Hi friends! Hope you have had a great week. I have gotten a few questions about my yoga journey so thought I would share with all of you.
I started practicing yoga in 2006 – over 10 years ago.
Yoga became a big part of my day-to-day life after I started working full time in January of 2015. I disliked going home after work and feeling like I had not done anything for myself all day… so I would go to yoga to decompress + grow personally (I’m a huge advocate for personal development).
At the end of 2015 I felt called to go through Yoga Teacher Training. At the time (and still now) I had a crazy travel schedule and couldn’t find a training in Dallas which worked with my limited in-town availability. I began looking at immersion programs abroad but didn’t think I would ever be able to attend one. When would I ever have 5 weeks off to go to YTT?
Fast forward to the beginning of 2017 – I made a decision to move from Dallas to Houston for *love* aka my now fiance – Keith. I didn’t have a plan once I got to Houston career wise + the job market offered nothing I was passionate about so, I knew I would have to create my own path.
Knowing I would have some time off, I booked a week trip to Tulum to learn about all things yoga to “test the waters”. I had never immersed myself in so much yoga and was uncertain with the idea of spending 5 weeks across the world doing yoga 24/7. I kept having this idea that I would discover yoga wasn’t for me and those thoughts were holding me back.
A few days before I left for Tulum I had a feeling in my gut that now was the time to go to teacher training. I had been speaking with Akasha Yoga Academy for a few weeks and was really excited about their program in Bali. At the same time I also felt like the whole scenario was a dream which I could never go through with. I will never know what made me move forward but in about a 30-minute time span I made the decision to go to Bali (2 1/2 weeks from when I booked, may I mention), bought a flight, paid for teacher training, and purchased international health insurance.
The whole entire experience was spontaneous, uncomfortable + totally exciting at the same time. Many times I said to myself, “what is wrong with me that I felt the need to do something like this?” I remember exactly where I was sitting on a flight from Chicago to Singapore as everyone was boarding and thinking – “Should I get off this plane? Surely this is a horrible idea.”
After almost 40 hours of travel, no sleep and a 2 hour drive from the Denspar airport to Ubud (the capital of Bali) I met my “hotel shuttle” at the bottom of a hill to take me to my bungalow. The shuttle was a man on a scooter meant for 1. He was telling me to get on the scooter so he could take me to my bungalow and another man grabbed my suitcase and carry on and put them on a different scooter + took them away before my eyes. Everything in this situation screamed *stranger danger* to me and I was immediately overwhelmed with fear + regret.
This is a small sliver into how the next 5 weeks were. Everyday was a rollercoaster of joy, emotion, good feelings, bad feelings, feeling confident, feeling unconfident, being excited, being sad, feeling like the luckiest girl in the world, feeling confused and lost and uncertain of where the heck my life was going, feeling scared and feeling the most comfortable and uncomfortable I’ve ever felt in my life.
The best way to describe it – I thought I was going to Bali to learn how to teach yoga + oh was I in for a surprise. Yoga asanas and breathe work simply scratched the surface I will just say that.
Almost 5 weeks after my arrival, I was officially certified to teach! Through the entire journey, I knew this is what I was meant to do. I have been a natural “teacher” through my entire life – from soccer captain to being a leader in my sorority + leading a team at my job in Dallas, I absolutely love helping people and guiding them to be the best version of themselves. Seeing people tap into their potential and gain confidence in what they are doing is incredible. I knew leading people in their yoga journey would be the greatest experience.
I came back to Houston and after about 2 months of growing in my self practice, I started teaching private lessons + group classes. I then began teaching at my apartment complex and my yoga community grew from there.
Teaching yoga is not for everyone – we weren’t all meant to do the same thing (that’s why we’re different!) If you open your heart and mind to the experience however, teacher training can be for everyone. I would 1000% recommend it to anyone who is wanting to grow in their yoga practice or personally in life. I will do continuing education in different areas of yoga every year for the foreseeable future. I won’t go away for 5 week immersion programs every year, but I will definitely go away to keep learning.
You can follow my yoga dedicated Instagram account @yogabycourtney or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on group classes and private lessons. I also have a page dedicated to all of my yoga offerings which can be found, here.