the adventure has begun

Monday night ended our two week teacher training immersion at evolation Tampa.  We closed Monday with one last group session, including final practical info and some closing ‘rituals’ – think om circles, chanting and lots of hugs.  The energy created during a teacher training is so amazingly powerful that you just want to bottle it up and take it with you, sprinkling it through the world as needed. I have now been on both sides of a yoga teacher training and I can tell you five things, without spoiling the goods:

1. I learned as much or more as a trainer than I did as a trainee.

2. The physical yoga is the easy part…but not if you ask my hammies.

3. Try as I may, I am a coffee drinking carnivore.  (You can take the girl out of Buffalo but it’s hard to take the Buffalo out of the girl)

4. Coconut and lemon oil have changed my life.

5. My body needs more backbends, and sometimes they make me cry.

The best part about starting your teacher training is that you realize the learning has just begun.  Being on the trainer side, I have been completely humbled, inspired and energized by the teacher trainees and I constantly learn something new.  I think it is probably

because I can see myself in each of them.  My pain, my fears and my struggles.  But also my passion, my dreams and my power.   Oy, that sounds self centered huh?  Maybe it is.  But, maybe it’s not.  Because what we start to sort out, what one of my wonderful trainers told me at the very start of my path, is that giving and receiving become the same thing.  And more, each of us has to face ourselves, all of ourselves, and find acceptance in

order to get anywhere, and in order to truly serve ourselves, our students and the world.

As a trainer, you watch all the trainees pile in on day one.   Some live in the area, and have arranged time off work or child care.  Others have flown across the country, and some across the world.  Regardless of their personal situations, they have each made sacrifices and leapt into the unknown.  Sometimes these adventurous souls come in looking bright eyed and excited.  Sometimes they have a deer in the headlights look.  And sometimes they wander in the studio looking lost, like they made a wrong turn.  And every teacher who is worth their weight in gold can understand exactly how that moment feels.  So I sort of want to run up and give them each a huge hug, tell them how wonderful they are, and how much they are going to love teacher training.  But I have to pump the brakes on that business and remember that’s not the way.  Because this is their story, not mine at all.   My trainers gave me the beautiful gift of just enough guidance and plenty of space to figure it out.  Why?  Because it has to come from within.  And because that is the goal in the yoga room.

So after two weeks of training; sometimes difficult,sometimes amazingly fun, many times uncomfortable and almost always tiring, we end this session.  We say goodbye to each other.  We go back to work.  We board planes to head home.  We go back to our families.  We return to “normal” life.  But, can we maintain the new shape we have found?  Can we see our typical, maybe hectic daily life with a refreshed, clear view? 

Can we remain undaunted by the big and small struggles of life?  Can we work towards a “yogic” approach to rush hour traffic, bills and work stress?  We all ask ourselves those questions.  But the beauty is, we don’t really say goodby  to each other, or to this moment (this is great news for me because I have been named the most disastrous goodbye-er in my family).  We say “see you later” or “talk to you next week” or “can’t wait to take your first class”.  Because this is only the beginning.  So whether we drive back to the office in Tampa, return to Santa Barbara, Denver, Boulder, Buffalo, Long Island, Atlanta, Lake Placid, Amsterdam or Madrid, we take a bit of each other with us.  We take a bit of the energy, love and possibilities created together and sprinkle it into our own worlds. We take a bit of each other so that we can take turns leaning on each other, and holding each other up. We continue down each of our own paths with a smile, knowing our party just grew a little bigger.  Whichever direction we choose, we link arms and walk together.

My parents always encouraged us to find a way to give.   Find a need in this world and a gift within yourself.  I feel so blessed to be able to share something I love so much.  But, the tricky part is that I always receive much more than I give. I often wonder if it counts as giving or receiving.  Or does it matter?

Thank you and congratulations Tampa trainees!  I am completely inspired by your hard work, open minds and open hearts.  Shine your beautifully bright lights! Lean on the strength of each other when you’re tired, and remember the strength you discovered in yourself.

 “And as the surface breaks reflections fade.

But in some ways they remain the same.”

Katie Ratchuk


Katie first discovered yoga in search of a new workout, and a little bit of perspective. What she found was so much more than that, and soon fell in love with yoga. Katie played sports throughout her life, but realized she loved the feeling of calm intensity through movement, sweat and stillness. After a few years of practicing, she finally pursued her dream of becoming a teacher. Katie lives in Denver where she works in marketing and teaches yoga. Although her focus is power yoga, Katie loves exploring all styles of yoga, and feels that a yoga practice is truly the best thing you can do for yourself.