One of the best things about our yoga school is that we get to meet people from all around the world. Jennifer travelled from Barbados to Toronto to take part in our very first 200hr Intensive in 2015. We've asked her a few questions so you can all get to know her a little bit better. Thank you for sharing your story with us Jennifer!
What's Your Day Job?
I'm a pilates and yoga teacher who happens to dabble in graphic design :)
Your Morning Must-Haves?
Your Favourite YogaFit Training?
My fave trainings, because I don't think I can pick 1, would have to be Level 2
& Level 3
...they both had a profound effects on me.
The Title of Your Biography?
Be free, be true, be you!
Gosh... you know before I decided I wanted to pursue my training with YogaFit, I tried many styles, but my heart always lead me back to YogaFit. I love that even though there is structure, the 3 mountain format, I'm not limited to a specific order or number of poses. I have the freedom to mix things up by introducing different poses etc. It allows me to be fluid, creative, not strict. I can easily develop a core yoga class which follows the structure but I can include poses from my pilates exercises and or even other styles of yoga. That's important to me as I can get bored doing the same thing over and over again and I feel if I do, perhaps others do also. I also love that it's inclusive. Once you complete your training you are equipped to teach anyone! It really IS for every BODY and EVERYbody.
In your own words:
What brought you to your mat?
At first it was a natural progression, I had recently completed my pilates training and it seemed logical to train in yoga next. So when it became available, I took it. It's funny, but most people find themselves on the mat, I found myself during my training. However, when I am on my mat I feel very humble and sometimes afraid as I don't know what may come up. I remember having an experience one morning when I was thinking of my mother and I began my practice and before I knew it I was in tears. She's still alive and she's okay for the most part, but that scared me as I didn't expect it. My mat pushes me to face things I may not be ready to face, it allows me to be creative, it pushes me to connect with myself and I am thankful for that.
How did you discover YogaFit?
I believe it was the guy that was hosting the Level 1 training in Barbados. He would have shared it with me and others.
What made you decide to choose YogaFit as part of your yoga journey?
I think YogaFit chose me! I love the teachers, the principles, the essence and the origins of YogaFit.
Why was Level 2 and Level 3 your favourite YogaFit trainings?
Communication and Introspection were my fave because not only did it make me think about the how I speak to and treat others, but it made me think about the way I "speak" to and treat myself. If I can't speak to & treat myself with love and compassion how can I communicate that to others? They taught me the importance of self-care which is super important as a teacher because we give so much. It provided us with the means to find our voice; who we are, what we want to convey, our path and understanding that once we have chosen this journey, the work starts with us. At least that's what I got out of it.
What has been the impact of your yoga teacher training in your life and in the lives of those you teach?
Wow! Where to start? It has helped me TREMENDOUSLY with developing a better relationship with myself and I realise that at the end of the day that is the only relationship that matters. When I get that right everything else will fall into place. It has shown me how to accept who I am and where I am. I realised that it is OKAY to be human. Sounds like a weird thing to say but I say that because one day I was relaying a story to someone about how I had gotten angry about something [I can't even remember what now] and they were surprised that I got angry. Their thought was yogis don't get angry. Don't we? We do! At least I do! I'm learning that there are many paths to the self and no one is necessarily the right or the wrong one. I think we find the path we need at the time and that's what my training is showing me and I am taking it one day at a time.
As for the impact on lives of those I teach...hmm my students... geez, still have to get used to the idea of me having students! I feel as though they're the ones teaching ME! I've seen some changes. I've seen them begin to feel better about themselves and to treat themselves with compassion. I have seen them get stronger. I've seen them try, I mean really try, at something even though they thought they could NEVER do it and they do and feel amazing! I've seen them realise that it's okay to not be perfect and they are learning to accept where they are at that moment.
What's your favourite YogaFit memory?
I arrived at the studio not on the first day of training but the week before as I was excited beyond words and eager to meet everyone. I was so excited that I was vibrating and buzzing all over the place and could barely speak. Sergei laughed at me while looking at me like I was crazy and eventually Andrew came out and they offered me a seat so I could breathe and collect myself. I had the biggest grin ever and so did Andrew and when Sergei realised I wasn't a psycho his grin became less OMG and more awwww how cool and funny I am. I felt completely welcomed and extremely happy to be there :)
When you look forward, what does your yoga journey look like?
What do I see...well, my yoga journey is going to be filled with incredible growth, trainings and workshops. I see me leading workshops and retreats, spreading my message of self-love to hundreds, millions of people all over the world. I even see me working for YogaFit some day and leading a level 1 -3 YogaFit Trainings
Finally, give us one of your favourite, go-to cues you use to teach your students.
"Hold on to your favourite clutch bag!" Haha!