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5 Ways to Maximize your Teacher Training

By | 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training

Author:  Jess Moore – Winter 2017 Teacher Training Grad, PYC Gtown Teacher & Yogi

On the eve of another 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training, I wanted to share some reflections on my teacher training experience. The program will challenge you in ways you could never expect, with that in mind, here are five ways to maximize your teacher training experience:

Stay Present

I was very nonchalant in my expectations of teacher training, after all, I had done 40 Days to Personal Revolution (twice), so I deemed myself pretty much an expert at sharing. I think I nearly got whiplash the first day of teacher training. I hatched a plan to sneak out of the program.  Move, maybe to Vancouver, devise another identity and forget the whole idea of a yoga teacher training -it was only then I remembered a friend had been my ride (no exaggeration).  Stay present, all is well.

Push Yourself to Connect

This community shines so bright when it comes to generating community.  I’m telling you, the love in a 200 Hour Teacher Training is fierce. You will find your TT Family and love them hard (there will likely be talk of matching tattoos, coordinating outfits and all boundaries of ridiculousness).  A homebase is great, but also push yourself to connect someone new at breaks or meals. 

The Sneaky Thing About Sharing

If any any point you say to yourself “I don’t really have a good story to share, I’ll catch the next one”, I encourage you automatically stick your hand up.  There are a lot of next ones, until there isn’t, so don’t miss the opportunity in front of you.  We share from the present, so don’t sweat all the details or measuring of whether it’s good enough.

Memorize the JIP Early

I was about halfway through the program before I could confidently get to the grounding series of the flow.  At that point, I realized that I was leaving the memorizing incomplete as an excuse to not get as big as possible in my teaching.  It gave me something to fall back on, and helped keep me in my comfort zone. In reality, if my brain has the capacity to remember every Kardashian sister and all the characters in the periphery, the JIP should be no problem. Memorizing the Journey into Power sequence is an access to more freedom in the program.   Think about the JIP as an instrument itself, and the 200 Hour Teacher Training program teaches how to play that instrument wholeheartedly.

 

The Program Works

It’s as simple as that.  Each person has their own path through the training, so it can be easy to fall into comparison.  Why am I not having highly individual and meaningful personal insights on a predetermined timeline?!  Chill. The program works and extends way beyond your training period, knowing that the program works, relax and know that magic is coming your way.

To the Summer 2018 Yoga Teacher Training Intensive class, I’m wishing you all the best.  Enjoy your time at program and see you on the other side!

 

 

Community Feature: July 2018

By | Community Feature

Author: Janice Mirynech – Community Member & PYC St. Catharine’s Yogi

“I dare you!”  Those three words were what first brought me to Power Yoga Canada  St. Catharines. It was January, 2015 and my adventurous daughter was visiting from Banff where she’s into hiking, mountain and ice climbing and more – just for fun! Fitness had taken a back seat in my life for many years. A marketing career with some of Canada’s largest wineries meant time away travelling. When at home, I was busy catching up with my husband and raising our daughter with no time extra personal time.  

Life shifted dramatically when I was suddenly restructured out of my job. I had been raised in a family where achievement was how we were valued – what you did and who you were. Not what kind of person, but who you were – title, status in the community and so on. Suddenly this was gone and I felt lost, spending many long months in a depressive state.

The darkness started to lift as I began to focus on reclaiming my life. Moving in a radically different direction, I trained in FEEL (Facilitated Equine Experiential Learning) – partnering with horses to help people. It’s Life Coaching with a horse, and during the training I felt a sense of purpose come back – one that focused more on heart and balance than on bottom lines and titles. I began to co-facilitate trainings, my confidence returned and I found myself much more mentally and emotionally balanced. I also reclaimed my spirituality, enrolling in a shamanic studies program, healing my soul with ancient wisdom and ceremonies. 

Having gained my emotional, mental and spiritual strength back, my daughter’s three words, “I dare you” gave me the push I needed to put my attention to the physical. Little did I know Power Yoga Canada would bring so much more than that.

