After completing a month-long yoga teacher-training immersion at Sonic Yoga I was still hungry for more. I decided to follow my heart to India; the country where yoga was born was calling my name.

Traveling to India was one of the most profoundly transformative experiences of my life. On Christmas Day 2007, I arrived in India, excited and nervous, with no idea what to expect.  When I arrived at the retreat, up in the Nilgiris Mountains in Southern India, surrounded by green tea plants, I was struck by how vast and beautiful our planet is. In every direction, green hills stretched out as far as the eye could see.

The paths and green hills of the Nilgiris Mountains.

The paths and green hills of the Nilgiris Mountains.

I met my guru and began training the next day at 6 a.m. We practiced and practiced and practiced and I watched as my body and mind became completely transformed through my own effort and will. Suddenly poses that I never thought possible were gradually becoming part of my practice. When I got into forearm stand, I felt overjoyed, excited and motivated to keep going deeper.

The stunningly gorgeous yoga hall at the retreat.

The stunningly gorgeous yoga hall at the retreat.

Inching towards full Scorpion.

Inching towards full Scorpion, Vrishchikasana.

Camel pose, ustrasana in Sanskrit.

Camel pose, Ustrasana.

Breakfast at the retreat, so delicious!

Breakfast at the retreat, so delicious! Fresh mango, pomegranate and banana.

I learned in-depth about the eight limbs of Ashtanga yoga and the history of yoga and what yoga means. I learned Pranayama (breath control) techniques and methods for internal cleansing and detox called “Kriyas.”  I learned to get away from relying on material things for my happiness, to essentially discriminate between real, fulfilling happiness and the type of happiness that only lasts temporarily, like from buying new clothes. My teacher instilled in me that the most important thing you can do for your yoga practice is to be a good person and develop a regular practice.  It is from there that you can begin to explore the physical, mental and spiritual benefits that yoga has to offer. Being kind to all is an expression of living yoga that anyone can begin to incorporate into their life.

Mini temple in Coimbatore and a goddess painted on the side of a temple somewhere near Coimbatore.

Mini temple in Coimbatore and a Goddess painted on the side of a temple somewhere near Coimbatore.

It's impossible to be in India without feeling spiritual.

Feeling spiritual in India.

I traveled through India for two more weeks, exploring Goa, Kerela, Fort Cochin, Mysore and Varkala with four amazing ladies I met at the retreat. We continued to practice as the sun rose every morning.

Practicing on the beach in Goa in the early morning light.

Practicing on the beach in Goa in the early morning light.

My friends who I traveled with.

My friends who I traveled with.

The backwater canals in Kerela.

The backwater canals in Kerela.

Traveling to India dramatically changed my life. It awoke within me the desire to do good, taught me about dedication and devotion, and showed me that we have the power to create how we view the world. When I returned from India, in March of 2008, I felt like I had truly become a yoga teacher.

A beautiful picture of Sharon and David on our graduation day, May 21, 2010.

To be an amazing yoga teacher is to continuously persue a deeper understanding of yoga and to always be going to deeper into the practice.  It is about finding teachers and asking them to impart their knowledge.  With this in mind, I have found the most amazing teachers in Sharon Gannon and David Life and just recently graduated from Jivamukti’s 2010 Teacher Training.  I am proud to say I am a certified Jivamukti teacher!

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