People are drawn to yoga for (many!) different reasons. I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia about 10 years ago; and my family doctor suggested I try hot yoga to help with the muscle stiffness. I’d never tried yoga, so I found a close hot yoga studio and off I went. I practiced for exactly two weeks… and then my right foot ended up in a boot for six weeks. Here I am, in the boot:
My First Yoga Experience
How did I end up in a boot, you ask? The class I went to was very full (I instantly felt out-of-place and self-conscious). There was no “listen to your body” instruction, just cues for me to follow; and there was NO way I was going to not keep up with everyone around me. (It was my first time; and I did not want to look stupid.) So, I did all the things. ALL THE THINGS. I have benign hypermobility syndrome (loose joints), and my feet definitely needed to work up to those balancing poses – insert Warrior III – but, I went all-in. After two weeks of attending classes, my right foot was now injured; and I was put in a boot. I didn’t do yoga for years after that – no thank you!
My Second Yoga Experience
In 2021, a woman I follow on Instagram promoted an app that she created; in her app, there were yoga classes. I started doing her 10-minute morning yoga spinal stretch every morning. I tried to do her other classes; but I just couldn’t get into it. The morning spinal stretch, though, saved me every day; so I kept at it. This woman spoke about getting on her yoga mat for the first time an having an visceral reaction. I didn’t have that; which made me wonder if I was doing it incorrectly.
The Healing Shack
In January 2022, my daughter, Abigail, and I started attending yoga classes at The Healing Shack, with Laura. These were my first in-person classes since my hot yoga experience. I knew this was something I needed to try again. Getting instruction from a real, live person was so different than a prerecorded class on an app. Laura’s class was different from my hot yoga experience, in nearly every way. The room was welcoming; and I, myself, felt welcome. Laura’s cues gave options – many options – which let me know it was OK to do something different than everybody else. She was very clear with her message that I need to listen to my body.
We attended a handful of classes and then I asked Laura if she’d ever held yoga teacher training classes. She hadn’t – yet. Little did I know, the following year, I’d be halfway through her first yoga teacher training! Abigail and me, at The Healing Shack:
Yoga Teacher Training
Yoga Teacher Training (YTT) kicked-off just before Christmas 2023. The first 25-minute drive to The Healing Shack was a bit scary with the snow and gravel roads, which took my mind off of the anxious feelings I was having about starting this journey. I was so excited to learn about yoga – the history and philosophy. I was interested to learn about the trauma-informed side of this modality. And… I had no idea what I was actually in for.
Yes, we learned the history, lineage, and philosophy.
We learned about breathwork & meditation.
Ethics. Anatomy. Chakras. Mantras. Mudras.
We got a taste of Ayurveda and Sound Healing.
When we first started class, I was absolutely terrified at the thought of teaching/leading/cueing my fellow classmates, much less anyone else! This gave me so much anxiety. I had signed up for this class, though, so I was going to do all that was required of me… even if it terrified me. Laura was firm yet kind & understanding; after all, she had been where I was when she went through her yoga teacher training.
My biggest takeaway: the things that scared me the most during this training are what grew me the most. Those same things now allow me to have my own yoga studio because I am confident in my knowledge and ability to teach yoga.