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Weekend: The End of Teacher Training + Graduation Celebration

I took a little step away from my blog and the real world over the weekend to soak up our last teacher training weekend. (You should see the state of my house…I need to do some serious cleaning and laundry after I publish this post!)


(photo Wanda Koch)

These 29 beautiful yogis completed their 200-hour yoga teacher training this weekend and I couldn’t be more proud of them or more grateful to have been a part of their journey. I have spent the last four months leading them through teacher training at Y2 Yoga along with Johnna Smith and my fiance Tanner.

200-hour yoga teacher training at Y2 Yoga in Charlotte, NC

(photo Wanda Koch)

On Friday evening I had the opportunity to guide the teacher trainees through their final Friday night power practice together. It was one of the most connected and powerful classes that I have ever been a part of. This group bonded so deeply and created this incredible environment of support and holding space.

Namastay Kitchen Sushi

After practice we watched Ashtanga New York (<– totally recommend watching this documentary) and then my fiance and I brought sushi home from Namastay Kitchen for dinner.

Smoothie Bowl

I kicked off Saturday morning with a smoothie bowl before going to practice with the TTs and then teaching my 11:15 hot class.

Harvest Salad at Namastay Kitchen in Charlotte, NC

Lunch after teaching was the Harvest Salad at Namastay Kitchen with arugula, beets, candied walnuts, apples and dried cranberries. I added avocado and chicken.

We spent the rest of the afternoon doing a really powerful emotional cleansing exercise that Johnna led everyone through and then wrapped it up with reviewing assists for postures that the group had questions about.

Taco Night

I got a much needed manicure and pedicure after we wrapped and then came home to cook dinner and relax. We very rarely go out on teacher training weekends because we’re so wiped out by the end of the day. I was craving tacos so I put together a shrimp and calamari taco spread with salsa verde, guac, limes, cilantro and mango.

Shrimp and Calamari Tacos with Mexican Quinoa

I also made a big batch of Mexican Quinoa to go alongside. This was my first time cooking calamari at home and it turned out really well! (Another “surprise” brought home by the boy…I can always count on one when he goes grocery shopping!)

I made it until all of 10 p.m. before falling asleep on the couch. Teacher training days are SO good but SO take it out of you.

Scrambled Eggs, Fruit and Sweet Potato Breakfast Bowls

Johnna was leading Sunday morning ashtanga practice so we got to sleep in a bit and have breakfast at home while working on putting together the trainees final exam. We spent the morning and early afternoon completing the exam and then going through it.

Baking width=

I came home around 2 for a culinary extravaganza. We had a potluck for our graduation party and I whipped up three dishes in 2 hours.

Salted Fudge Brownies

These Salted Fudge Brownies are always a hit, no matter where I take them. They are my most favorite brownie recipe and only have 8 ingredients and can be made in one pan!

I headed back to the studio to teach my 4 p.m. class and then my fiance and I went for a 4 mile run before getting all dressed up for the party.

Sushi Tray at Potluck

The spread was RIDICULOUS! Look at all of this sushi.

Falafel from Le Kebab in Charlotte, NC

And all of this falafel, hummus and baba ganoush. I was in heaven!!!! (Side note: if you’re in the Charlotte area this was from Le Kebab and I was so impressed. Some of the best I’ve had in Charlotte.)


I made a sweet potato salad with a chile vinaigrette that I’ll be sharing later this week on my blog and we also had some awesome grilled chicken wings, veggies, dips, kale salads and more.


I also made a shrimp and avocado salad with tomatoes and asparagus.


The dessert table was pretty rocking. We had flourless chocolate cake, my brownies, a five flavor pound cake that I ate way too much of (I am such a sucker for pound cake), a fruit tart and cupcakes.

Boozy cupcakes from FuManChu in Charlotte, NC

Get this, half of the cupcakes were made with alcohol and had a shot of liquor in each! I had a bite of a couple and they were strong! They were from FuManChu Cupcakes in Charlotte.

I’ll end this post by sharing what I posted on Instagram at the end of the night.

Five years ago these two handed me my teacher training certificate after I completed @y2yoga’s first teacher training.

Tonight I stood with them as we celebrated the graduation of 29 yogis from our sixth 200-hr teacher training. Yoga teacher training opened a window to seeing a whole new world of possibility. It also opened me up to a whole new world of vulnerability that has become a constant practice for me. Get uncomfortable, grow, repeat.

