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As time went on, the competitive side of me came out, and I started doing yoga as a means to challenge my body to do difficult poses. Yoga was physical for me – a physical challenge.
Across Canada – in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Saskatoon, Regina, Winnipeg, Ottawa, Toronto, Hamilton, Halifax or Montreal – like most people I suppress all emotions I considered weak; the biggest one being sadness in the form of crying.
I considered myself tough and nobody could break my barrier – I considered this a positive trait. At the time, I considered it a sign of strength. Time progressed and something drew me to counselling.
In 2013, I was accepted into the counselling program and I thought I had landed on a different planet in some of my counselling courses.
People were sharing and discussing their stories openly and showing their emotions. I persistent and pushed through and attempted to shed some of my layers to expose a vulnerable side of myself.
I made it through the program, but looking back today, I did not do a good job of shedding my layers and digging deep. I did well in the program and my internship, but looking back today I do know what could have made a tremendous difference in my experience.
It wasn’t until late in the year of 2017 when I realized that things were not working for me. I was teaching at a high school – the toughest high school I had ever taught at.
It was my eighteenth year of teaching and although I loved teaching itself, I had been dreading going to work for many years. I counted down to every possible moment when I didn’t have to be at work. I avoided and blocked how I was feeling to survive the school year.
Fast forwarding, my family and I moved home to New Brunswick, to our property – my sanctuary.
It was the place I had been yearning for since we bought in it 2007, but lived elsewhere. Home in New Brunswick the summer of 2018, I resigned from teaching and I decided to take some time off.
I looked around for work as a counsellor that would allow me to also tie in health coaching, but found nothing. I decided to open my own practice.
Around this time, I came across the Brené Brown ‘A call to courage’ on Netflix, which led me down another path and I met a remarkable counsellor who introduced me to AEDP therapy and The Change Triangle. I was transformed on an emotional level.
After taking time to work on myself, it did not take me long to realize the power of helping people get in tune with their emotions and helping my clients process them. My personal yoga practice changed around this time as well.
My practice stopped being training for the next Iron Man and more of a place where I could reflect, process emotions, and spend time in poses in an area of calmness.
Yoga (and yoga teacher training [ytt]) now gives me the same feeling as my home and property does – joy and peace. The calmness I so yearned for for years while teaching and living away. I realized that this could also help my clients during our sessions.
For me in this moment, yoga represents constant growth, change, and inward focus. A place of self-discovery.