What comes to mind when you hear the word GURU? Probably a favorite teacher, spiritual leader, someone like Gandhi or the Buddha or a person like Oprah or Tony Robbins, right? Well, I’m here to tell you that YOU are a guru. In fact, you are your own greatest guru!
In its most basic definition, guru means “remover of darkness.” A guru is one who brings you from the darkness to light. As a yoga teacher, I personally focus my teachings on empowering my students to believe that they are their own best teachers. I push them to listen to their bodies, pay attention to how they feel and to discover the personal power and inner fire needed to become their own gurus.
Tonight I had the honor of graduating these beautiful GURUS (missing two who couldn’t make it this afternoon) from their 200-hour yoga teacher training at Charlotte Yoga.
I have been a part of eight or nine teacher trainings over the last six years. Each group was special in their own way but this one stole my heart. Never have I had a group of teacher trainees who were as ALL IN on these yogis were in learning all aspects about a yogic lifestyle. They were just as interested in learning about meditation and Ayurveda as they were power yoga sequencing and assisting. In addition to this, they were one of the overall youngest groups that I have ever worked with. It’s a breath of fresh air to see this generation leaning into holistic wellness and personal growth. I wish I would have had more of that wisdom when I was in my late teens/early 20s.
Our teacher training was comprised of eight weekends where we met Friday evenings and all day Saturday and Sunday. For this final weekend, we built an altar on Friday night. Each trainee brought an item that was significant to them and shared why they brought it and lit a candle for themselves (to signify their inner light) and they were invited to light a candle for someone special on their journey.
Our final weekend was packed with practice. Each of the trainees taught a full yoga class to their peers as part of their graduation requirements.
We also spent a lot of time in meditation, which I just find myself leaning into more and more lately. It’s like I crave it physically and mentally.
I know I have shared this before but from the time I did my first group fitness certification for BodyPump, I knew I wanted to train teachers as a long-range career goal. I will forever credit that BodyPump training for giving me so much personal power and for teaching me how to teach in an effective, inclusive and immersive way. I wanted to give that gift to others. I never lead a yoga teacher training without giving credit to BodyPump.
When I started helping with yoga teacher trainings, I did it for free. I spent several years volunteering my time to be involved in TT because I knew it was something I wanted to do. Eventually, I started to be paid hourly for the time I spent helping with teacher training and I was given my own modules to present.
After six years of assisting and co-leading, I had the opportunity to lead my first 200-hour yoga teacher training as lead teacher at VIDA Hot Yoga one year ago. This training at Charlotte Yoga was my second as lead trainer and did nothing but reinforce that I am on the right path. I’m still pinching myself that I’m here and I’m on FIRE about continuing to grow my practice, my knowledge and my trainings.
More than anything, what I want to leave you with in this post is to LISTEN to the things that excite your spirit, and believe in your worth to pursue them. Trust your intuition and stay committed to growing your inner wisdom. I wasted a lot of time playing small and squashing my intuition. I still work every day not to fall back into those patterns.
You truly are your own guru, your own best teacher. I promise you that. Everything you need is within. <3