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Is a Yoga Teacher Training for you?

January 25, 2017
Yogi’s who have enrolled, are enrolling, or plan to enroll in a yoga teacher training course embark on this journey for various reasons. All are guaranteed unique experiences and to walk away with new perspectives on their practice. Yoga teacher training courses are often offered somewhere local to your home or in various retreat settings where a yogi can be fully immersed and give 100% of their attention to their teacher training. Yoga teacher training allows individuals to pass down a gift and embark on a soul journey. We asked three important questions that scratch the surface of the immeasurable impact that yoga teacher training has had on students worldwide today and historically:   Why enroll in a yoga teacher training? After dedicated yoga practice, some decide to further the depth of their practice and enroll in a yoga teacher training course. Avid yogis embark on this next crucial step for various reasons which include the desire to understand more than just the postures. Learning the history, philosophy, and heightened understanding allows students to experience yoga on a whole new level. Yoga teachers who have completed the training have reported that they did not realize the impact and incredible journey that becoming a teacher would take them on. Yoga instructor, Yaser Ebrahimi, who currently teaches in Northern Virginia commented on his experience: “When you understand something more, you feel it on a whole new level. You feel more grateful for it. Yoga became a less physical experience through incorporating the philosophical knowledge and other dynamics that teacher training has to offer. My practice became more spiritual/energetic. It became more than just warrior one or warrior two. Now I can get in the pose and truly feel it, surrender to it. Just when I felt I climbed this great mountain of yoga, I settle into another pose or a muscle movement and I feel I am at the bottom of the Himalayas. Yoga is a journey that has no upper limit, no ceiling, no sky. It’s simply timeless.”   Why is teaching yoga important? Those who decide to teach yoga are not only passing down information. Yoga is a karmic, energy gift that has been passed down from student to disciple from generation after generation. For countless centuries, there were no videos, books, cd’s, or magazines. There was no way for someone to capture this knowledge and print it into a form of media and send it to future generations. It only happened teacher to student. How many generations of teachers passed down this knowledge that aspiring students are learning at this very moment? Those who take on yoga teacher training are connecting themselves to the energy of a long line of teachers who have dutifully passed down this gift from countless generations and who have spread it globally. This line of teachers and students connects past, present, and individuals of the future. Today we can preserve this knowledge easily, but the gratitude and appreciation of these past commitments are honored through the continuance of teaching this practice. Those who enroll are keeping the flame going and are adding their own unique understanding, twists, feeling, and energy into the practice. Also see: 3 Ways to Transform Your Yoga Practice What impact does teaching yoga have on students? People will forget what you said, did, or what you do. However, people do not forget how you made them feel. Students who enter into class come from all walks of life and often carry heavy burdens. Some have come with stress, divorce, sick family members, financial problems, or are stuck in an eb of life. Everyone has something they are carrying. At the end of class, their lungs fill up and they sigh it out. Their face changes, they are glowing. They went from tense and anxious, to a moment of pure presence. A teacher is able to improve the day of one individual or perhaps provide a shifting experience that will last a lifetime. There is no way to truly measure how teachers have beautifully impacted the health, well-being, and transformation of students throughout history. Yoga instructor Yaser added, “Becoming a teacher has allowed me to teach from my own practice and hand that down. The energy is transferred to me, and then transferred onto the students that I teach. If I am able to help improve, deepen, or provide a new perspective to a student’s practice that they resonate with, I consider all of it an immeasurable success. I strive to make the practice of yoga more than just a practice, it’s a journey.” One important piece of life is to realize your gift, and give it away. If your calling is to carry the gift of yoga and actively continue this long line of energy, a yoga teacher training retreat may be the next right step for you!   By Sarah Blanks   Also see: 3 Ways to Transform Your Yoga Practice and Yoga Retreats at Selva Armonia
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3 Ways to Transform Your Yoga Practice

September 21, 2016
Yoga studios often serve as a sanctuary to those developing their practice and progress in personal growth. Nurturing the depth of the connection with one's inner-self is a key element while on the path to an improved body, mind, and spirit. Why not ditch the studio for a bit and give yourself the gift of the natural sanctuary of mother nature? Immersing yourself in a yoga practice retreat is about having an ingrained, life changing experience that carries on throughout all aspects of your life. What better place than Costa Rica - one of the most biodiverse countries in the entire world! Here are three ways a retreat in this beautiful country naturally alters one’s yoga practice:  

1.  Connect with yourself through the Source

While living in a world where the natural environment seems to be diminishing around us, it’s important to reconnect with our roots and ground ourselves! The average worker often becomes bogged down by a hectic schedule which means rushing from office to the studio to sneak in an evening yoga practice after work. When given the chance, nature effortlessly heals, rejuvenates, and restores our health. One often finds themselves through the natural world around them. There’s no better place than a yoga retreat center surrounded by abundant foliage that open the gates to deepening your connection. Being immersed in the exotic jungle of Costa Rica allows one to accelerate their practice in a pure space in comparison to the dense, concrete jungle of a city. Trading the harsh city noises, ‘natural sounding’ music track, and room full of mirrors for a vibrant, luscious, abundant jungle vibe will surely take your yoga practice to a whole new level.  

