Life After Yoga Teacher Training

Last week I wrote a little bit about my yoga teacher training journey.  This week I thought why not I follow up with some reflections and share 3-5 ways in which this decision changed my life.

But first, last week I mentioned that my yoga teacher training course required us to write down our goals for the training as well as for afterward.  We were instructed to do this on the first day.

Here are two goals that I wrote in my yoga journal on October 1, 2013:

  • I will use the knowledge gained in this course to make money while traveling the world (I leave for Asia two weeks after the course terminates).
  • I will own my own yoga studio-wine bar-cafe within 5 years.

When I reread my journal from my YTT course last week, tears came to my eyes.  It has been over 3 years since I earned my 200 hour yoga teaching credential and I am amazed and humbled by the fact that these two goals have come to fruition in their own way.  My YTT has already enhanced my life and allowed me to live a life I want.

When I left the United States for an unplanned trip to Asia and South East Asia, I didn’t have much–I had a backpack, a lot of courage, and a credential to teach yoga.  But it was all I really needed.  My parents always said that if you have an education, no one can ever take that away from you and you can take it with you wherever you go.  Armed with this advice I traveled from city to city, country to country, teaching yoga whenever I could.  Not only was I making a little bit of cash to keep me afloat or traded for a free meal or accommodation here and there, I was making people happy and healthy.  To me, it was more than a fair exchange and I was really enjoying it.

I’ll share a little anecdote about a neat experience I had because I was teaching yoga on my travels.

Word around this small town I had been living for some months now was that I was a yoga teacher.  While at a friend’s hostel a stranger approached me, asking if what he had heard was true–do I teach yoga and if so, could I teach him privately 4 times a week.  He was very overweight, but explained to me that he was swimming everyday and was trying very hard to loose weight.  I had never really taught private yoga classes before, nor had I taught yoga to someone this size.  Immediately, of course, I was nervous to say yes because I could tell he really needed help and I didn’t want to fail.  But that voice inside of me said to go for it-answer the opportunities that are calling you.  So I did.

3 months later we saw massive improvements in his body–from weight loss to strength gain to increased flexibility and overall health.  He was eating better.  He was dedicated.  He was happy.

When it was time for him to go back to Sweden, he asked me if he could fly me to his home and pay me to be his private yoga instructor during the month him and his band were preparing for tour.  I was shocked and filled with glee at the same time!  Yes! Yes! Yes! Of course I would go!  A trip to Sweden and an opportunity to continue helping a friend on his journey to health–I could not pass this up.

And it ended up being one of the great stories of my life thus far.

*              *               *

For years  I would close my eyes and envision my yoga studio-wine bar-cafe overlooking the grand waves of the Pacific Ocean.  A yoga studio by morning, located downstairs, full length windows with a 360 degree view of the beach.  A cafe by day with a locally grown, seasonal menu.  And by night, a wine bar specializing in French wines and craft beers with small plates for food.

I love yoga.  I love to cook.  I love wine.  I love to entertain and to share my passions.  So this seemed like the perfect plan!  But once I started traveling, things changed.  I changed.  And although I still enjoy closing my eyes and picturing this space in mind, I am currently pursuing this exact dream anymore.

I now have a yoga studio on the first floor of my house where I live in Thailand where I teach yoga classes during the week.  I took me a couple years to set-up and now it is a space where I not only get to share the practice with others, but I also get to share the practice with myself.  Because of my yoga studio, I now have a strong, consistent asana, pranayama, and mantra practice.

It was really powerful for me to reflect on my YTT from over 3 years ago.  It is interesting to think about the journey I took to get to where I am today.  I did achieve my first goal of using my knowledge to teach yoga abroad.  With my second goal of a studio, I still got there, but in a way I didn’t expect.  But that’s half the fun isn’t it?  Dreaming and manifesting the things we want to do and be is a jump into the unknown and full of surprises!

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