I’ve not always loved yoga. In fact, I remember my first class, I hated it. I thought it was boring and I didn’t bother going back probably for around 10 years! Yoga came into my life slowly, mostly through dance. But last week I took a crazy decision and booked my yoga teacher training.
Finding Yoga through Dance
Dance and Yoga go hand in hand for many practitioners in the contemporary dance world. While I was doing my dance degree almost all of my teachers or the professionals I came across did Yoga, Thai Chi or Pilates as well as their dance training. These practices would come into their technique classes. Normally in the warm up or cool down.
By the end of my dance training, I knew most of the main standing asanas and how to do a sun salutation. But I had never actually been to a yoga class, apart from the one I hated. My first taste of a yoga class was 7 days of morning Ashtanga! It kicked my ass and I loved it. After that, I dropped in and out of classes when I had the money for the next 5 years. There was no real consistency to my practice and I tried lots of different styles with lots of different teachers.
I grew to love the slowness and meditative focus of Hatha, the structure and power of Ashtanga and the dynamic flow of a Vinyasa class. But it was just something I did every now and again, it wasn’t really a part of my life. But I wanted it to be…
Getting my ass to class…
When I decided to hit the road and live a nomadic lifestyle I knew that I would need yoga in my life. I invested in a good quality travel mat, so I could practice wherever I was. I choose a Lululemon travel yoga mat because the grip is incredible. Most of the countries I’m living in its very hot so grip was a bit thing. I invested in some quality yoga pants and took a month of classes in New Jersey at Shiva Shanti Studio to try and re-embody some of the asanas so I could self-practice when I landed in Central America.
I also did this incredible Sister Science course with The Yoga Veda Institute. It’s a free course and guides you through some of the principles of Ayurvedic Yoga Therapy and how you can bring yogic principles into your daily life. Doing this course was a turning point for me as I realized I wanted and needed yoga in my life on more than just a physical level.
When I arrived in Guatemala I began to practice daily on my own. It wasn’t easy, I wasn’t following any kind of guide book or a video, I just kept going through some asanas from memory. Lucky for me I was able to practice every morning with this incredible view.
When I moved to Antigua I went looking for a yoga class and I found a vinyasa class with Lauren. I loved the class, and I felt so drawn to her and her beautiful generous spirit. She introduced me to her ‘Soul Sister’ Irene who taught a free class with her on a Saturday in Antigua.
So skip forward a few months and I began to work with Irene 1-2-1 doing Mysore Ashtanga. I challenged myself to do 1 month solid. Practicing for 6 days a week. Which I have mostly done apart from a few days off after twisting my knee! We filmed some of our sessions and I kept a video journal. You can watch the playlist below.
Irene is one of the most generous and inspirational humans I’ve met. Her yoga journey is incredible which you can read about here.
So when an opportunity came up for me to continue my yoga journey by doing my teacher training in Mexico this August it seemed too good to be true. I almost booked this training at the beginning of the year. But something held me back, I just wasn’t 100% sure. Plus I really didn’t have the money. I still don’t haha. But I decided it was now or never (quite literally as this is the last time they will ever offer the course as pay-what-you-can), and used my last $100 to pay the deposit. I truly believe this is what I’m supposed to do though and I know this investment will pay off.
I truly believe this is what I’m supposed to do though and I know this investment will pay off.
So there it is! I’ll be doing my teacher training in Mexico at The Yoga Veda Institute this August! The Don’t worry I will be documenting my journey through this training on my blog, Instagram and Youtube channel. I can’t wait to share this beautiful journey with you all soon.
ps, I’ve also set up a new website for my Dance, Yoga, Photography and other freelance work. Its far from finished but I wanted to make a start. You can view it here www.clairesummersfreelance.com