Turning Passion Into Practice

Turning Passion Into Practice

Passion Post: My Personal Yoga Journey

Turning Passion Into Practice 
My Yoga Journey: Part Two

Part Two

Hey Hey!

SO, after much longer than I had anticipated, I am back sharing part 2 of my personal yoga journey with you! Upon writing this, I am so excited to share that I AM OFFICIALLY A CERTIFIED YOGA TEACHER! As of September 28th, I received my certificate, making it all ~official official~!

Obviously, I wrote part 1 of this little passion post series waaaaaay back in June, so this has been stretched out for just a bit longer than I had expected. That is part of the reason why I loved the program I was in so much, because it was all move at your own pace. The program is structured to be completed in an 8-week time frame. When I first started, I remember thinking “8 weeks is SUCH a long time, I will be finished in no time,” and…I was slightly mistaken! All in all, it took me about 3+ months to submit all my materials and receive my certificate.

In my part 1 post about my yoga journey, I highlighted how I got started doing yoga and what led me to want to start my teacher training, and I talked a little bit about what I was learning in the program. At the time, I was less than a month into my studies, so it was kind of easy to briefly mention all I was learning. I started out learning about the ancient philosophies of yoga and the Yoga Sutras, and went on to learn about anatomy and physiology, proper sequencing and class structure, and the business of yoga.

As part of my course requirements, I had to watch 48 hours’ worth of additional lecture topics from weekend zoom lectures. This was honestly one of my favorite parts of the training, despite the time commitment. I liked to view these lectures as “yoga elective” because there were a variety of different topics to choose from. There are many sister sciences to yoga and different courses of study within the study of yoga, so there truly is a branch for every person to enjoy and dive into. Before starting my training, I knew nothing about Ayurveda, or “The Science of Life,” and now, I am amazed at how ayurvedic principles really do impact my life! Some other topics that I really enjoyed learning about were prenatal yoga, the chakras, and yin yoga!

Like I mentioned, I also learned the proper way to sequence a yoga class. Now, before I started my training, I will admit, I did not think it was going to be as much of a mental and spiritual journey as it was; I thought the journey would largely be a physical one. The journey absolutely encompassed all of those things, and while the physical aspect of yoga teacher training is demanding there was so much more to it. Although it isn’t everything, proper sequencing one major part of yoga teacher training!

When you start sequencing a yoga class, having a theme to build the class around is really helpful. This usually helps in deciding what kind of poses to incorporate, if you want to do a flow class or a gentler class, and the intensity of the class. I knew the bare bones of a yoga class just from being a student for many years, but I had never thought about how to properly sequence poses to protect the muscles, joints, and bones in the body! It was all extremely fascinating to me. I had to create lots of different groups of poses for potential sequences, and honestly, I loved doing it. To me, it was like piecing together a puzzle and I loved the challenge. I also had to type out entire classes, both the sequence of poses and everything that I would say as though I were actually leading a class. It was incredible to see just how many pages one class could take up, since you’re leading and giving physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual cues all in any given class!

I had to teach a few mini classes and one full-length class as part of my training practicum, and I was sooo nervous to teach. I remember thinking when I would take yoga classes “I don’t know how the instructors do the poses themselves, talks through even the toughest of poses, gives positive reinforcement, and looks completely amazing and fit while doing it.” I am by no means the perfect teacher, nor will I ever be, but after I taught my first class, I felt a rush of accomplishment a pride wash over me. I had done something I had questioned whether I could do or not and it had gone smoothly! I still get some butterflies before I teach, only because I get worried I’ll forget something, but for the most part teaching brings me such joy. My experience as a yoga student certainly helped inform me in my training, and now my experience as a teacher will continue to inform me as a student. Even though I am now a teacher, I will always be a student- learning from my students, learning from other teachers, and continuing to broaden my knowledge of the practice.

Right now, I am offering yoga classes via zoom here and there- wherever I can find the time in my schedule! I love having the opportunity to connect through our breath, even if it is on zoom! If you’re interested in taking class with me, feel free to reach out to me via social media/email so I can get your email added to my email list!

I cannot thank my close friends and family enough for encouraging me to take this leap, for their constant support while I completed the program, and for coming to my early classes (for real, you’re so appreciated). Had it not been for Miss. Rona, I never would have been able to slow down and take time to start a training program, let along see myself through to completion. Sometimes good really does come out of the darkest places. I can’t wait to keep practicing, teaching, and sharing my love for yoga with the world however I can!

Sending lots of love and light right to you!

~ Ang

Turning Passion Into Practice

Turning Passion Into Practice

Passion Post: My Yoga Journey

Part One

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!

Passion Post: My Yoga Journey Part One

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!

Passion Post: My Yoga Journey Part One

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!

~Ang