On the eve of my anniversary teaching yoga, I just wanted to quickly create a post to acknowledge it. There are many reasons people join yoga including : health, exercise, flexibility, they heard it’s cool, to meet people, therapy, and the list goes on.
I never imagined yoga would change my life, in every way possible. I decided to try it at a gym I was attending a few years ago. It taught me the basic poses, I got a good stretch after a vigorous CrossFit workout, and I felt it was the therapy I was searching for in my body, and my mind. It was basic, but with a dance background, it felt good. I felt good.
I didn’t know anything other then that at the time. I took a few workshops when I saw them posted on Facebook by the community yoga master https://www.facebook.com/iaroslav.jouravlev, but that was my extent in yoga outside the gym.
All I knew was that my mother seemed like a “yogi”, I wanted to be more “yogi”, and during class I shut off the phone, the world, and felt more and more connected to my body and my mind the more yoga I did. I also took this feeling we call the “yogi high” and it helped with situations outside of yoga. I learned how to appreciate what was really important, and to react to what wasn’t, with a calm demeanor.
I decided to become a yoga instructor with the push of the same friend who inspired me to join QKettlebell Club (formerly QCrossFit). After a decade of bartending, I was ready to be done for good. I would tend bar before my radio show, and I found that it was hurting my career more and more because I was always tired, and emotional. Sure I loved the patrons, and the CASH, but my body was killing me, and I wanted a more rewarding job for my soul. My friend gave me the right push, and I found a certification program almost the next day with http://www.youniqueyoganj.com .
I actually didn’t even realize I had signed up at a hot vinyasa studio! I was too excited to connect with the teacher (who is still my mentor) and that it met with my schedule, that I didn’t read the fine print. I was a clueless yogi! If I could do it over again, I would’ve liked to have spent more time practicing yoga, before diving into becoming a teacher. But I can’t change time, and I took on the even bigger challenge. I had to learn not only how to teach yoga, but what yoga was!! The poses, the practice, the beliefs, the anatomy, etc. It was challenging and intimidating, I loved it! My mentor told me that becoming a teacher would give me the same feeling after a class as the instructor, as it does when you leave your own mat while practicing. She was more then right.
I did it. I graduated, and here I am a year later loving it more and more on a daily basis. I keep up with own practice and continue to participate in workshops when I can, but watching your own students grow, watching them get strong in their mind/bodies, there is no greater gift. I feel like it was part of my destiny to become a yoga instructor. It took me over three decades to figure that out, but now I have a lifetime to emerge myself into it.
I didn’t graduate quietly either. I jumped right into teaching a few classes a week, held my very own workshop at www.QKettlebellclub.com, taught on lake hopatcong cruises, subbed for anyone who needed me to, and paid my dues. I now teach 2-3 times a week on top of my full time job on the radio, and side job DJ’ing which works more for my schedule, but who knows what this lifetime will bring in the future……
I’m finding my way just like anyone else, but I am happier then I have ever been. Yoga changed my world, changed my body, changed my mind. Thank you students for welcoming me with open hearts as your instructor to help share the love I have for the practice. Happy one year to me, and many, many more trips around the sun!
Namaste, and Rock on!
“True yoga is not about the shape of your body, but the shape of your life. Yoga is not to be performed; yoga is to be lived. Yoga doesn’t care about what you have been; yoga cares about the person you are becoming. Yoga is designed for a vast and profound purpose, and for it to be truly called yoga, its essence must be embodied.” — Aadil Palkhivala