Spring finally broke this past week with sunshine and daytime temperatures above 50 degrees. People turned out in droves for Earth Day celebrations. Parks and beaches were full with Mainers shaking off cabin fever caused by another long winter.
In a small park along Main Street in Saco, a group of ten very different people led each other through an hour-long asana practice. The culmination of a six-month intensive study of yoga. As we basked in the sun’s rays, we reveled in the joy of becoming Maine’s first graduates of the Fluid Yoga School — a certified yoga teacher training program founded by Kevan Gale in 2011.
Six months ago, we were all strangers or mere acquaintances. Now, we are a sangha, a small community of like-minded yogis turned yoga teachers.
For me, I walked into Samudra Studio in March 2017 for a “Mantra, Movement, and Meditation” workshop with a description that caught my eye:
Jamie Villanueva is back from Boston with this multi faceted workshop! Body, speech and mind are considered to be the three pillars of action within the yoga practice. The physical movements we make, the words we speak and the thoughts we think, generate the causation or karma that impacts our lives. In this three-part workshop, we learn the power behind the yoga techniques that purify each of these three forms of action to create a more peaceful and content way of being.
A more peaceful and content way of being. That was precisely what I was seeking.
The feeling of calm I had after that workshop was indescribable, even for a writer. I wanted more. I returned for SPA yoga, because the class description lured me in with the chocolate reward at the end of each class. I kept returning, then tried other classes, met the instructors, befriended the owner.
Then, an after-class announcement piqued my interest — a yoga teacher training info session. Could I be a yoga teacher? My own personal practice was not very strong, did that matter? Could I afford it? I found myself asking these questions out loud at one of those very free info sessions.
Could I be a yoga teacher? Yes, anyone can…so long as their heart is in the journey.
Did the level of my own practice matter? No, I did not need to do a handstand to be welcomed into teacher training.
Could I afford it? Well, not really, but I could make it work.
I dove in, wholeheartedly, feet first. I had no idea what to expect nor if I had made the right decision. Our first four days discussing the mind and spirit philosophies of yoga confirmed this was what I had been looking for all along. The second weekend of training challenged my body in ways I had never experienced as we learned proper alignment and flow. The final four weekends were a whirlwind of teaching, anatomy, assisting, sequencing a class, and so much more.
I’m thrilled to say I’m a yoga teacher. It has been an exhausting, enlightening, and beautiful journey that I am beyond grateful to have embarked on (with the added bonus of nine incredible souls I can now call dear friends).
Stay tuned for my teaching schedule it becomes established.