Category: Yoga

Becoming a Yoga Teacher

Yoga by ProjectRefinedLife.com
When I started my Yoga Teacher Training I wasn’t completely sure I wanted to become a Yoga teacher. I have been surrounded by some great role models and my fellow students all had an outstanding practice already. “Can I be a good teacher, a teacher that radiates compassion and knowledge, could I possibly live up to those who’s teaching styles I admire?”
Shanti Shanti Yoga Tribe

 

I just completed my Yoga Teacher Training on Saturday and I can tell you now that I after going through the ups and downs during training and teaching some classes –  I am completely sure that this is what I must do!  Teaching Yoga gives me a ability to share my heart,  the knowledge that I gained and a feeling of enlightenment with others. I do get a little nervous before a class but that’s because I want to do an outstanding job for my students. As they roll up their mat I want them to leave with a deeper understanding of Yoga and a feeling calm and peace from within.
 
This training was definitely a roller coaster of emotions for me. A few times, I thought to myself, just finish the training, don’t worry about the test and keep learning. My practice and understanding of Yoga will be deeper and more profound regardless of the outcome even if I don’t become a Yoga Teacher.
Mediating in Sedona, AZ at Bell Rock
As I write this I am reminding myself that throughout the time of my Yoga Teacher Training I was pretty busy with my Girl Scout Troop, other volunteer positions, At home with school work, our crazy family schedule and trying to keep up the house. And of course, any time your doing something life changing life throws something big at you. And it it did. But…I managed to get through it with the help of my yoga family/tribe. Yes, they and my family helped me get through it.
The power of Sound Healing
Sometimes I look back and think I must have been crazy adding the commitment of studying Yoga on top of the things I already had going on! There  were days when I left a Yoga class or teacher training feeling like “wow, I’ve progressed” and then that would get followed up by “what am I thinking”.  Let me be clear, I mention all the things I continued to do during this training because I need to grant myself some space and grace for feeling defeated and overwhelmed at times. My plate was already spilling over but I wanted to do this. I knew the time was now!

I love to help other’s and give back to my community but I came to realize that teaching Yoga gave me a feeling like no other. I thought about the teachers or classes I enjoy and admire the most and realized the teachers all had something in common. They all have heart. You can feel their soul, their heartaches, the moments in life both good and bad shining through in their teaching. They all had the ability to be completely human with their students. Although there are times when I may take a class to challenge myself or learn something different I much prefer to be in a class that permits the feelings of love, acceptance and compassion. Yoga is more than a physical practice for me, it runs deep.

For me, Yoga is all about putting tapas, santosha, svadhyaya, and surrender (yoga terms, lol) into practice. Teaching Yoga gives me the opportunity to bring the feeling of contentment, love and acceptance to my students. I’ve lived a life filled with peaks and valleys. It has been far from perfect but that pain, the suffering I’ve lived through allows me the unique opportunity to teach from the heart. I’ll get to help people learn something life changing when they think they just showed up for a work out. Being a Yoga Teacher also grants me the perfect excuse to keep learning and seeking further understanding…and If I’m a good teacher – I’ll also get to learn things from my students.

Another thing I came to realize about Yoga is that is great as is! It doesn’t need me to change it or serve it, or help it. Yoga will continue with or without me but maybe just maybe by my sharing my feelings about life, what I’ve learned, what makes me happy, joyful & peaceful; I can inspire someone to learn more, to dig deeper into their practice, to feel contentment or to be more accepting of themselves. Like a Yoga Fairy I get to sprinkle my “Yoga Dust” among my students.  How cool is that!?!
Two of fellow students and Shanti Shanti Tribe and I after our Final
I hope you can join me for some “Yoga Fairy Dust” at one of my classes as I continue to refine my life. I’ll be teaching every Saturday morning at 7:00 a.m. beginning June 3rd at Yoga Squared in Old Town Tustin. You can also look for me on the schedule filing in for other teachers. This has been a humbling and eye opening experience and look forward to sharing it with you.
Namaste,
Annette Cruz, Project Refined Life
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FREE Kids Yoga!

Image Courtesy of OrangeHomeGrownInc facebook page

It always makes me feel great to bring home fresh, organic, locally grown veggies for my family. This Saturday morning you can take that feeling of doing something great for your family a step further!

Why not pick up some beautiful organic veggies for the family at the Orange Home Grown Farmers & Artisans Market and then let kids get in on some FREE Yoga? That’s right, a FREE YOGA class designed just for them. Did I mention that it’s FREE?

This FREE kid’s Yoga session is taught by Renee Schwan and no pre-registration required. Just bring your shopping list, a yoga mat and the kids!

