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Category Archives: yoga teacher training
By: Heather Hope
The teacher of a yoga class is responsible for more than just taking their students through the poses – they set the tone and feeling for that class. So let’s get to better know one teacher through our interview with Jodi Fischtein one of our Life On The Mat course teachers.
Jodi is a mixed-lineage yoga teacher who loves aspects of Ashtanga, Prana Flow Vinyasa and Yin yoga. In 2005, Jodi moved from Long Island to Toronto and has been sharing her yoga practice in Toronto since 2008. Jodi’s training includes prenatal yoga and Thai Massage. She is currently immersed in Dr. Jon-Kabat Zinn’s Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) at the University of Toronto. Jodi lives in Toronto with her husband and four children.
Jodi was a bit hesitant to try yoga when she began attending sessions in New York in 1999: “I resisted the practice initially as I didn’t want to be still. So I behaved in a silly manner, yet I attended those sessions. Eventually I was subdued by the asana, noting the strength and flexibility I felt. Initially it was purely physical. Years later I began to draw my attention inward, to the subtle body.” When asked what advice she would give her younger self, Jodi responded, “Relax. Speak less. Listen deeply”.
“Anxiety is extremely contagious. But so is calm.”
I have spent my professional life working with children as both an elementary school teacher and now as a yoga teacher and yoga therapist. I am constantly amazed at how much my ability to be connected to my practice, to be present and grounded, impacts my time with kids. These days, when I teach parents and teachers about sharing yoga and mindfulness with children, the heart of my message is simple but profound: Connection is what makes all the difference.
My observation is that yoga and mindfulness go hand in hand with connection. When we become more mindful, we connect deeply with ourselves and develop a capacity to connect more genuinely with others. Likewise, when we consciously foster connection with ourselves and with others, we naturally slow down and become more present.
This idea of connection is worthy of deep exploration. It seems ironic that we are living in the most connected world in history, and yet symptoms of disconnection are all around us: loneliness, sadness, anxiety, anger, frustration. According to ancient teachings, disconnection is at the root of suffering. To move out of suffering we must develop present moment awareness and a capacity to attune to ourselves and to attune to others. Attunement has been defined in the following way:
I was a slightly overwhelmed mama of four, running a summer camp with my husband and struggling to find any sense of balance and connection with myself. I was finding some peace, adventure and strength on my mat at Spynga. So when the dates for the spring intensive Yoga Teacher Training were released, I had to find a way. It was no small feat to manage a 225-hour commitment, but thankfully I was supported by my husband (who managed our family and business not to mention made my lunches complete with love notes of encouragement), my family, and the community at Spynga that had so quickly become a second home. The program itself was a hands-on experience, rich in content with brilliant teachers. But it was so much more than that…
by, Charlene Yeh
Teaching Restorative Yoga is one of the most important gifts that we can give our students and ourselves. Slowing down and resting are acultural for our society, so encouraging others to rest and relax requires a deep personal commitment to exploring one’s own quiet practice. How can we hold space and create a safe environment in which others can let go, forget their worries, and rest deeply? Because being active and dynamic are usually deemed more important than quiet and passive states, as restorative yoga teachers, we must have our own inner experiences to share.
Convincing students that they need more rest and not another workout, requires a belief that there is much benefit to be gained through the restorative practice. Through balancing the nervous system, we regulate hormonal levels, decrease cortisol levels, gain better sleep and a clearer mind. The practice also helps to release tense muscles, relieve achy joints, and train the mind in transitioning from stress to calm.
Ok…We are up to 12 reasons. Ever left a juicy yoga class and thought, hmmm… I wish I could teach like that? Ever had an inkling to inspire and move people back to themselves through breath and a spirited flow called yoga? Here’s your chance!
1. You love yoga so much you want to share the love with others!
2. An opportunity to study and learn about anatomy (in a fun way of course!), yogic philosophy, meditation, breathing techniques that calm and energize, and how to get in that very twisty pretzel pose that eludes you. See curriculum here!
3. Learn about yourself and take a trip on a remarkable transformational personal journey
4. Immerse yourself in a community of like minded people who can sit and talk about the minutia of posture alignment all day!
5. Discover the impact of teaching, inspiring, and touching people’s lives daily and what that does to your soul and the soul of others.
6. Work with a fantastically experienced faculty!
7. Free Yoga for 5 months (it’s included!)
8. Learn how to make a passion of yours a real live business and you are the BOSSS.. .yogi-like of course!