Sukatha of a Yoga Teacher: Autumn
सुकथा Sukatha of a Yoga Teacher: Autumn
Sukatha means beautiful story, meet Autumn, a recent Yoga Teacher Trainee, this is her sukatha!
I took my first yoga class at my local gym in 2013. I had only ever used a yoga DVD at home that I bought to help me stay in shape. I instantly fell in love with practicing. I was so mesmerized by my teacher, Melanie. The in-person experience was so much different. I started going weekly and felt myself getting stronger and learning how to balance better. I didn’t realize at the time but I held onto things I learned from her and eventually incorporated them into my personal practice.
After about a year or so Melanie left for a new job and another teacher had come and gone. The gym stopped offering yoga and transitioned into new ownership. During that same time I was planning my wedding, so my practice dwindled.
When I returned from my honeymoon in June of 2014, I was invited to take a bikram yoga class by my friend Lillian and my passion was reignited! I started taking classes regularly and once again began to notice positive changes not only physically this time, but also mentally. I felt good about myself and loved the challenge of hot yoga.
About six months later I discovered the yoga community on Instagram. I had no idea about all of the different styles and types of yoga, including inversions. I just knew I had to learn more. I started looking up tutorials on YouTube and began teaching myself different poses and inversions that I thought looked cool and challenging, while still practicing at the bikram studio.
In May of 2015 I participated in my first Instagram yoga challenge for beginners. The challenge forced me to practice every day and I began to receive positive feedback from friends and family that had seen my challenge photos. My posts were inspiring people to want to try yoga and to work out more. They even started coming to me for advice about health and fitness. I was ecstatic! I felt so passionate about helping people and about spreading joy through yoga.
I continued to participate in challenges and in May of 2015 I went to the beach for a week with my husband’s family. My sister in law Cameron, who is a teacher, had taken notice of my practice and my dedication. She suggested to me that I should consider teaching yoga. At first the idea seemed crazy and scary to me, but the more I thought about it, the more it made sense. I had always known I had a “teachers heart” but I hadn’t found anything I felt confident enough in to be able to teach it to someone else. She really encouraged me and inspired me to look into it.
Shortly after getting home I started researching options for yoga teacher training. Everything I found was in Charlotte, Raleigh or Asheville and took place during the day or at the crack of dawn. Considering I worked a full time job, I knew that none of these options were going to work. I had told a few of my close friends about my plans and how disappointed I was in my search results but they convinced me to keep looking.
Not long after that I got an email from Chelsea, one of the friends I had spoken to about my interest, forwarding me some info about a teacher training program starting at the Gateway YWCA. I was interested so I emailed some questions and concerns to the teacher of the program, Kristen. Everything checked out! The timing, the price, the location, everything! I was sold! I made the arrangements and patiently waited for training to begin in August.
Training began, I met nine amazing women and yogis from all different walks of life. We started off slow but by the end we had all formed full blown friendships. Kristen became our guru and our mentor. She brought together a group of strangers that turned into sisters. Each one of them taught me and made me a better yogi in their own special way. We formed a bond that will never be broken. We became a tribe.
Graduation came in November and I immediately started looking for a place to begin teaching, knowing exactly where to go…where my journey began. I applied at the same gym where I took my very first class, which was still not offering any. Turns out there was a new group fitness manager who was launching a brand new schedule starting in January and she just so happened to be in need of a yoga teacher! I had my audition and was hired in December to start teaching in the new year!
I now teach there three days a week and I love it! I am still a student and always will be. I learn more everyday when I teach and when I work on my practice. Becoming a yoga teacher has proven more rewarding than I could have ever imagined! It’s such an honor for me to be the one to bring yoga back to the very place where I fell in love with it. Now I get to introduce yoga into people’s lives, maybe even ignite a passion in them they didn’t know they had, the same way Melanie did in me. I see myself in my students, walking into class with curiosity in their eyes. It fills my heart with so much joy. Yoga has truly been a blessing in my life and I am forever grateful to those who have been involved in my journey and supported me along the way!
From my heart to yours, Namaste!
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