2.  Feed yourself from the Source

The experience of a yoga retreat is more than just the breathtaking sights, curious sounds, and unique feel of the jungle.  It’s also a new and exciting experience for your taste buds and a place where you can begin to reset your body, rid yourself of toxins, and learn more about what power foods you can incorporate into your diet. The fruits of Costa Rica are all quite unique and extremely fruitful in nutritional value. Guanabana, passion fruit, star fruit, papaya, and noni are a few of the abundant fruits native to Costa Rica that are excellent for maintaining a healthy body. Nutrition is an important component to mental, emotional, and spiritual health that can often be overlooked. The experience of a retreat allows you to finally stick to that health regimen that was often broken due to a fast paced lifestyle. Nothing feels better for your body and spirit than eating organically, straight from the source. Taking the time to nourish your body correctly facilitates your connection to your body and your inner self. Learning and incorporating these practices will leave you feeling lighter, more in-tune, and energized to enhance your practice.  

3.  Be One with the Source

In Costa Rica, nature takes it’s time. There is no rush in-and-out of a class, no distractions, no clock, and no time-limits. The sunrise steadily illuminates over mountain tops to scatter the first rays of sun onto your face as you start your day. A cool afternoon breeze sways the leaves on the tree branches that arch with you as you deepen into a pose. Vibrant flowers line yoga decks as the sweet hint of ylang ylang drifts through the salted air. Retreating to Costa Rica naturally slows down and automatically brings increased presence into one’s yoga practice. In the end, surrender into savasana with only the chirping sounds of the jungle, light touch of the wind, and the gentle colors of an evening sunset. There is no need for squeezing in scattered focused sessions. There is only time to invest in yourself and your practice, which will leave you feeling more centered physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. With this new centeredness and peace, the connection within expands and deepens.

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Living Yoga is Living Free

November 16, 2015
Living Yoga is Living Free. Unclench your jaw right now. Relax your shoulders right now. Shift your eyes from your computer screen to something of the natural world, even if it’s a plant in your office or a photo of nature, right now. Take three deep breaths into your belly…right now. Yoga is not something we need to wait to do later on a mat in a studio. You don’t have to have the perfect yoga clothes, a bendy body or Popeye forearms. Yoga is right now. It’s the way we feel. It’s the choice to be in a body that feels a little lighter than the moment before. Yoga isn’t about waiting for our bliss. It’s about realizing that bliss comes and goes. It’s about releasing the aversion to change. It’s about letting life flow through you, rather than resisting whatever it is that is actually happening. Resistance is futile. Acceptance is liberation. Relax. Breath into right now. Live your freedom. Live your yoga. Namaste, Heidi Michelle
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Practice Yoga, Have More Time

August 31, 2015
Many people use the excuse of not having enough time as a reason to not practice yoga. In fact, this is a common excuse to not do many of the things that make us feel happy and healthy. Things like taking a walk around the neighborhood with our kids, preparing a fresh home-cooked meal, cleaning out the clutter in the garage or closet or booking that well-deserved winter vacation get sloughed aside. If we continue telling ourselves the “no time” story, we begin to believe it with resolution and we continue a pattern of deprivation. That’s no fun. Time slows (sometimes agonizingly) down in a yoga class. You know, when you’re right there in the heart of a posture, you think your quads are going to spontaneously combust and you want to hog tie your teacher and feed her bad kombucha (not that any of us have ever had these thoughts), she tells you to sink a little deeper and breath three more breaths. Every muscle screams in outrage and your mind scrambles for a way to cheat, but you don’t. Instead, you succumb to this wise woman’s time-proven guidance, shift your awareness to your breath and trust your body’s inherent strength. You breathe those three breaths as if they were your last and time moves like slow-dripping raw honey. Finally, when savasana is over and you glide blissfully out of the room shimmering in the sweat of your own efforts, you feel as if you’ve been on a luxurious journey. You feel renewed and satisfied, ready for whatever may come next. An inverse phenomenon occurs when we actually take the time to do vitality-inducing things. Activities like yoga, mindful walking and healthy cooking calm us down, our breathing slows and our attention becomes more focused. Surprisingly, it can feel like we have more time because we’re appreciating the present moment. This is the intention of living a mindful life. Yoga trains us for this every time we step onto our mats. The world moves quickly. Do yoga. Have more time.
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