As the phrase goes, “it’s not the years, it’s the mileage.” That’s what 21 years in the Army did to me after retiring. Those 21 years did a serious number on my back. This is what started my journey into yoga. I was a later bloomer into yoga, starting in my 40s. I really wish I had started at a much younger age, especially seeing the massive benefits it offers.
My journey into teaching yoga began with working six years at a thankless government job. I came home one day to tell my wife how unhappy I was. She was totally unaware of my unhappiness. She asked me what did make me happy? I told her, “I like yoga,” which she then asked me if I had ever thought about teaching? I was both an Army recruiter and instructor while I was serving so standing in front of people and talking wasn’t a far stretch for me. This is what set me on my path to finding the emPower School of Yoga after doing an internet search of local schools. I also had a local yoga teacher who had talked about Baptiste power flow, so she suggested taking a class at Shakti. This was my first introduction to Liz Veyhl and Chris Byford. I knew I had found the right teachers after taking both of their classes. They both spoke of empowerment and community, which really resonated with me. I really loved the physicality of the power flow too. I also learned a hard lesson about not eating a tuna fish sandwich an hour before class. I definitely had to take child’s pose half way through a 75-minute flow before anything came up. It was also a lesson in letting go of the ego. I consider myself a strong person, but I had never sweated so much even running a half marathon. I knew I was hooked.
One of the biggest and most life-changing surprises during the eight weekends of teacher training was the self-inquiry work. I had no idea that we would be peeling back so many past layers of our emotions/experiences, which transitioned into self-realizations. Oftentimes these self-realizations involved tears. I felt myself opening up to my fellow students as they poured their hearts out. My favorite part of emPower is the lifelong friends I now have. We started off as 31 individuals, but after 200 hours of hard work and pouring our hearts out to each other, we ended up as a family. I also really enjoyed learning how to safely assist a student’s practice.
These are a few nuggets of knowledge I would tell myself before the training:
The teachers know what they are doing so trust in the process.
I don’t need to know everything beforehand.
It is all right to let go.
You will be physically exhausted so take care of yourself (eat healthy and get lots of rest).
Bring a change of clothes and personal hygiene items because you will get sweaty every day of training.
Have lunch with someone different each day of training.
Upon graduating, I started teaching at a local studio in Clarksville. This has now transitioned into teaching at four different studios and three non-profit organizations. I love to teach yoga because I love to empower my students.
emPower School of Yoga has been life changing in such a positive way. It has been the catalyst for a new way of living (a new way of being). I used to have to always be right and prove others that they were wrong. This caused me such angst and only fed my insecurities that I wasn’t man enough. I am a more loving and open person thanks to emPower and their fantastic trainers/facilitators. If you are looking for a yoga teacher training that teaches a fantastic power flow, gives you tools for a more loving life, and helps you build lifelong friends all while having a great time, then look no further than emPower.
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