Passion Post: My Yoga Journey
Hi, beautiful friends!
Since Beyond the Footlights was born out of me wanting to have an outlet to share and explore my own passions, as well as inspire others to foster their own passions, I thought I would start to take some time and really share my passions with you! I wanted to take this opportunity to share little stories about my journey towards finding out what I love most in my life outside my work and what I went to school for! I hope that these posts will come to inspire you to carve out time for your own passions and make them an important part of your life!
Plus, I think this will be a great way for you all to get to know me a little better on a deeper level, and I hope we can start to further connect with one another!
One of the things I am extremely passionate about is YOGA! So much so that I just recently started my 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training to become a certified yoga instructor! The reason why this is only Part One of my yoga journey is because I will be in training for the next 8 weeks, and I hope to continue to share that journey with you as well!
So where did my yoga journey begin?
I was first exposed to yoga at my dance studio! One of my dance teachers taught yoga classes at the studio as well, and every so often I would pop into a class, hoping to work on things like balance and flexibility. Some of the best nights at dance would be when my teacher would decide to dedicate our regular class to yoga, or if she covered another teacher’s class and did some yoga with us! But growing up and going through high school, yoga was only something I did here and there. It wasn’t until I got to college that it became a larger part of my life.
I started going to some yoga classes that were held once a week on my college campus, but the crowded space and lack of connection with the teacher and the group of students left me feeling a little more frazzled than relaxed.
I believe it was my friend Abby who might have introduced me to Yoga With Adriene my freshman year. Let me tell you, this may sound silly, but Adriene was a game changer for me! This is no ad and I am not affiliated with Yoga With Adriene in any way, but I highly recommend taking a look at her videos on YouTube if you are at all interested in starting a yoga journey of your own and don’t know where to start! Adriene’s videos really shifted the way that I had always looked at yoga. She has so many different videos and playlists that are tailored to a variety of feelings, mental states, physical states, and beyond. Feeling stressed? There’s a video for that. Feeling bloated? There’s a video for that. Are you an equestrian or a runner or an actor? There are videos for you. I loved how accessible her channel was, and how just about anyone could find a little piece of yoga goodness for themselves!
The summer after my freshman year was when I got my first professional theatre gig on my college campus, and because I was dancing so much and staying active (or trying to outside of my rehearsal schedule) I tried to incorporate more yoga into my routine. After that gig had ended, I came back home for two months before my sophomore year, and that was when I started to take yoga more seriously.
On her channel at the start of every New Year, Adriene does a 30 Day Yoga Challenge. It is exactly what it sounds like- yoga every day for 30 days. The best part about them is, they are ALWAYS up on her channel! So, when I came home, I completed my first 30 Day Yoga Challenge, and I knew yoga was something I needed to have in my life. First of all, I noticed a substantial change in my body. I was toning and strengthening and lengthening parts of my body that I never had consistently exercised probably ever, and I felt so strong and confident in my body! And I was learning a lot about yoga and how I could use its tools in my everyday life. I did a lot of breath work, and learned the basics of how to regulate the breath on and off the mat (this also proved to be helpful in my life in my next semester of school, working on training my speaking voice!). But I also started to feel a shift in my mental state as well. I felt calm and centered, and my mat really started to become a place of joy and safety for me.
I decided then that I would eventually like to teach yoga. I figured that I liked it a lot, wanted to keep learning, AND I figured it could be a great gig to have on the side as a performing since it would (hopefully) be a little extra bit of income and it would help me keep my mind and body in tip top shape. But of course, this would all continue to be talk for another three years…
Most of the story from then on is pretty simple; I continued to get into studio classes when I had the time, I practiced on my own, completed a few more 30 Day Challenges, took a Hatha yoga class my senior year, and finished the semester thinking I had work for the summer and would have to continue to put off teacher training until I had the time and money to dedicate to it.
But of course, nothing in 2020 has gone as planned!
My summer contract was cancelled, and now I am back at home. Ever since I’ve been here, I talked about looking into teacher training since I had the time, but I wasn’t sure I would be able to do it for a long time since studios aren’t open. But I will say, one great thing that has come out of the great disaster of 2020 is the massive digital shift. Because of this, I was able (through a great friend) to find a teaching program that was completely online and affordable! I signed up about two weeks later!
So here I am, in the wake of a pandemic, studying to become a yoga teacher! And I must say, I am loving every minute of it!
One of the goals I set for myself this month (before I decided to dive into teacher training) was to do yoga every day and so far, I have done just that! I have continued to use the Yoga With Adriene channel for videos (she curates a monthly calendar or videos too!) as well as some yoga sculpt classes online and classes through my training studio. Along with my daily practice, I am doing all of my required reading/video watching/reflection for my program. Right now, I am learning a lot about the Yoga Sutras, the history and philosophy of yoga, and the ethics of teaching! There is so much more behind the practice of yoga than I had ever anticipated, and I can’t wait to incorporate these new principles in my life!
I am excited to continue to share my experience with you and eventually share my practices with you too! Stay tuned for some more yogi updates and in the mean time, I encourage you to get out there and live in your passions!