On Sunday I graduated my first ever 200-hour yoga teacher training class as lead instructor.
It still feels unreal that this opportunity came my way at both the worst and most perfect time ever. These 12 souls touched my heart and changed my world in ways that I will never be able to adequately express to them.
Last summer I connected with the owners (a husband and wife team) of VIDA Hot Yoga in Kingsport, Tennessee about their desires to offer a 200-hour yoga teacher training. I had met Ashley through another teacher training that I assisted. Finn was just a couple of months old when we started talks about the training, and I was totally lost on what was next for me in the yoga space. I was strongly considering walking away from it.
Once Ashley and I connected about the training, I realized that we had so many shared dreams and desires. I felt like it was a chance I had to take and a dream opportunity. I was able to accomplish a huge goal of leading my own 200-hour with the bonus of getting to do it outside of the Charlotte yoga bubble. I couldn’t say no.
Ashley wanted to make it happen fast and was committed to making sure I felt comfortable diving in. As a mother of two young boys, she and her husband went above and beyond to accommodate me as a new mom and to welcome Finn into the whole experience. Before I knew it, we had dates set and were starting in six weeks. This was unprecedented in the yoga teacher training world where you typically market your training a good 6-12 months in advance.
I was shocked to learn that we had 11 trainees for our first training. VIDA Hot Yoga is the first yoga studio in Kingsport, Tennessee, and it’s a market where yoga isn’t exactly the most mainstream offering. Despite that, they have created an amazing community of people.
For those of you who aren’t familiar, to become a registered yoga teacher through Yoga Alliance you have to complete 200-hours of training through a registered yoga school. One common way to organize the training is by breaking it up into weekend immersions. Ours consisted of eight weekends where we met on Friday afternoon/evenings, all day Saturday and all day Sunday. Our trainees also had hours requirements outside of the training.
I am able to facilitate these trainings due to the amount of hours I have logged teaching yoga. I am a Yoga Alliance E-RYT and Continuing Education Provider.
I brought Finn with me for 5 of the 8 training weekends and he was so welcomed and so loved.
The owners of VIDA lined up a few amazing ladies to watch Finn while I was leading the training and they were absolute angels. Our last graduation weekend was so crazy that one of them watched him on Saturday from 8a until 9:30p, minus a couple of breaks I had to see him and nurse him. She even took him to my hotel room to put him down for the night so that I could attend our graduation celebration without getting him totally off of his schedule. (For those of you wondering, he couldn’t stay with his dad for the weekend due to work conflicts.)
Our final weekend was intense but special. My trainees had to complete their final exams, both written and practicals. We also did a whole lot of celebrating! On Sunday afternoon we had our graduation ceremony…complete with champagne toasts!
And on Saturday night we had a fun social gathering with a cookie cake (can’t even tell you how much of this I ate….).
And a GIGANTIC pizza. I was trying to take a picture that accurately showed how big it was. I started with a wine bottle for scale…
And then just decided that I should pose with it. Haha.
I am sad to leave this truly special studio and its yogis but very grateful to them for reminding me why I love this practice so much and how much GOOD that it does for people. They have truly reignited my fire. I am happy to be teaching in Charlotte again but also looking forward to a bright future with VIDA. Our next 200-hour training begins in September and we have so many ideas about how to continue to share and spread this community and this practice.
I am so glad that I didn’t give up on this path. I know it’s one that I am meant to be on. I am so proud of my trainees and cannot wait to see how they serve their community through yoga. They have open hearts and clear intentions and I just know they are destined for amazing things!