I AM YOGAFIT: BRENDA
I have been employed with GoodLife Fitness in the capacity of Group Fitness Instructor and recently celebrated my 15th anniversary! I am certified to teach various Les Mills disciplines as well as NewBody and STOTT pilates. My most recent certification was in April 2016 when I was presented with my RYT500 certificate through YogaFit. Thank you to my YogaFit family for making that day extra special!
Health/fitness is both my personal and professional passion. “Reflections of gratitude” is an integral part of my daily early morning meditation. As is life, each day brings new light to shine on various things to be grateful for, however, being gifted with this professional opportunity has never missed the daily list. Daily meditation brings clarity and intention to the start of each day. With clarity and intention passion can flourish without distraction.
I am a firm believer that opportunities are presented to you when you are ready to receive them. Being overweight as a child, having virtually no athletic abilities or self esteem I just assumed that this was “my normal”. At the age of 35, after the birth of my second child, with the persistent encouragement of a dear friend I attended a group fitness class. I began to like the way I felt about myself, continued to attend and began to eat healthier. I connected with a mentor instructor, was approached by her after a year or so and asked “have you ever thought of becoming a fitness instructor, YOU have it I can see it!” Well, needless to say when someone sees something in you that you are blind to see in yourself, LISTEN. I did listen, after 6 months of telling myself I couldn’t possibly do that, and have devoted my now 15+ years to inspiring others to open their eyes and see ALL that is hidden behind the stories we tell ourselves. Time to write a new chapter! Along that 15 years I was awarded Instructor of the Year and gifted with a trip to New Zealand…”who me?”
Becoming physically healthy through physical activity, proper nutrition/hydration and rest brought me to the realization that there was more to be uncovered emotionally and spiritually. This brought me to my yoga mat and in 2010 I graduated with my RYT200 and began teaching yoga classes. I had thought my yoga education trainings were done and I could then impart all that I had learned. Well, as I have said many times since, “we are always just scratching the surface whether you are taking a training, teaching a yoga class or walking the yoga path in your daily life. SO MUCH more to explore and share!
My YogaFit journey began when an email arrived in my inbox in April of 2013. It was an invitation to experience a 10 day yoga intensive in India. Investigating that opportunity brought me to the realization that my quest for my RYT500 was about to embark in the friendly/supportive and inclusive hands of YogaFit. As I have written in a previous YogaFit newsletter this 10 day intensive training was profound! The lessons learned allowed and continue to allow me to grow as a mother, daughter, wife, friend, woman and group fitness/yoga teacher. Those labels we wear as human beings are important of course, however, I believe we are all spiritual beings having a human experience. The Indian people are the epitome of how the yamas and niyamas were meant to be incorporated into our lives and shared with all around us to create the best version of ourselves. We take ourselves from our yoga mats and continue the yoga path in our daily lives. Thank you India! Thank you YogaFit for sending me the email that started this 500 hour journey of transformation!!
Needless to say the 10 day yoga intensive in India was the most meaningful YogaFit training along the 500 hour journey, however, every training has it’s own flavour as the subject matters shed light on various topics of the yoga path which is life itself. Every master trainer adds their own spice to enhance the experience. I have gratitude in my heart for all of the in depth trainings, master trainers and colleagues who shared their stories! I love the fact that there are NO deadlines as to how quickly you attain various milestones. The in depth information from each training needs to simmer and that process is different for everyone dependent upon what stage of life you are in and how much time you can devote to your personal/professional practice. The inclusiveness of the YogaFit way allows everyone to feel successful and accepted. I do believe that expanding the YogaFit family, one yogini/yogi at a time into our communities can create profound change!
My teaching has been enriched by the many layers that I can piece together and present to my students each and every class. I choose a yama or niyama to focus on. A specific breath practice/mudra/mantra/chakra/essential oil/series of asanas to accompany that personal code of ethics or way of being in the world formulates a cohesiveness that can move our intention forward into all aspects of our inner/outer being.
We come to our mats for many reasons and regardless of what those are it is the choice to START that guides us forward. Staying present is challenging in a fast paced life so when we come together as students in a class format, close the studio door and leave our egos on the outside, I like to remind everyone, including myself, that “We are the sum of our past experiences, in every moment we are changing. Meet and accept yourself where you are now, no expectation, no judgement.”
Heartfelt gratitude to YogaFit for reaching your hand in my direction.
p.s. Question: What would be the title of my biography?
Answer: “The jewel of the lotus flower emerges one petal at a time”