From Leading to Truly Teaching
Leigh from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, writes a Love Letter to YogaFit
Leigh’s been active her whole life—high impact aerobics, low impact aerobics, and any other exercise fad that found its way to the gym over the years. She’s cycled, jogged, walked, and golfed. But then, in 2002, yoga appeared on the fitness scene where she worked out and she immediately signed up. “Honestly, I thought I'd never get past the second class because my wrists were so sore,” Leigh confesses. “I persevered, though, and by the end of the eight-week session, I was well on my way to incorporating regular yoga classes into my fitness routine.” For the next eight years, she practiced yoga at different studios and experienced a wide variety of yoga styles and teachers.
In 2010, Leigh retired from a 40-year career in corporate Canada and she and her husband set out to spend winters in Arizona. “That winter I took some yoga classes at the park. However, the teacher had to leave suddenly, so I thought, why don't I lead some classes for the other park residents?” And so she did. Every winter when they’d go back to Arizona, she’d lead more classes and soon she became comfortable leading pretty large groups—sometimes as many as 50 people would show up. “I led restorative, yoga basics, soft flow, advanced flow and through it all I gained considerable ‘yoga leading’ experience,” she says. “But I felt like I was missing something.”
Leigh found that missing link in the Spring of 2015, when she met YogaFit teacher, Melissa Van Soelen, who encouraged her to take YogaFit Level One teacher training. She registered immediately and credits Melissa and YogaFit for helping her see the difference between leading a class and actually teaching it. “That’s what I needed to learn in order to truly guide others,” she says.
After completing her YogaFit Level One, Leigh had the opportunity to teach an eight-week "Yoga Basics" course as part of her community service. “I wrote and delivered Yoga Basics, incorporating everything I had learned so far into the eight weeks. I've tweaked that program so many times now and I still continue to deliver it to newbies. The whole intent of Yoga Basics is to introduce yoga to newbies and to get them to come back!” She then took the program to Dakota Community Centre to complete her Level One requirements. Leigh will be finished with Level Five before the end of year and will complete her 200 hours by Spring 2017.