I’ll never forget that first morning class. Moving through our 10th Chaturanga  (felt like the 100th!) and I thought if I did one more, I’d land on my face! Heaven was the cold, scented cloth placed on my forehead in Savasana! Then my daughter challenged me to sign up for 30 days. With each class, I could do one more Chaturanga, bow forward a little deeper and feel a new strength returning to my body.  

I joined the Power Yoga St. Catharines Energy Exchange Team and the changes kept happening. For my 60th birthday, I set a goal to be able to do one full wheel! But the shifts weren’t just physical.  During class, and in the 40 Days to Personal Revolution program, the words and thoughts shared by the teachers resonated with my FEEL and shamanic work. They spoke of being present to the moment, inviting me to be curious when I felt resistance to a pose to see what that might mirror for me in my life. More than just physical, my practice at Power Yoga Canada was challenging my heart and spirit to keep growing… keep flowing.

I’ve made new friends and love the sense of belonging I have when I walk through the door. PYC echoes my daughter’s voice and dares me to connect to who I am in all aspects. The next time you’re in down dog, perhaps you too will hear “I dare you!”  

200 Hr Yoga Teacher Training: What’s in it for you?

By | 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training

1.SPACE

This program is challenging because it asks you to get real with about who you’ve been and who you want to be in the future.  Through inquiry, meditation and asana (yoga practice), you be able to create space between your thoughts and will tune in to your innermost compass and be in the experience of creating something new for yourself.

2.NEW RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR BODY

You will gain new insights into your yoga practice as you study the anatomy of yoga, learn the fundamentals of the Journey into Power. Your practice and understanding of your own body will be transformed as you understand the mechanics of movement and how to find your fullest expression. 

3. REMEMBER HOW TO PLAY

One of the greatest gifts of this program is that it will reunite you with play.  Maybe you’ve been taking yourself too seriously for too long, in this 200 hour yoga teacher training program you will reconnect with what it feels like for explore with curiosity, put your heart into trying new things and encouraging others to play as well.

4.COMMUNITY

You’ll meet your Yoga Family.   These will be the people to cheer you on without question, just like you’ll learn to be the loudest one in the room cheering for them.  They will give of themselves generously and you will too. You will learn to love, celebrate and share fiercely. Do not be surprised when one of you suggests matching tattoos.

5.SURPRISE

Am I really teaching a yoga class right now?  Am I really doing a handstand right now? Am I really sharing in front of the group right now? Am I really moving past by bullshit?  Am I really up to something bigger than myself? YES.

Community Feature: June 2018

By | Community Feature

Author:  Patryk Moskal – Community Member & PYC Mississauga Yogi

After studying at University of Toronto, I earned the opportunity to pursue my dreams playing basketball professionally in Poland. I got to travel the country where my family is from and was lucky enough to play in amazing cities like Wroclaw, Posnan, and Zgorzelec! The relationships and memories that were formed I will cherish forever. To say that basketball has been a big influence on my life is probably an understatement because I learned a lot about myself, much of the values and work ethic still sticks with me to this day. Growing up with basketball, you always need to be prepared for what was next, but when I came back home I was lost in what the next phase of my life would entail. I had got out of long term relationship and was just leapfrogging from job to job not really knowing what I wanted to focus on in the next chapter of my life. Even though my passion for basketball has always brought me to the gym, I started getting bored of the same routine. I needed a new challenge. A new bridge to cross. Thankfully I took my friends suggestion of coming to a class and found Power Yoga Canada Mississauga!

After signing up for the Intro Special in the beginning of February, I have seen tremendous growth in myself not just on my mat but the person off of it as well. I am no longer stressing about things that are not in my control, and focus on the present and what I can change. I am the type of person that’s mind is always racing back and forth, from future to the past, and everything in between. Finding yoga has been a calming breathe of fresh air. Ever since I stepped foot in a hot yoga class, I have been addicted to the sense of accomplishment I have walking out of a class knowing I gave it my all and sweat my heart out in the last Wheel. I was surprised how welcoming the environment was and the sense of community I felt coming to each class. Having such phenomenal teachers makes the decision to practice that much easier, and always worth it! Sometimes your body won’t agree with that, but you got to be a deaf man to your bodies sometimes. Once you are on your mat, your worries melt away and you become a happy baby.

