Yoga Dads

This Father’s Day, we want to share the story of two recent Evolation grads. 

Fyona and Hugo Flinn are a father-daughter yoga team from Limerick, Ireland. The pair have been practicing hot yoga for almost 10 years. Fyona became hooked on the practice while working in Belfast as a child psychologist. After years of playing hockey, hot yoga was a welcome change that improved her flexibility and sport-related injuries. Fyona firmly believes that physical and mental health go hand-in-hand, and that yoga represents the bridge between the two. Her passion for yoga encouraged her father to begin his own practice, and he quickly became hooked as well. 

After a few years of dedicated practice, the Flinns decided they wanted to dive deeper into yoga and learn to teach others. As a result, they made the long flight out to Hawaii for their Hot Yoga Teacher Training. Rather than bonding over a weekend camping trip, the pair took two months off to complete their 500-hour teaching certification.

Going off the grid and becoming fully immersed in the yoga lifestyle for two whole months was quite the adventure to share. Classes, meditation, philosophy lectures, and exploring the beautiful island of Oahu made for an "incredible experience, made even better by getting to share it with my dad. I think that Evolation created a very positive, supportive environment that brought out the best in both of us." 

Hugo felt lucky to spend so much time with his daughter. "To do so in the yoga bubble, on the same path, was particularly special." 

We’re grateful to have these two lovely yogis be a part of the Evolation family. With a shared passion for the healing powers of yoga in body and mind, Fyona and Hugo have returned home to Ireland and have begun their teaching journeys. Both have received incredible praise for their classes at Bikram Yoga Limerick and Yoga Farm Belfast. We’d like to send our congratulations to the Flinn’s for their incredible achievement and a Happy Father’s Day to all the yoga dads out there!


Week One Yoga Challenge: Stretching Back


Week One Challenge: “Stretching Back”

Prize: Yoga Retreat in Hawaii


This week we kicked off our 100th yoga teacher training in Buffalo, NY with our founders Mark Drost and Zefea Samson.

Nine years, 26 locations, and over 1,000 graduates later, evolation has reached this milestone; an extraordinary journey of yoga.

Warrior III/Balancing Stick is a balancing pose that requires you to stretch back while reaching forward - all the while cultivating strength and support. That is how we are looking at this achievement. We want to celebrate our history – how far we’ve come – as well as the excitement for what the future holds. And we want to celebrate by really connecting with all of you; past, present, and future students & teachers.

We will be hosting four weekly challenges throughout the month of June, with some very exciting yoga prizes. Stay tuned on Mondays, when we will post the details of each challenge on Facebook, Instagram, and here on our website. Every weekend we will announce the winners.

Week one’s prize will be two spots at our yoga retreat in Hawaii. The following 3 weeks will be more geared towards yoga teacher training…

The theme this week is “stretching back”.


Here’s how to enter:

- Post a photo from your early days of yoga on Instagram and/or Facebook.

- Share with it how you began your yoga journey! Why did you go to your first class, and what did you think of it? What made you want to go back? Share whatever you think is meaningful about the beginning of your personal practice.

- Use the hashtag #evolation100 and tag us in your photo.

- Make sure your photos/account are set to “public” so we can see it.


Good luck, yogis! We look forward to hearing your stories. 

how to prepare for teacher training - practically

how to prepare for teacher training - practically

We’ve said it before and will say again that your teacher training experience begins the day you decide to register for training. That’s right! While you may not be on-site with other trainees and learning through your immersion experience each day, the learning process begins as soon as you decide to register. It starts with your first “Yes!” to your transformational yoga journey.

how to prepare for teacher training – mentally

how to prepare for teacher training – mentally

Last month we discussed how you can physically prepare for teacher training, and this month we address how to mentally prepare. To be clear, the only real prerequisite for teacher training is your keen intention and passion to become a yoga teacher. Still, given the occasion, it also provides a great advantage to take time to properly prepare so you can maximize the potential of this unique opportunity.

graduate #yogastory – Sara Stolle


a reflection of what is possible by Sara Stolle

My time in the Yoga bubble is over and I am actually allowed to teach! I don’t think that has set in yet. If I look back to the four weeks of my teacher training experience, a congeries of pictures appear in my head. It feels like an overwhelming flashback – full of emotions, both positive and negative. Everything seems so surreal, almost like a dream.

The first week was like dipping into a whole new world. Everything was new, exciting and different. Even though I had to follow my job as a teacher in the first three days of the training, I also had the feeling of being completely consumed by the yoga bubble. You start to think, breathe, live yoga all day long (sometimes even night). It wasn’t a weird feeling at all as there was no time to question your current lifestyle. And this attitude remained till the end of the training. It would be a lie if I said that I didn’t have times where I thought, “what am I doing here? Is everything worth it in the end?”

But as quick as these thoughts came up, they disappeared. Why did they disappear? One of the main reasons were the people, who became your study buddies, your friends, and your family throughout this journey. We created a kind of group dynamic and that was a huge motivation to go on and study more. This bond grew week by week, and in the end, we did not want to leave each other.

The other approach, which was developed stage by stage or week by week, was the amount of knowledge. I did not know that it is possible to learn so much in such a short time (and I’m a history teacher!) This perception relates not only to the study of yoga essentials and postures but for learning as a whole.

