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Yoga! A practice, not a perfect

Friends and social media followers have picked up on the news that I finally have enrolled myself in a 200YTT (200 hour yoga teacher training) and I couldn't be more excited. Some of the best advice I found following my recent personal tragedy (see last blog post) was to do something that I've always wanted to do for myself. For me, this is it!

I first found yoga at the youthful age of ten. I had complaints of lower back pain, trouble sleeping, and a horrible period. Our family doctor was progressive enough at the time to prescribe yoga, and regular classes for a few months did the trick! Then, as ten-year-olds are want to do, I moved on to the next thing. Twenty years later it came back into my life in New Orleans when a local witch (I use the word with high regard) hosted a "Yoga for Witches" class on a full moon. The class was at a local farm, and the room was filled with powerful women. The teacher used prompts encouraging us to "take up space" and I finished the class feeling so strong and inspired. Shortly thereafter I signed up for a membership at the closest studio to my house. I was hooked!

I try not to have regrets because there is nothing that can be done to change the past, but I often wonder what it would have been like to take a 200YTT at that studio. I loved those classes, the sequencing followed Chakras and the flows were so dynamic. While I was still bartending the brutal weekend graveyard shifts I used to call Sundays "reset day" where I would sleep as late as I could, eat simple healthy food, take a bath, speak to no one, and in the evening attend a candlelit restorative yoga class. Much like when I was a child, when I was practicing yoga every day I again discovered improved sleep, fewer aches and pains, and better ability to cope with and manage stress. Not only that, I blossomed with improved posture, quality breathing, greater confidence, and physical strength. My personal wellness practice was the best it had ever been! I found that I loved fast-paced sweaty vinyasa flows as well as gentle restorative yin practices. Yoga became a passion.

To get through quarantine, and in the hopes of inspiring friends to adopt a healthy coping mechanism, I timelapsed a one hour yoga practice everyday to share on Instagram. Most of my favorite teachers were offering zoom classes, and while that studio never did re-open, I still continue to practice with some of those teachers! Every Thursday at 10amEST Jamo hosts a donation-based vinyasa class via zoom from Nairobi, Kenya. I highly recommend joining us! Use his email to send him paypal. If you find yourself in New Orleans, Mark Berger and Kimberly Doley host an outdoor class every Saturday 9:30am CST that is not to be missed, and Chelsey Backus leads one at the same place at the Peristyle in City Park Sunday mornings at 9am.

Leaving New Orleans has put a giant crimp in my regular yoga routine. On top of being rather unsettled for a few months before I landed in my home in Vermont, I moved to a super rural area. The local library hosts gentle yoga classes Monday nights for the community, but I've struggled attend habitually. I have made the acquaintance of a charming local teacher who offers outdoor classes in a field of wildflowers when it is warm, when it gets cold class moves indoors, and she also hosts online classes.

I'm hoping that this teacher training brings me fully back to my practice. I always wanted to travel to do an in-person intensive, but this deal was too good to pass up. YogaRenew is offering a wild black Friday price of just shy of $400 for their online self-paced 200YTT with no expiration date. At first I was weary of the format, but I am finding it very comprehensive and user-friendly. Even if I didn't plan to complete the certification (of course I do, silly) they have zoom classes every day! That alone is worth the price tag- I'll be able to jump right back into my daily practice! I would love to have a group of accountabilibuddies to support each other through this training! Please sign up! They also have a whole bunch of continuing education courses for $97 dollars right now- if you've ever wanted to dive into children's yoga, yin, prenatal, anatomy, philosophy, or mindful eating- this would be the time to sign up!

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