One of the reasons I was drawn to basketball was the opportunity to grow as a player. Regardless your talent or skill level, you can always learn new techniques, moves, and improve on mechanics. Just like in yoga, even if you master a pose there is always room to improve.  I found the best ways to improve both in basketball and yoga was to make the uncomfortable comfortable, because that’s where we learn the most about ourselves. Six months ago, I would have never agreed to write a feature about myself or even try a yoga class, now I can’t live without it! I’m very grateful for yoga and how it brought positivity and love back into my life and hopefully for the people reading it can do the same. So if I can become a PYC Warrior you can become a Warrior two/ too! Special thank you goes out to Vicky & Isabel from PYC Mississauga for opening your arms to me and making me feel so welcome at Power Yoga Canada!!

Community Feature: May 2018

By | Community Feature

Author: Roman Tataryn, Power Yoga Canada Teacher & PYC Etobicoke Yogi

Hi, Roman here, where do I start? My life before yoga was very much grey, filled with work and parties, and that was all I cared for. On top of that, about half a year before joining the Power Yoga Canada Etobicoke studio, my family-life started to collapse resulting in a breakup with my significant other. Common experience or not, I took it very close to heart. I thought of myself as failure of a man and husband, and slowly began sinking towards bottom. The depression that I was hiding from everybody, drinking problems, weight gain and health issues started to show up in my life. It all seemed like a never-ending nightmare until a rainy Tuesday, March 22nd. I had neglected my health and when people suggested yoga, I made the excuse that “yoga is not for me, yoga is for girls”.

I walked into Power Yoga Canada Etobicoke and my opinion changed after only one hour of a really sweaty class lead by Susan. I was stunned by how great I felt after class, so I started to practice 4-5 times a week, and signed up for 40 Days to Personal Revolution. Slowly but surely, I started to see results; I started feeling stronger, confident, losing weight at the same time. One of the most important things that started to happen was that I started to love the life I was living at the moment.

A magical thing then happened when I went on a trip to Iceland. I was sitting on a rock on the seashore, listening to the waves crashing (it was like meditating, but better) and the thought that I should take the 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training came into my head. Shortly after, I took my first steps towards my goal; I took my Assisting Intensive Training and Teacher Training quickly after.

As I am writing this, I realize that a little more than two years have passed since I started this journey. Was there a grand change in my physical body? The answer to that is YES, but that’s not all. The most important change was how I was able to shift my perspective from material things that used to matter the most to me, to the things that actually make me happy. The practice itself brings awareness to the whole body, to what surrounds you, it shows you how to live in the present moment on the mat and how to bring it with you into the real world.

What I found in this studio was a second family. I found people that support each other and make a stand for one another. Our studio gets together to celebrate happy moments like they’re their own, as well as supporting people in the challenges they are facing. I was able to meet some of the most amazing people and they have become my very close and precious friends. I could never say thank enough to Susan and John for creating such an amazing community that literally draws people in. I am very grateful for the opportunity to share my story with all of PYC. I hope that my story can help any student realize their potential. Change is scary, and I know it but, with a little curiosity we are capable of things that we never thought we could do. With utmost love and gratitude, Namaste.

5 Impactful Lessons from Kids Yoga Training

By | Uncategorized

Author: Monica Mallo – Mom, PYC Faculty, &  Yogi

I didn’t realize we were making memories, I just knew we were having fun – Winnie the Pooh

Parenting can be some of life’s hardest work and even despite its challenging aspects, the love for my children makes it my mission to get back up every time it gets hard, every time I feel the sweat & tears, because they are worth it. Through the years, I have read and studied more books about parenting than can fit in my bookshelves, I’ve listened to fellow mothers, and professionals in the field. I use what I’ve learned from my practice and from Kids Yoga/Mindfulness Training to bring them back to centre when things get tough.What has and continues to work best has been the simple & profound practice of Yoga. Remember, Yoga is not just about tree pose or sitting in a meditation, but instead so much more. The history of yoga is so rich in tradition and offers a portal of connection to self and others.

