Rox Does Yoga

Yoga, Wellness, and Life

Letter of Intent March 16, 2011

Filed under: teacher training,yoga,yoga lifestyle — R. H. Ward @ 12:39 pm
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In order to sign up for the teacher training program, I had to send the instructors a letter of intent.  I thought it’d be nice to post it here, since it describes how I got into yoga in the first place and talks about why I want to teach.

Dear Nicole,

I would like to participate in East Eagle’s 2011 teacher training program.

I first started practicing yoga in the spring 2003 while in graduate school, and I loved it right away.  Shortly after that class ended, I moved to Boston, where I continued my practice, attending yoga classes twice a week from 2004 to 2006.  My teacher, Gene, taught Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga, and was a stickler for keeping a straight back and doing poses accurately.  He  provided me with a great yoga foundation.  When I left Boston for Philadelphia in 2006, I knew I wanted to pursue a teacher training program.  Of course, life intervened: I moved to a new city, found a new job, and fell in love with a man who lived in California, so for a long time my weekends were devoted to traveling to maintain our relationship.  Eventually F moved to Philly and we were married last year.  Through all of this, yoga has been my lifeline.  When I didn’t have enough in my budget to attend yoga classes at a studio, I would practice at home, rolling out my mat in the tiny space between the back of the couch and the hall closet.  In my new home with my husband, I am fortunate enough to have a dedicated yoga space, and I wake up early several mornings a week to practice before heading to work.  On our recent honeymoon, one of the places we visited was a yoga retreat in Belize (and it was heavenly!).

During the past few years, I have been reading books on yoga, meditation, and Buddhism as a complement to my yoga practice.  To provide just a few examples, I recently read BKS Iyengar’s Light on Life, Stephen Mitchell’s translation of the Bhagavad Gita, and Nischala Joy Devi’s guide to the yoga sutras for women; I also spend some time every night reading authors like Thich Nhat Hanh and Pema Chödrön on meditation.  I subscribe to Yoga Journal and read it cover to cover every month.  The reading requirement for the teacher training is something I’m truly looking forward to!

Yoga is an important part of my daily life.  Over time, my practice has deepened, from simply accomplishing the physical poses, to relishing the emotional calm and spiritual growth that yoga makes possible.  Yoga is something I love and something I want to share with others.  I get excited about yoga the way a young child gets excited about a flower and wants to show it to everyone.  Yoga is so incredibly good for us, physically and emotionally and spiritually, and I want to help others  realize those benefits.

One of my long-term goals is to teach yoga for the elderly.  My former teacher Gene told us about the classes he taught at a retirement home, and how much yoga helped those older students stay strong and balanced and flexible. When I was a teenager I watched my grandma gradually decline and lose her sense of balance until she could barely walk. I don’t know how much of that was medical in nature and how much was a result of her sitting in a chair all day, but now I wonder if things could have been different for her. How many grandmothers could be helped by yoga, staying mobile and living longer on their own?  This is a subject really close to my heart, and it’s work I feel called to do in the world.  Completing my teacher training is the first step to eventually realizing this dream.

In short, I want to participate in East Eagle’s teacher training program in order to deepen my personal yoga practice and live a more yogic lifestyle, not just for myself but for the life that I share with my husband and the children we may have.  I want to learn how to teach this practice and share it with others.

I look forward to hearing from you.  Thanks very much,