It’s Not the Years, It’s the Mileage

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:

  1. The teachers know what they are doing so trust in the process.

  2. I don’t need to know everything beforehand.

  3. It is all right to let go.

  4. HAVE FUN!!!

  5. You will be physically exhausted so take care of yourself (eat healthy and get lots of rest).

  6. Bring a change of clothes and personal hygiene items because you will get sweaty every day of training.

  7. 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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