Yoga can happen anywhere. You do not need a yoga room. Or a class room. To be honest my best classes for my children have been in the their bedrooms when they feel bad about something, or in the living room when one of them is suffering from anxiety, or in my bedroom when they can’t sleep. Knowing how yoga has helped me support my kids, every parent can benefit from taking Kids Yoga/ Mindfulness Training. Here are 5  impactful lessons you can bring into your home:

1. Put yourself in your kids shoes. 

Remember what its like to be a kid? Often we don’t and we like to solve problems from our ‘adult’ mind. We might try to communicate in a language that our children don’t understand,  or we listen from a place of trying to fix instead of feeling what they are going through. As a parent, to have the ability to feel what your kids feel may just be what they need to feel heard & whole.

2. Trust your kids.

Trust that they are responsible enough to figure things out on their own. When you want to intervene, take a moment of pause and give your littles some space. The discipline of breath work and mindfulness can retrain your brain to not be as reactive. With some time you will be awed that they can come up with some amazing solutions on their own.

 

3. Teach them what you know to be true.

It may not always seem like it but Mommy and Daddy are still their biggest heroes. They listen to what you have to say, so be wise with what you share. Teach them powerful tools to connect with themselves, others and their surroundings so they will know what to do when they have feelings of anxiety, boredom or restlessness.

4. Bring playfulness back into your life.

Having fun with the family is a sure way to get the kids off their devices but first we need to remember how to have fun. I always say kids can smell fear and a phoney from a mile away. It isn’t always easy to connect back to those carefree moments in your childhood but trust me it’s a MUST. Learn to have fun again, reconnect back to those days when a simple game using creativity and humility produced the biggest laughter. Your kids will rather be hanging out with you than any on screen.

5. Love thyself.  

Jane Travis once said “The relationship with yourself sets the tone for every other relationship you have”. If your children see you value yourself, forgiving yourself, loving yourself, they are sure to follow in your footsteps.

Just like yoga, parenting is a practice.  How have you brought yoga into your home?  How do you share your practice with your children?  Tag us on Facebook or Instagram – we’d love to hear from you!

 

Community Feature: April 2018

By | Community Feature

Author: Steve Zazulyk,  PYC Oakville Yogi, Underwater Adventurer

A year ago, I never would have thought so much could change in a short time, or how a 68” x 28” rubber mat would transform me from the inside out.  I had no idea what it truly meant to leave it on the mat, or ever more so, that what I found on my mat would be nothing short of life changing. I’m very blessed to be married to my wife Kelly and have two beautiful daughters Natalie & Olivia, who are great supporters of my quest in hot yoga – no matter how sweaty and awkward I am! When I first started, my girls would remind me that I only needed to do three things: 1. Don’t think about it, just show up!  2. Don’t worry about what anyone else thinks! 3. Pray for half pigeon, because you’re almost done!  I’d like to add that the most beautiful word in the world when you first start Hot Yoga is Shavasana. Seriously!

I am a 54-year-old a business owner, professional diver and part-time treasure hunter. I spend my spare time traveling throughout Canada, United States and the Caribbean metal detecting and scuba diving for lost gold and sunken artifacts (I was even on the History Channel’s docu-series The Curse of Oak Island!).  As interesting as that may seem, there is nothing that has truly changed me more than the last year of hot yoga at PYC. At age 53 I found myself very depressed and upset with my health and physical condition. Words cannot tell you how scared and insecure I felt that first night as my daughter Olivia basically took me by the hand to the studio in Oakville. My nerves quickly subsided after meeting the front desk team as they so sweetly welcomed us to our practice. While outwardly we might seem confident, people often don’t know how insecure we can be. Thank God for the words of encouragement I’ve had from people like Stephanie McCague and the other PYC instructors. They have taught me that when you’re at that moment in practice where you feel you can’t go on and you’re going to break down, you’re literally one pose away from your next great break-through…just ujjayi breath and go for it! You’ll be shocked what you can do!

