From Lyme Disease to YogaFit Instructor

From Lyme Disease to YogaFit Instructor

by Connie Rawlins | 11/12/2018

It was my pleasure to attend the YogaFit Level 1 Foundation training in Hammond, LA on September 15-16, 2018. Janet Leland, Master YogaFit Trainer, did a great job sharing her warm and fun personality, her wealth of knowledge breaking down Level 1 YogaFit poses, explaining the importance of incorporating the three mountains and 2 valleys in YogaFit Sequences, and other YogaFit principles that she explained in great detail to help deepen YogaFit training attendees knowledge and practice.


After completing three International Sports & Science Association (ISSA) comprehensive courses, I was awarded the title of Elite Trainer from ISSA, which has enabled me to instruct cardio, strength training, pilates and yoga at my local Recreation Center in the communities that I have lived in. In addition, I’ve also completed the Madd Dog Spin Certification in 2008 and recertified as necessary to instruct indoor cycle.


In early May of 2010, I contracted Lyme Disease. However, it was misdiagnosed and by the time it was diagnosed in late September 2010, I experienced late stage Lyme debilitating symptoms. After 18 months of an ineffective treatment protocol, my Lyme disease symptoms worsened and I became bedridden in 2012.  It was at this time in 2012, I truly discovered the multiple benefits of yoga. Unable to perform the high-energy cardio fitness activities that I was accustomed to instructing for the previous 30 years, I was limited to yin yoga on the mat eventually becoming strong enough to participate in beginner and intermediate flow yoga classes under the expert physician care of an infectious disease doctor whom treated me with an aggressive antibiotic protocol along with multiple nutraceuticals to boost my immune system and vital organs. Not only was yoga beneficial physically, it also benefitted me by improving digestive issues, spinal issues and provided a mental uplift that helped me to have a positive outlook during a difficult time dealing with a chronic and debilitating illness.


After attending YogaFit Level 1, I incorporated the new training skills, learning experiences and alignment cues from YogaFit's Foundation training into my intermediate yoga class on Tuesday, September 18 and on Thursday, September 20. I received compliments, thanks and applause from both the beginner and intermediate yogis for taking the time to go over the foundational poses in a slower and more educational manner, cueing proper alignment in detail. Even though my yoga class is listed as an intermediate yoga class, it is often a mixed class with beginner/intermediate levels. Many attendees attend my intermediate yoga class because that time frame fits their work or personal schedule. I also sub for another yoga instructor who teaches in the morning with most of her yogis of ages 55 and older since our community is a retirement community. In addition, our local Recreation Center is a Silver Sneaker gym. I am looking forward to sharing my YogaFit training experience with the Silver Sneaker group next week.


I have selected Under His Wings group home for my 8 hours of community service. Under His Wings is a young girls’ group home located on the Eastern Shore in Alabama, that provides a loving Christian home for at risk teenage girls, connects them to who they are in the eyes of God and equips them with life  skills essential to wholeness.


I recommend YogaFit Foundation Level 1 to new prospective yoga instructors as well as to instructors whom already have experience instructing yoga classes. I look forward to attending YogaFit Level 2 training in 2019 to further my continued education and to become a better yoga instructor for my yogis.


I chose YogaFit as my continued education because of its two and three day training programs and also because of the stairstep YogaFit core training level programs as well as the variety of specialty one day trainings designed for advanced training opportunities and for special needs training.



Connie Rawlins

Gulf Shores, AL

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