I have assisted with a teacher training in the past but this was my first time putting my name on a training and committing to co-leading. After the first weekend I wanted to quit. I thought, “They have done this for five years without me, they don’t need me here. I don’t know enough, I won’t have anything to add.”

Honestly, I was pretty in and out for the first few teacher training weekends but one weekend Johnna was out of town and I had to step up and be there…and I realized it was exactly where I was supposed to be. And I did have a freaking lot to say, and teach and add to the training. My M.O. is to lean away and back away.

Yoga keeps teaching me that leaning in is where the true reward and connection comes from. In every walk of life. Get scared, lean in. Get uncomfortable, lean in. Get sad, lean in. Just keep leaning in.

I am so grateful to these 29 beautiful yogis for letting me be their teacher and for teaching me so much in return. And to Johnna and Tanner for believing that I am meant to do this work, even when I doubted. This practice has changed my life. ❤️

#yogateachertraining #yogateacher #200hourteachertraining #y2yoga #transformation #findyourpassion #loveyourlife #believeinyourself #alliscoming

A photo posted by Jen | Peanut Butter Runner (@jdecurtins) on

While I am sad to see this experience come to a close, I am feeling really full of love, gratitude and connection today. Check out this article written by one of our graduates with Six Takeaways from Yoga Teacher Training. We have another 200-hour training starting in June that runs through August if anyone is interested.

Have a wonderful week everyone! (I’m off to clean my house……)

What’s your favorite thing to bring to potlucks? 

What did you do this weekend? 

{ 12 comments… add one }
  • Ashley April 25, 2016, 8:26 pm

    All of the food looks AMAZING! Especially that sushi – just wow! Seems like you had a great weekend.

    I tackled a small overgrown garden bed this weekend, hoping to get my hands dirty and grow some veggies + herbs. My garden last year was an epic fail.. all I can say is practice makes perfect? lol.

    • Jen DeCurtins April 26, 2016, 11:36 am

      Good luck with your garden! You are a brave lady. I struggle to even keep herbs alive all summer! I am so impressed by good gardeners. I’d love to have a nice home garden but just don’t have a green thumb!

  • Catherine April 25, 2016, 9:25 pm

    Hey Jen, I want to dive right thru the screen and into your brownies, they look so good! We had a long weekend (in New Zealand) so we went away to a cottage in the country for some relaxation.

    Out of interest does teacher training cover how to adjust yoga for pregnancy (or injury etc), or is that something that teachers just pick up and learn themselves? (I haven’t asked my teachers because I don’t want them to think I doubt them!)

    • Jen DeCurtins April 26, 2016, 11:35 am

      Hi Catherine! Your weekend sounds AMAZING!

      In a 200-hour level teacher training we do not cover how to assist for special populations (there just isn’t enough time) but I think that most (key word is most!) teachers are very aware of pregnant students and would never assist them in ways that seem contraindicative for pregnancy. (Or may not assist them at all.) For example, I would never give a pregnant student an assist in a twisting posture. I usually stick to feel good assists when it comes to my pregnant students and avoid anything that would take them deeper into a posture. I feel that’s something they need to handle on their own based on intuition and how they’re feeling.

  • Abby April 25, 2016, 10:33 pm

    Quick whole30 question…I finished my whole 30 March 2nd and never did traditional reintroduction, but would go off book if something worth it came up. I have experienced breakout around eating dairy and grains (not sure if gluten is the perpetrator or not), but haven’t really pinpointed anything specifically. Since you said dairy bothers your skin, I was wondering how you felt whey protein affected it if at all. I would love to have some protein powder smoothies since I have whole huge tubs to use! Thank you!

    • Jen DeCurtins April 26, 2016, 11:33 am

      Hey Abby! I’m currently in the middle of a protein powder experiment to see if the whey promotes breakouts. I don’t have an answer yet!

  • jenna April 26, 2016, 10:41 am

    Love this post, so inspiring : ) And i LOVE your dress from your instagram post, where is it from?

    • Jen DeCurtins April 26, 2016, 11:32 am

      Thanks Jenna! I’ve had the dress for a few years. It’s from Nordstrom Rack I think! 🙂

  • Tara April 26, 2016, 12:32 pm

    that was quite a spread !!! i almost always bring dessert. cuz its the best 🙂

    • Jen DeCurtins April 26, 2016, 1:02 pm


  • Sarah April 26, 2016, 8:39 pm

    What an awesome weekend! I would love to be a certified yoga instructor some day, it’s so great you have the community that you do through yoga!

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