A year later and I’m practicing between 4-6 days a week and can tell you that you just need to remember rule #1: don’t think about it, just show up, and you can’t go wrong. I now realize that yoga is more than just exercise, it’s actually a way of life! When it comes down to it, it’s really only about you and your practice. When you truly understand what leaving it on the mat means, you can really get rid of a lot of unnecessary luggage.

The Power Yoga Canada Community has inspired me so much I can’t go more than two days without practice. If I could get any point across it would be this:  if you know anyone that feels insecure, scared or self-conscious to come to practice, tell them about me!  I’m literally the last person that you would have seen walk in the PYC door but here I am! You can catch me at any given class during the week, in my fullest expression of dancer’s pose, and letting it all go “on the mat”!  I never thought I would say that, but here I am and I’m loving it!

Community Feature: March 2018

By | Community Feature

Author: Renee Wain – Mom, Teacher, PYC Georgetown Yogi

My life, before I discovered the amazing community of Power Yoga Canada, appeared perfect on the surface, however, internally, there was something missing. My mental health was not in a good state and feelings of stress and anxiety were consuming my daily thoughts.

I remember the first time I had an anxiety attack, I couldn’t even comprehend what was happening to my body. I had just returned to work after my first maternity leave and I was struggling to stay above water. Being a teacher is my passion and I love what I do, but the hours I used to spend at home planning and marking were no longer possible with a young baby in the mix. One day at work, I started to get a pain in my chest and then the pain crept up to my throat and wouldn’t go away. I made an appointment to see my doctor, and she informed me that I had experienced an anxiety attack. The tears started to stream down my face, and in that moment I felt like a failure. Luckily, by incorporating some exercise and clean eating into my lifestyle, I was able to keep my anxiety under control.

When I had my second baby, it was even harder to carve out some time for myself, and bad habits were starting to pop back into my life. The frequency of my anxiety attacks were increasing and it was a struggle to get through most days without crying. In September 2017, I was back to work full time, but now I had even more on my plate. After only two weeks in, I had a mental breakdown in my department office and I was struggling to find any balance in my life. I knew I needed to incorporate exercise back into my lifestyle, so I messaged Sita to inquire about the 30 day yoga pass.

As a newbie to hot yoga, I had no idea what to expect, but I instantly fell in love with the practice. It was the one time during the day where I could be still and just breathe on my mat. Although my practice was consistent, I was still struggling with my mental health and nutrition. I couldn’t figure out what was missing from my life, so I decided to sign up for the 40 day program. I’m happy to say, this program has changed every aspect of my life in the best ways possible.

After completing the 40 day program, I now know that real health is wholeness on all levels (mind, body and soul). I have learned the importance of stillness, and meditation is becoming part of my daily routine. Taking the time to meditate is allowing me to be more present in all areas of my life.

Here are some quotes from Baron Baptiste that have really resonated with me:

“External change can only happen when we adjust the inner workings of our minds”

“When we slow down and fully engage in the present, we usually get where we really want to go faster”

By living in the present, I am now a more patient mom, wife and teacher. I am focusing my energy on positive thoughts rather than worrying about the future, and letting things go that don’t serve me. Yoga is not just about the physical practice for me, it is the missing piece to the puzzle of my mental well being. My journey is not over, and there will be bumps in the road ahead, but with Power Yoga Canada in my back pocket, I know I can handle anything life throws at me.

Finally, I would just like to send a huge shout out to Jackie and Sita. Thank you so much for everything you do and for welcoming me into the PYC Georgetown community. Over the past five months, I have met some amazing people and have truly experienced the “magic” that happens in-between the walls . There is an energy in the studio that is indescribable, and you know when you walk through the front door, you feel at home.