The teacher training was not only beneficial for my mind, but also for my body. To see how much Yoga my body can do and wants to do was surprising. I did a lot of yoga challenges in the past years, but the amount of work in the training was a different story. How? Well, for starters, you are totally focused on giving 100%, especially because you want to try the new things. Another factor that pushes your own practice was the group dynamic. If you see these hard working yogis all around you, you want to be part of it. Even when your muscles are sore and you actually can´t move, you also can´t resist. You want to do the posture, and you want to feel the posture.

Another stage of the training, which is maybe not that obvious, is the spiritual growth. The lectures guided you through thoughts, which you have never thought before. There was a new horizon showing up. This kind of extension of your own thinking changes your self-awareness, not only the studies of yoga sutras or the meditations but even more the discussions in the group lead to this awareness.

Coming back to my question, is it worth it? To sum up what only four weeks of the evolation yoga teacher training brought me: awareness about learning, about the potential of your mind and your body, spiritual extension, new friends even a new family. If I look at this, I am willing to say: everybody should do something like a yoga teacher training in life.




Evolation yoga is devoted to helping you become more Self-centered – in an ego-free way. By combining the powerful physical properties of hot yoga with the awareness-enhancing effects of meditation, evolation’s aim is to make you healthier, happier, and more in touch with that elusive little thing called the Self.

graduate #yogastory – Zana O’Connell


by Zana O’Connell, 2017 Berlin TT Graduate
I have recently returned home having spent the summer in Berlin deepening my teaching knowledge. What an incredible time it has been…

When my best friend, Sam, from my home studio in Leeds decided he was going to take the leap and sign up for the Hot Yoga Teacher Training with Evolation (the same as I previously did), I was flirting with the idea of going out to join him and the Evolation Yoga family for a week or so. I chatted with the company founder, Mark, about it, and knowing I wanted to do the flow training, he suggested I join them for the full course and complete my second 250hour Teacher Training with them. It was a little tricky to find the time and resources to make possible but somehow the universe conspired to help me and I found myself here, completing the vinyasa flow training (a different style for those non-yoga people!) just one year after my first TT!

Something I always repeat and hold close to myself is ‘The student is always the teacher, and the teacher is always the student.’ It is very important to me to always be humble in my teaching and know – that I will never know it all, especially in the Bikram yoga world where there are lots of egotistical, even narcissistic behavior and teachers with heads bigger than their hearts and this is something I find so strange in a place which is meant to be about creating peace and balance.

Maintaining my balance and humanness is very important to me as I try to stay true to what brought me to teaching in the first place and remember the purpose – to serve, to serve others, spread love and be true to myself. This is my life’s work.

Because I AM so connected to this and know that all I am as a teacher is a channel for people to connect to something higher, to their higher Self, a channel that needs to be looked after and maintained so that it doesn’t become blocked, maintenance for me means to keep learning and keep growing so that I can keep inspiring people and help them to grow themselves. Returning to teacher training has been just that for me.

Returning to the source and dipping back into the ‘yoga-bubble’ has been pure nourishment for my mind, body, and soul. I return clearer, stronger, wiser and even more humble. There is so much to know, and I will never, no matter how hard I study, know it all. And simply knowing this gives me the permission to let go of the desire to be the ‘perfect teacher’ to be anything other than the best version of my imperfect self.

I spent a lot of my daily practices during training setting my intention to offer myself. I made offerings through my practice, I set intentions “to Serve’ and I surrendered to the experience completely.
My experiences so far in this lifetime have taught me many lessons, a lot of very painful lessons, and I see now that this was the beginning of my training. The universe trained me by pushing me to my deepest edge, to the brink of giving in and to learn to fight for LIFE. It trained me to know what pain was so that I could treasure joy. It trained me to experience utter self-loathing so that I could understand the beauty of self-love. It trained me to feel intense discomfort so that I could honor peace.

The universe has been training me to teach my entire life, completing an actual ‘Teacher Training’ is simply the part which helps me to realize these truths and knows that everything I need is already inside of me, and TT is simply giving me the tools to tap into that.

Going back the second time was a really beautiful experience. I had the most incredible teacher, Irene, guiding us through the coursework. She and her partner, John, who was helping lead the Hot training alongside us are such an inspiring and gorgeous couple. Their energy was so wonderful to be around and Irene was a total beam of bright light to me. She inspired and fueled me with so much to take home to my students. I delved much deeper into the subtle energy of yoga, and I am learning the beauty of how much is and how much can be said without words.

I go home to teach with not just knowledge of Asana (yoga postures) but a far deeper understanding of the true essence of yoga. I am blessed to have found such a wonderful yoga family with Evolation and how they create space for me to continue to grow. This isn’t just a company out to make money selling yoga, but a true family sharing love and knowledge in the purest way. I am reminded of WHY we teach yoga – to help people to connect to the highest version of themselves, to become healthy in body, mind, and spirit. This is so much more than just asana, yet when you spend every day in the yoga room sometimes it’s easy to become disconnected from that a little.

Teaching asana is a route, but it is not the only way, we are constantly teaching others, and we can use our experience to help each other to grow in so many ways. Let us be open to the teachings of others, allow us the humbleness to always be able to be the student, to always be open to growing.

Keep growing, keep being curious about yourself and about life, keep the passion alive, stay open and most importantly, enjoy every second.



Evolation yoga is devoted to helping you become more Self-centered – in an ego-free way. By combining the powerful physical properties of hot yoga with the awareness-enhancing effects of meditation, evolation’s aim is to make you healthier, happier, and more in touch with that elusive little thing called the Self.