PYTT Alumni Spotlight
Learning to teach Yoga to Help Others
Clinical Psychology Graduate Student
“As an undergraduate student, I attended yoga classes, especially during stressful times. I started working as a Behavioral Health Assistant in the Psychiatric Unit at Rady Children’s Hospital. Many of the patients suffered through various mental illnesses.
One day, one of the patients was having a rough day and I decided to use my knowledge of yoga and meditation to help the patient relax and decrease anxiety. This patient immediately noticed a huge difference and continued to use the skills I showed her. Noticing this, I then decided to pursue my yoga teacher training certification so that I could learn more about yoga. I also thought of doing research in my graduate program to discover the effects of yoga on mental illness.“
After attending Prana’s 200hr Yoga Teacher Training Summer Intensive, I continued my education with a Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program at California School of Professional Psychology in Los Angeles.
“It has truly been a rewarding experience, especially living in such a diverse community. It’s been so positively impactful, providing myself the opportunity to not only improve the lives of others, but learning and growing during the process. “
Deepening My Own Practice Through Yoga Teacher Training – and what happened then
Scientist – Tuebingen, Germany
Nadine is an associate professor in the Microbiology Department at the University of Tübingen, Germany. She took her 200hr RYT certification at Prana during the spring of 2014. She divides her time between Germany and La Jolla, where she used to live full time with her husband and dog Nala, before accepting a position abroad.
“When I signed up for the Teacher Training with Gerhard, I didn´t want to become a yoga teacher. I just wanted to learn more about yoga and deepen my own practice. During the training I noticed that I had fun teaching and people liked my approach to it. Soon after graduating I started to teach colleagues and friends at Scripps – a lot of them had no idea about yoga and were surprised how good it felt!
Spending a lot of time in the lab, I started teaching yoga mostly to scientists who sit at their computers or stand in the lab pipetting all day. A lot of them have lower back issues and shoulder and neck tensions, where yoga can help a lot to release pain and prevent these problems. But I found that most important are the mental benefits. I think that especially a yoga flow style, such as Vinyasa Flow, is perfect for scientists. For scientists – probably like many other professions – it’s hard to stop the constant flow of thoughts and relax. In a flowing vinyasa practice, students can concentrate on the slow movements and transitions that calm the mind and helps to reconnect body and mind. Many of my students mentioned that there is no other exercise after which they feel so calm, relaxed, and energized at the same time. I am happy to help people to get to know all the benefits of yoga for themselves and guide them to discover that yoga is much more than glorified stretching exercises. Personally, I think that yoga keeps me sane, improves my stress coping skills enormously and helps to find my inner balance.
Now back in Germany, I teach a weekly class at a Vinyasa studio in Tuebingen. Teachers have very different backgrounds here and it is interesting to learn how they got into Yoga. I also teach a more diverse group of people now with varying backgrounds and age groups, so I learn a lot too. The teaching forces me to keep my own practice up, which is sometimes not easy between the job, travelling and adapting to a new city. But it´s definitely worth it, it makes me happier and more balanced. “