Once upon a time, I had a fitness routine that relied on machines and strenuous, boot camp style workouts. I took my very first yoga class in hopes of finding a new form of exercise to help me achieve the “ideal” body image that I was striving for. What I found was so much more.
The calming effects of meditation allowed me to bring awareness to my inner self, analyze my ego and find emotional balance. My life had improved both on AND off the yoga mat. Many wonderful teachers helped me gain an understanding of my own anatomical restrictions and taught me to love my body, mind and spirit exactly as it was. I was convinced this was my calling; to become a Yoga Instructor and inspire others by sharing my yogic experiences. But, how?
I searched for a well-suited training in Ottawa, ON. It was overwhelming how many options I had to choose from. A friend of mine suggested attending a class by Nigel Walker. He would be leading his first training with Elevate Yoga that fall, September 2015. It only took one class to recognize Nigel’s creative energy and passion for yoga. His class felt welcoming, safe and accessible. I signed up for his 200 Hour Teacher Training as soon as I got home.
Over the course of 9 months, I dove deeper into the history and philosophy of yoga, including energetic anatomy, ayurveda, the living principles and ethics of yoga. We practiced many hours of asanas (physical postures) and pranayama (breathing techniques) focusing on alignment, progression and sequencing. I had an opportunity to explore what it’s like to teach a class, while assisting, adjusting, accessing my voice and holding space for students. Throughout the program we met guest teachers who gave us a chance to observe different teaching styles and techniques. Toward the end of our training we discussed the business aspect of yoga. Nigel and Elevate continued their mentor-ship, months beyond the training, with one-on-one consultations and volunteer opportunities.
Above all, we were encouraged to find strength in our vulnerability. To be comfortable with our unique differences and teach from a sincere and honest place. Nigel has since branded his yoga school; Teach Your Truth™. The name couldn’t be more fitting.
This training transformed my practice and my life. I believe it’s a great foundation for anyone looking to further their practice or training. If you are looking for YTT in the Ottawa area, I definitely recommend you check out the next session with Nigel Walker at Elevate Yoga.