I feel like everywhere we look, people are taking their yoga teacher training certification (click here if you want to jump ahead to where I’m taking my training). I’ve officially become one of those people. But, you’ll never (I guess I should never say never, lol) see pictures on my feed of me in a yoga poses on the beach.

Why? Well, because physically my body is not having it and because that’s not what yoga is about.

Hold the phone…

Yoga ISN’T about beautiful pictures of beautiful women in beautiful poses in beautiful places all around the world???

No. I understand why you’d think it is. But, it’s not. Well, it could be about that for certain people (absolutely nothing wrong with that).

But yoga is something that’s very personal to each individual and a definition that will continually evolve with your practice. (I’ll get into that in another post!)

In this post, I want to talk about why I decided to take my yoga teacher training and why I’ve chosen this particular teacher and school to do it with. I’m not sure if I’ll ever teach classes, but I’ve still found it worthwhile to allow myself to grow like this. Besides, it’s super common to take the training without the intent of teaching.

Whether you want to teach or just want to enrich your entire life, this article is for you!

Okay, let’s start:

1. Yoga brought me into alignment

Yoga helped me align with a force much bigger than myself (insert the word God here for those who are comfortable with that) which reminds me why I’m here and helps me to find my centre.

Alignment is a word you’ll often hear in yoga. You’ll hear teachers talking about the perfect alignment in class. You’ll find pictures across the world wide web that teach proper alignment for the physical postures, but that’s not the kind of alignment that I’ve found to be most beneficial to my life.

While yoga has helped me begin to master myself (my breath, my thoughts, my mind and my body) it has allowed me to comfortably surrender to everything else. This has hugely shifted my wellbeing – physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

Yoga has brought me into alignment within every aspect of my life.

I’m taking my yoga teacher training because I want to learn more about the philosophy that yoga is rooted in. I’m not wanting to learn so I can hold it over everyone’s head, and float around perfectly reciting the Yoga Sutras. I’m just so appreciative for what yoga (on and off the mat) has brought into my life. I want to respect yoga tradition by giving it the love and attention it deserves.

2. Yoga has allowed me to be present

Yoga has shown me what is means to be connected with your body and with the world. Simply put, you cannot be at war with your body when you’re truly living IN your body. It’s too amazing to hate.

When I was at school, I wasn’t super into science class so I didn’t pay much attention to the part where we learned about the human body.

However, now that I’m older, I find it incredibly empowering to have a better understanding of the shell that we live in. I want to live IN my body, not be at war with my body. There’s a huge difference. We are always thinking about how much we hate our bodies, instead of actually spending time deeply rooted in our physical form.

I want you to take a moment. Ensure your feet are planted on the ground. Think about your feet. Feel the contact they’re making with the ground beneath you. Lift up all of your toes. Spread your toes. Feel the shift in sensation in your legs. Plant your toes back down. Engage your legs by imagining your feet will rip apart the ground beneath you. Feel the shift in sensation.

Understanding the yoga postures like this won’t just help me to teach them, if that’s what I choose. It also influences the rest of my life.

I’m only a weekend into the yoga training and my physical practice has already transformed. The cues we were taught has allowed me to truly arrive in my body – while practicing yoga and also moving through my day.

3. Learning is fun

I hated all 12 years of school. I felt stupid. I didn’t feel supported in my learning. This experience lead me to believe I didn’t like learning. But, that’s not the case because when you’re genuinely interested in something, learning becomes fun.

And, that’s exactly how I feel about the Yoga Teacher Training. I love yoga, soooo it just made sense.

If you’re thinking about taking a yoga teacher training course, but you don’t feel smart enough, think again. You are. If you feel like you’re not a good learner, know that you can be when it’s something you really want to learn.

Don’t allow any insecurities from the past hold you back if your YTT is something you seriously want to do.

4. I love my teacher and yoga school!

When I was considering taking my yoga teacher training, I know it was really important to find a teacher and school that would align with my own yoga philosophy and also connect with me on a personal level. I also wanted one in Edmonton, close to home so I could spend max time with Riley, King Rio and Biggus.

Luckily, I had connected with my future yoga teacher, Michele and her company Empowered Yoga before looking into taking my training!

She and I met for coffee to talk about yoga and so I could find out more about her book, Empowered Body. At that time, I had no intention of looking into her YTT so I was just meeting another individual, who just happened to be hugely into yoga and was one of the most admired and sought-after teacher trainer in my city.

The first thing I noticed about her was how unlike a yoga teacher she is. I say that in the best possible way. Michele isn’t TRYING to be what yoga is about, she just is. She swears. She’s relatable. She’s fun – and she combines all of that with a deep respect for the traditions of yoga while backing it with an understanding of neuroscience and physiology.

When I started looking into different yoga teacher training courses, I obviously felt drawn to Michele’s personality, but it ultimately came down to her approach, which can be explained best by these words she mentioned in class:

Cool, you can get into that pose. We all end up in the same position in the end. Dead.

There is such an emphasis in yoga to look a certain way. And it can be incredibly damaging not just mentally, but physically, too.

I chose Empowered Yoga because it greatly aligns with what I talk about on Way of Gray. Everybody is different. Your worth isn’t dependent on what you can do. It’s inherent. This is how Michele approaches her training and I can really get behind that. It’s called ‘Empowered Yoga’ not ‘This Is The Only Way Yoga’ because it truly is about empowering YOU within YOUR yoga practice. I love that!

Another thing that drew me to this specific training is that Michele makes it clear that she doesn’t know everything. She’s a student just like us – and I can deeply respect that.

Yoga has brought so much into my life that taking yoga teacher training seemed like the obvious next step. If you’re considering doing the same, don’t forget that where you take your training is an incredibly important decision. Take the time to look through what’s available for you and look into who’s leading the training. You’ll be spending a lot of time with them and they will greatly impact your yoga teaching style and yoga practice.

If you’re in the Edmonton arrive, or willing to travel, Empowered Yoga offers a butt load of different courses and training and I’d highly recommend them. You can learn more on their site, Empowered Yoga. If you have any questions about training with them specifically, feel free to email me at info@wayofgray.com! You can also find them on Facebook, Instagram or learn more about Michele on her Instagram