  • Saturday, April 22, 2017 from 10:45am –11:30am

  • Orange Home Grown Farmer’s Market, located at 304 N. Cypress Street, Orange CA 92866

  • Cost: FREE!!!

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My Journey Into The World Of Yoga

Projectrefinedlife.com
I’ve always loved yoga. It has always been a way for me to relax, feel refreshed, energized and alive. My vocal/piano teacher introduced the practice of breathing, mediating & some light yoga as a teenager. I remember thinking “Okay, this is cool but I’m here to sing and learn to play the piano. Why is she having me do this”. Looking back now I realize she was trying to open my mind, focus my energy and deflect the some of the negative influences and habits I had surround myself with.
As an adult, I practiced Yoga from time to time. In the mornings before heading off to work, at my local gyms, at a couple of the kick boxing gyms I belonged to. I tired out some studios here and there and with dvd’s. No matter what I was doing in life, no matter what season in life I was in, I always came back to Yoga. Last year, I made Yoga a part of my everyday life at a wonderful studio in old town Tustin called Yoga2 (Yoga Squared). This studio felt good, the energy was good and the teachers and students were friendly and kind. As soon as I started practicing on a regular basis, I knew this was something I needed to include as part of my being and on a bigger scale.
I began to feel and think differently. At this time I was already engaged in some courses and study’s which made the practice (asana), the words, the shapes and the thoughts I was experiencing during my Yoga sessions light a fire within me. This past December, I decided to take my love for yoga to whole new level and embark on a 15 week – 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training course through Shanti Shanti Yoga School.
Mediating in the Grand Canyon
Deciding to take this training was a hard choice for me. I already had such a busy schedule, I was afraid of the commitment, scared of all of the studying that would be involved. I was older than your average yoga teacher and didn’t have as much flexibility as some of the yogi’s around me. Could I keep up with my family, my household duties and other outside commitments? I sat down and had a talk with my family to discuss how everyone’s life would be different (at least for 15 weeks) if I took this training. With the support of my family and despite all of the challenges – I decided to do it. The 15 weeks would come and go regardless of my taking this training, so why not at least try it.
Well, here I am in week #11. I must say – this has not easy but it has it been worth it! I have met some amazing human beings. I have discovered things about myself that need to change. I’ve discovered things about others around me that made me wake up. I am learning about SO many things and so many different perspectives. It’s been a humbling and an eye opening experience and I am loving every minute of it!
Quote from Winnie the Pooh.
In my daily life, I am beginning to prioritize my day and my life differently. I realized almost 12 years ago that although I plan my life ultimately there is a power much greater then myself that is control. I am however in control of how I respond to what happens in life. There are certain things in my life that I am okay with letting go of (folding the laundry is one of them). In all seriousness, I feel a huge shift in my life and it is due to this inner reflection that is required in this training. This training is unlike any other training or education I have ever taken part in.
If you have ever considered taking Yoga Teacher Training – do it! A few words of advice:
  • Look for a good school –  Find a school that is registered through Yoga Alliance. You want your training to count and many yoga studios won’t hire you if your teacher training wasn’t through a Yoga Alliance registered school. Very important, make sure the teachers/trainers are in practice, knowledgeable and kind. I feel like I hit the jackpot with my Yoga school of choice. They are all very professional, well trained and caring.
  • Don’t go big – when it comes to yoga teacher training, bigger isn’t necessarily better. Smaller class sizes means more individualized attention. They’ll get to know you and what your capable of. Don’t be a number.
  • Internship Programs – it’s scary to be sitting along side the teacher, teaching segments of the class or the whole class during  your training but so worth it. The opportunity to have a mentor guide you and prepare you to teach before you’re out there on your own is priceless. I appreciate every single word of advice and the direction I receive.
  • Keep a journal of how you feel and your thoughts on a weekly basis. I feel differently every week. There have been a couple of times I felt defeated and that I wasn’t cut out for this. But I’m still here – learning, growing and facing my fears. It’ll help to look back on your changes.
  • Be prepared – your life and your perspective will change and that’s a good thing. Embrace the changes that lie ahead and remain truthful to yourself.
There is still so much to learn. I am still nervous about my journey and my future as a Yoga Teacher. I am surrounded by some awesome examples of Yoga Teachers and people. At the beginning of my training I wasn’t sure if I wanted to teach but I now I am sure that I need to share this with others. It’s bringing an awareness into so many other areas of my life. Areas that I want to explore and learn more about. It has also brought into perspective things that I have already learned and how to incorporate them into what I what I am learning and what I will be teaching. I still have a few weeks to go and finals to get through but regardless of the outcome from this journey (Yoga Teacher Training) I know that my mind, body and soul will be better, more knowledgeable, more accepting, stronger and healthier because of this. Let the project continue!

Peace and Love,

Annette – Project Refined Life

 

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