Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would become a yoga teacher. My fitness background was always in high intensity contact sports like rugby, running, and Crossfit. I played volleyball and soccer in high school, played varsity rugby throughout my university career, coached soccer and rugby for years, frequented the local gym/weight room almost daily, and turned my life over to Crossfit for nearly 3 years of my life before I started practicing yoga.
I only started dabbling in yoga during my travels around the world on my year off (2013-2014) when I visited 22 countries. A regular exercise routine wasn’t possible while traveling, so I needed to find something more accessible. I traded my “box” workouts for walking, hiking, swimming, snorkelling, surfing, paddle boarding, buggie-boarding, (any and all water sports), and my newfound passion– yoga. My body thanked me for it. I never would have expected myself to fall in love with yoga, but I did. Finally, I found something in yoga that my other fitness activities couldn’t provide. Yoga fueled my body not only physically, but mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. The more I “cheated” on Crossfit, fitness classes, and gym sessions, the more I wanted to leave that world for yoga. Yoga made me feel how I had hoped all the other fitness classes would make me feel over the years. There was always something missing. I made (what seemed like at the time) the difficult decision in September 2014 to practice yoga full time. Practicing yoga full time meant that I wouldn’t have the time in my schedule to continue my other fitness involvements regularly. I felt guilty at first–that feeling soon went away and was replaced with joy. Yoga filled my cup and gave me everything I was searching for and made me feel fantastic. 10 months later, I’m almost finished my Yoga in Schools Yoga Teacher Training with Breathing Space Yoga Studio and I haven’t looked back on my decision. Who would have thought my dabblings around the world with various yoga styles would lead me on this path.
In hindsight, I now realize that it was a clear and easy decision to focus on yoga. However, at the time, I felt like I was betraying all the time and energy I had invested in other fitness avenues (over 15 years of investment), yet they weren’t giving me the holistic results I was hoping for. From Hot Yoga, Power Yoga, Vinyasa, Hatha, Bikram, Yin, Ashtanga, Yoga Flow, Slow & Strong Flow, Kripalu, to Kundalini, each style of yoga gave me something I needed. I love them all for different reasons. My yoga journey completed me. I knew something had to change. Once I made the decision to focus all of my time and energy on yoga my whole world turned upside down, and in a good way. I saw my life through new lenses. I welcomed the changes and my body thanked me for it. I immediately noticed the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual benefits of routinely practicing yoga. After routinely practicing for 5 months, the door opened for me to start my Yoga Teacher Training and I said “YES”! I am now almost done my program (one month to go) and so thankful for the decision to go down this road. The amazing people I have met, the lessons I have learned, and my new outlook on life have greatly impacted me.
Deciding to take part in the Yoga In Schools Teacher Training program through Breathing Space Yoga Studio has been one of the best decisions I have ever made. Jenny Kierstead and Blair Abbass’ impact on my life has been so great. Just being in their presence is enlightening. Since beginning the program in February, I’ve gone from an over-analytical hyperactive (and not in a good way) person to a more fearless, calm, and self-confident person (most of the time anyway). Each training weekend is tailed around a unique theme with the classroom work and physical practice connected to that concept. I’ve been learning so much about myself and the yoga world that I am extremely excited to share my learnings with anyone who will listen. My fiancé is always happy to listen to my discoveries with an open ear, even though I know he gets the brunt of the conversations (probably overload), yet he never gets tired of listening and continues to support and encourage me. My friends and family continue to ask me questions about my yoga journey, because I think (or at least I hope) they see a difference in me. I know I’ve made the right decision and the universe is rewarding me for my bravery. In the process, I continue to look for any opportunity that comes up, while living life to the fullest (my life motto). Doors continue to open, and I continue to say YES!
“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” -Chinese sage, Lao-Tzu.
Get involved! Breathing Space Yoga Studio is hosting a Yoga in Schools Summer Conference at the Halifax, Nova Scotia, Chocolate Lake Hotel on July 20-23.
Some featured sessions include:
- INNER STRENGTH CLASS with Breathing Space Founder Jenny Kierstead. Learn techniques for accessing your center of unwavering balance, enabling you to surf the challenges of life with awareness and equanimity.
- YOGA FOR SPECIAL NEEDS AND AUTISM with Catherine Rahey, co-author of Yoga for Autism and Lindsay Welsford, pilot implementation teacher for the NEW Breathing Space Mindfulness Manual.This seminar will include a session on teaching yoga to individuals with Autism and special needs. Gain first hand experience with the Yoga and Autism program as the facilitators guide you through a supported yoga class. The structures and visuals demonstrated will enhance the experience and comprehension for individuals with ASD and special needs. The session will also include a collaborative discussion on including diverse learners in your yoga classes.
Be sure to sign up while you can as the conference is almost full.
Breathing Space Yoga Studio’s upcoming Yoga in Schools Summer Conference: