250 hr Yoga Teacher Training: A Journey with Many Destinations

We love what we do.

Our 250 hr Yoga Teacher Training program is a special part of Yoga Tree. It allows us to train and inspire familiar faces, meet new ones – and grow our cherished community. Last week, we completed another one-month intensive session of YTT.

We’re excited to share their journey below.

L to R: Recent grads Jen, Savina, Venessa, Laily

To listen to their full, uncut journey, click here.

Why did you take teacher training?

Jen: Actually, I was teaching in Korea for 20 years and I just moved back last year and was ready for a transition and I’m kind of looking to see what I’ll do next and what I’m going to do ‘when I grow.’

Savina: I have been practicing yoga on my own for the past five years or so. I started doing yoga in a temple in a free class. That has helped me be true so much! I think I needed to be here because I felt that when I got here on the first class, I felt a sense of peace and I was close to home. It was just something that I knew I needed to do for myself.

Laily: I wanted to do teacher training because I wanted to help other people overcome their difficulties and especially trauma – whether it’s physical, sexual or social traumas. I thought this would be a really great way to do that because yoga is so healing.

Venessa: I initially started off practicing Ashtanga about five years ago. I shied away from the practice and went more into fitness and weight training but someone I found my way back to yoga and I feel it’s my path to wellness and I just want to incorporate it with healthy eating and natural medicine and a mindful life.

How do you plan to use your training?

Jen: I’ve been on a well-being journey for the last year. I suffer from auto immune conditions and I did take another course in another country where it was more spiritually-based. As I went to the open house and talked to Jason, I realized his whole story and journey and it really connected with me and so I thought it would be great to learn about the other half – the anatomy, the Sanskrit terms and really get into yoga – so I could advance my own practice as well as help others on their well-being journeys.

Laily: I’ve been facilitating a meditation group for about three years and we do some light stretching beforehand to prepare for meditation. But I want to make sure that all the stretches we do are safe and it’s not going to injure anyone and with this knowledge we can advance to more advanced poses with the knowledge that we are going to be safe.  

The whole July YTT fam with instructor Sandy Huen

Why did you choose Yoga Tree’s program?

Jen: I really wasn’t going to take anymore because, really, I just got my 200 hours in Greece but then I went to the Open House – because I thought I would just check things out.

And really it was Jason! Finding out that he and his wife started this on their own when they were 23, it feels more of like a non-profit sort of vibe and they have all of the Energy Exchange people. Everybody you see here smiles, from the reception, to Energy Exchange to the managers, to even Jason he’s so humble! I didn’t even know he was the owner. He was just sitting on the side very humbly. I was really inspired by him and everybody who works here. So, I thought this is the next step the right step for me. I want to be part of this community.

Savina: Choosing Yoga Tree was a very difficult decision for me because I had to leave my husband and my family at home in Trinidad for two months to be able to complete the training and all the requirements. I was looking for somewhere that was close to my friend, who I’m staying with. Also, somewhere that aligned with my goals and values in terms of respect and kindness. Just general, being good and getting away from the negativity and that is what I was looking for. I went on the website, I communicated with Bailey and we chatted on the phone. She made me feel positive about coming to Yoga Tree.

Laily: I came to Yoga Tree because it has the most anatomy and physiology as well as most hours in the week and the most days of the week. So, I really felt that I was going to get a really comprehensive education. It wouldn’t be just one side of yoga. It wouldn’t just be one side of yoga. I would get all eight limbs of yoga.

Venessa: I choose Yoga Tree because they have so many different branches of yoga offered. I always thought I was going to be an “Ashtangi.” But I realized that I really loved restorative which is almost the opposite but still connected. So, they offered a lot of different training, and all aspects, so I felt like I was just getting my worth out of it.

L to R: Recent grads Jen, Laily, Savina (standing), Venessa

What have you learned?

Jen: It’s kind of more like “gosh, what haven’t I learned?” I mean the way they’ve had all these different senior teachers coming from Yin, coming from a chiropractic science background, coming from various limbs. It’s amazing! We’ve really learned from their experiences as business people, teachers, as learners, as continuing learners. So, I feel like I’ve really gained from their variety of experiences and wisdom and knowledge. So, it’s like, “what haven’t I learned?” I’ve learned a lot!

Venessa: What I’ve learned most is basically that alignments were very key. Alignments are very important to each and every one of us. I’ve learned that the poses and end goal is not the actual end goal. It’s the journey and that’s what you should focus on, because what are you going to do after you’re finished the goal? You’re going to find a new goal. So, it’s really about being mindful and taking the process of being grateful and just being comfortable with your own mind, body and spirit.

What’s next?

Jen: I thought it was going to be mostly for me and advancing my own practice but it’s great that they kind of forced us to teach people and when I had my friend’s friend actually say, “when can we do it again?” I was just like really shocked because I was so thankful, like, thank you for going through this process of this first practice with me!

Savina: What is next for me is back on a plane to Trinidad! Spend some time with my family! Share this knowledge with them. Sort my thoughts out. Give back to the community and would love to help people with their journey of how their health and wellness through yoga.

Laily: I would love to start teaching economy classes when we graduate and also more in the community for different groups and with different needs.

Venessa: I think I really want to start to integrate this into the fitness industry and gyms because it’s not just fitness, it’s wellness and it’s one in the same and it should be one in the same. I really want to bring this body awareness and the mindfulness to fitness centres that are trying to incorporate or haven’t yet.


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