yoga certification

300 Hour Advanced Teacher Training... Are you ready?

I can remember the moment when I knew it was time to go deeper.  I was teaching an asana class about expanding beyond your boundaries.  It was a fast, hot, vinyasa class and the windows of the studio were dripping with steam. The soundtrack was killing it, and the instructions, adjustments and inspiration were flowing. I was hitting on all cylinders, what many would consider to be on the top of my game, but as I was standing there in the middle of that class, I realized that I had hit a plateau.  I had stopped expanding and was instead sitting in the eddie of comfort with my practice and my teaching.  I knew, right there in that moment, that it was time to take the next step.  The next day, I began researching 300 hour Teacher Training Certification Programs.

That was 2007.  My studies and practices have taken me on amazing journeys. My teachers have expanded my mind and challenged me greatly.  And I am still growing.  I am still being challenged to stretch the limits of my experience beyond what feels comfortable each day.  I am finding that my practice is in constant evolution and as I age, it rarely resembles anything I was doing in 2007.  But I feel rich.  I have a wealth of trust and faith within myself, I have a toolbox of practices that support and sustain me, I am constantly inspired by the opportunity to teach and share.  

So when do you know that it’s time to expand your studies?  How do you know if it is time for you to advance your skills as a practitioner and a teacher?  Let me begin by explaining that I have always believed in having a teacher as a guide.  Yes, I can study and explore on my own (and I do), but I have never been able to fully access on my own what I can with the support of a well-qualified teacher.  So if you are feeling a bit stuck in your life or your practice (or both), stepping into a higher level training will catalyze movement. The next level of training will expose you to new and unfamiliar aspects of the practice that may inspire and challenge you, but it will most definitely shift you. 

If you feel that your practice or teachings have become routine, then it might be time to explore the next level of training.  One of my teachers has a dependable saying, “You should always know a little more than your students.”  If your offerings have become automatic and your students are always one step ahead of you, it is evidence that you are no longer exploring your practice in a way that is providing new insight.  The beauty of Yoga is that there is never an end to what you can learn and discover, and as teachers there shouldn’t be an end to what we can offer.  Our job as teachers is to inspire our students toward growth.  If it doesn’t feel like you are supporting that yourself or your students, then it’s time to reach out for more. 

Like me, maybe you’ve reached a place of longing.  You know there is more to Yoga than choreographing a kick-ass asana class, and you are ready to peek behind the curtain.  An advanced studies teacher training certification program will show you more.  The key to expanding is your willingness. Will it show youmore of what you already know or will it take you to new and uncharted territory in your practice? 

Learning new things and exploring doing things differently cab be quite frightening.  Often it will make you feel uncomfortable as you enhance your understanding and awareness.  You may discover parts of your life or your inner world that you don’t like… it is in our Advanced Program that we take a compassion eye to ourselves and learn practice to deepen our awareness and compassion. If this feels right for you there is only one questions to ask yourself…. “Am I ready to look within and do the work?”.  

Vira Bhava Yoga 300 Hour Advanced Teacher Trainings will support you to look deeply, our training will provide the tools for discovery and will offer you the space and container to challenge your assumptions about teaching yoga in the world.  If you are ready to light a fire to your practice and teaching, then now is the time. Join us in June 2016.

Power Yoga

I want to start a conversation.  What makes Power Yoga powerful? Is it the hot room, the challenging physical postures (asanas) or the fast pace? What is your definition of the power you gain from your asana class? Is Power a great looking body? Does your physical strength or flexibility make one more powerful than another? Do we define power by a well crafted physique? Does Power include gritting your teeth to get into postures or sacrificing the breath to keep up? I want to know if this is truly power or simply building prowess. 

When did we start defining power as exertion? At Vira Bhava Yoga, power means something different.  We may work hard in our asana classes, exploring the possibility of strength and flexibility, but recognize that the true power happens in our life.  Does Power Yoga allow you to face the challenges of being a human in the world with greater ease, more patience, more compassion and understanding? In stepping off of your mat, do you feel more capable of managing your life? Does your practice of Power Yoga leave you feeling more capable of facing the challenges of daily life with greater ease, more patience, more compassion, and understanding. Does Power Yoga inspire you to do good in the world?

The true power of your Yoga practice is not measured by the strength of your physique.  Muscles do not equate to power. The true power of your Yoga practice is measured in your experience off your mat.  See, contrary to the current interpretation of yoga, it is not simply a style of physical exercise laced with sexy spiritualism.  The power in those poses that you find so challenging or releasing is not in the movement through them, it's in the ability to be present in them.  The Sanskrit word for these postures is asana, and regardless of what you've heard, this word doesn't mean pose. It means "to sit with." Yup, to sit with the form of a warrior, to sit with what surfaces when you put your body in these forms.  To sit with your breath when it starts to rebel against your form. To sit with your mind when it starts to spin and shout and beg you to get out. The true power of your Yoga practice lies in the ability to sit with yourself.  To remain steady when everything inside of you says run.