Community Feature: February 2018

By | Community Feature

Author: Jenn Moore – PYC Oshawa Yogi

When I arrived in Canada last spring, I spent much of my first week in bed absorbing the whirlwind that was previous year. I had left my home, relationship, and career in Northern California and was backpacking through Thailand when my mom called to let me know my grandmother’s health was rapidly declining. I had planned on staying in Southeast Asia to teach English for another year, but I just knew I would regret it if I didn’t come. So here I was, in Whitby, one week after my 26th birthday, a time I had expected to be advancing my career and planning a family. When that didn’t pan out, traveling the world and teaching seemed a great alternative, but I hadn’t anticipated feeling this lonely and directionless. I felt like a failure.

My mom went back home to California and I cared for my grandmother, which forced me out of bed and out of my reeling mind. I went for many jogs, because that’s what I always did when I slipped on life’s banana peels. I’d slip into my Nikes, pop in my earbuds on full-blast, and hit the pavement until my pulse reached my toes and the shaky, nervous energy in my chest became heaving exhaustion. It worked until it didn’t. I couldn’t seem to get tired enough or get the music loud enough to drown out my own noise. I began to feel pain in my right knee and lower back, but continued to run through it; I couldn’t stop.

One day I drove by a big red sign for HOT YOGA and breathed the first of what would be many sighs of relief. My practice was derailed with the rest of my routines, and I knew I needed to ground & centre. I signed up for the intro month mid-April even though I thought I’d be back in California by the end of May.

I knew this studio was different than any other from the get-go. Steve read something from Rumi that spoke directly to my soul in the end of shavasana. A few different people reached out and asked me about my practice afterward and when I would be back. Also, this was by far and away the most physically challenging yoga I had ever experienced, which unwound the knots in my stomach. Leaving the studio that first night, I felt more at peace than I had in a very long time.

Over the next few months, I let hundreds of silent tears fall while sitting in pigeon, cursed almost every teacher while sitting in my chair, melted tension into sweat and let it pour onto my mat, and breathed through poses when all I wanted to do was run out. I stayed and I felt stronger and more powerful for staying. I regained confidence, knowing that no matter the circumstances, I shape my own experience based on my reactions.

I made friends! My hand touched a cute guy’s during shavasana and he turned out to be my soul’s closest companion. I joined perspective-shifting workshops like Debbie’s “Powerful Conversations” and the 40 days program.  I feel immense gratitude when I walk into our brand new studio in Oshawa. I immediately see faces that warm my heart, and I’m constantly inspired by the teachers and students I am lucky enough to practice alongside. For the first time in my life, I have absolutely no desire to run.

Community Feature: January 2018

By | Community Feature

Author: Athena Sadler – PYC Leaside Yogi

I was introduced to yoga quite a few years ago. Having suffered some losses in my life, I went through a phase whereby I was trying to answer certain questions and find a deeper meaning in my life. I joined martial arts for concentration, discipline, fitness, and selfdefense.  Despite its benefits, a certain connectedness was missing. It was there that the “Senseί” suggested that I join yoga. I went to a number of different studios, and although the principle of integration of soul, mind, and body appealed to me, I was not able to put it into practice or to apply it in my everyday life. It remained a theoretical idea. I subsequently moved to Greece, where I was certified in Ashtanga Yoga.

I joined PYC in Leaside shortly after it opened. What a world of difference!  I say this with great confidence and pride. I remember when John entered the class one day and said “drop your shit!” And I did! I stopped in my tracks; came back to the present moment, and for the first time I realized that my practice had deepened. The integration of soul, mind, and body was no longer a theoretical idea. I benefitted greatly from the 40 Days to Personal Revolution. I have always had a tendency to dwell in the past. Once again, intellectually I knew what to do, however I could not apply it. I learned to have self-compassion, and to put things into perspective. I became more resilient to stress and generally developed a sense of contentment, and even abundance. For me, the PYC studio at Leaside has become my second home. I would like to collectively thank all the amazing instructors and fellow yogis for their inspiration and contribution to my transformation.

At PYC Leaside, I have experienced a sense of communal support – with yoga practice being the driving force which conditions our soul, mind and body. I have achieved an empowerment beyond my expectations.