This post is part of our Viewer Journeys series, in which we introduce you to a yogi or yogini from our community whose story has inspired us. We feel that sharing their stories will enrich your own journey.
If you have a consistent yoga practice, curious friends and relatives have probably asked you about it. If you are an avid yogi, others may seek your wisdom and experience to learn about yoga or to help begin their own practices. If you’re passionate about yoga, you realize the many ways it has enhanced your life, and are probably excited to share it with others, so they may have this experience also.
Sharing your yoga practice doesn't necessarily mean you will run out and become a certified yoga instructor. However, if you feel called to do this, there are many training programs available that will not only help you safely and optimally teach others, but also expand your personal practice. While there are no standardized requirements to unify the certification programs available, you can research them and talk to your own instructors and members of your yoga community to find one that is just right for you.
Sometimes, the desire to share is present, but the certification program is out of reach. Our first Namaste Yogini, Heather Gregory, lives in a rural area and would need to drive more than an hour to attend certification courses. With two young children and a budding business, it's not a practical option at this time. However, members of her small community were eager to learn yoga, and she couldn't turn them away.
"I don't call myself a 'Yoga Teacher,'" Heather says. "I don't even call my weekly session a 'class.' We're just a little yoga group that I lead, and all of the members fully realize that I am not formally trained. We are all learning together, and in that space, I find there is a lot of courtesy, compassion and mutual respect. I was very anxious about it at first, but happy to share the yoga I love, in the hope it would enhance the lives of people I care about as much as it has mine! I do find my past experiences with dance, Pilates and aerobics classes, in addition to my years of home fitness, writing and studies about yoga inform how I lead the group and the advice I give to them, but I will be thrilled when I can one day take some classes and have personal instruction of my own!"
Our go-getter Namaste Yogini Abbey Reeves also leads a combination Pilates and Yoga class twice a week and hopes to one day attend a yoga retreat and expand her teachings to own a yoga studio. Her class members are a source of inspiration.
"It is the greatest feeling to share a passion with someone," Abbey said. "It has a domino effect of love, confidence and joy; spreading one person at a time!"
Our most recent Featured Namaste Yogini, Katty Janus, is taking her own path to giving yoga. She currently is focused on studying many different forms of the practice, and is considering a volunteer position at a local Bikram studio in order to gain more knowledge and experience. She hopes she will return to Romania in the near future to continue her growth with her yoga class there.
"It will take time and patience," Katty said. "Weather I will teach sooner or later, I really don't know. But I will do my best to keep my dream alive, to one day teach and help bring out beauty from within. To give back just like it happened in Romania, just like I was so fortunate to have encountered, not even knowing the block in my road was MY opened door!"
Where does your yoga go? Have you been asked about your yoga practice? Have you mentored others? Who is your mentor? Who informs your journey?
This post is part of our Viewer Journeys series, in which we introduce you to a yogi or yogini from our community whose story has inspired us. We feel that sharing their stories will enrich your own yoga journey. Do you have a story to share with the community? To be a featured Namaste Yogi, send your story to firstname.lastname@example.org