This is true power.  Can you choose to stand in every moment fully?  Whether it be on your mat, or at the stop light, can you sit with the feelings that arise?  Can you bring your breath to your frustration, your disappointment, your loneliness? Can you sit with yourself when you just want to scream and hide? This is the experience of true power.  To see that the flow that we seek is not a choreographed dance from pose to pose, from pretending to pretending, but instead a steadiness and presence within each experience.  The flow is not the vinayasa, but the gift of our presence, breath to breath. The flow is not the race from one pose to the next, but the ability to let go of the need to control the outcome, the need to orchestrate the experience. Power Yoga is a practice that allows you to live from a place full of trust.

When a powerful person walks into the room, you can feel it.  It's an essence that emanates from the core of their being.  They hold a big space, they offer their full attention, they love with their heart fully open, they stand tall in their beliefs without making yours unimportant.  It makes no difference how cut their triceps are or how sculpted their abdomen.  They exude a possibility of peace and steadiness regardless of the environment.  This is power yoga.  The practice that allows us all to access this level of presence and receptivity.  That frees us from our identification with form and helps us to expand our view of what is possible.

Yes, it is important to have a healthy body.  So your asana class is perfect for that.  But there are ways you can practice the physical postures to increase true power and presence in your life.  There are ways you can learn to teach and share this possibility with others. Are you ready to make your Power Yoga more powerful?  Are you ready for your yoga to support the fullness of your life?

If so, come explore with me.





So You Want to Be a Certified Yoga Instructor?

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This is the time of year we all start contemplating our contribution to the world, right?  We start thinking about our blessings, our connections, and our gifts. The holiday season is practically an invitation to re-assess and re-engage.  Not to mention that it comes on the threshold of one year ending and another one beginning.  We start reflecting on where we are in the world and in life, and making plans align our desires with our efforts.  Currently, there seems to be a massive push toward getting out of the conventional box of "success" built by our baby-booming forefathers and huge shift toward Self Fulfillment and the pursuit of lasting joy. 

Some people are pursuing this by showing up on their Yoga mats and the end of a long day, or taking mini-meditation breaks at their desk to increase focus and productivity. But there is another group of people who are looking for more than simply the traditional 9-5. They are seeking more meaningful work, and prioritizing joy over achievement.  Everyday I work with people on this spectrum.  In my weekly Yoga and Meditation Classes, I encounter busy people who are making a choice to manage their stress through ancient physical and energetic practices.  In my Yoga Teacher Trainings, I see countless yogis who have had a glimpse of the possibility that joy feels different than success, and they want to learn how to make that their path.

Seeking a Yoga Teaching Certification is process of re-definition.  You may think you are starting a program that will teach you how to communicate safety and movement in Yoga asana (postures), but what you also get is something that many people don't expect.  You get an opportunity to put your life, your choices, and your actions under investigation.  You get to reveal you habit patterns and encounter your stories.  You get to look deeply into what is and isn't meaningful in your life, and discover that who you really are.  All of this exploration happens alongside learning the mechanics of asana and the breath, studying how to structure a yoga class wisely, and often deciphering some of the Classic texts of the practice.  Sounds amazing, right!?!

Well, it is amazing.  And excruciating.  It is fulfilling and gut wrenching.  It is beautiful and ugly.  And often it's all of these things at once.  Becoming a yoga instructor is like being thrown into a hurricane, sometimes its the deepest calm and peace that you can imagine, and sometimes it is total chaos.  The process of becoming a yoga instructor is about learning how to dance, weave, and surf it all.  And much to the frustration of many Western educated minds, it's not a liner process.  There are no bullet points for success, no number lists of steps.  The best Yoga Instructor Trainings are simply guidebooks on the path of your own discovery.  They inform you, point out fascinating landmarks and dangerous curves along the way, and then send you off to discover the power of this ancient practice for yourself. 

What do you get in return for all of this hard work?  You find your voice.  You experience the profound power of being present and truthful. You unearth your unique expression and relationship to the physical body and the breath.  You become inspired and, with practice, inspiring. You start to speak with the understanding that you longed to discover when you stepped onto the path.  You begin to embody the very things that you yearned to experience.  When you walk into a class, you recognize the faces of those people who are seeking a deeper meaning, who are on the threshold of pursuing joy, and you sing to their hearts.

If 2016 is your year to become a Yoga Teacher, let's get started. Click here to learn more about our 2016 Yoga Certification Programs.