We recently began speaking to some of our past, present and future yoga and meditation teacher training students. This week we were privileged to catch up with Steve and to ask him a few questions about his journey this far.
How have you used yoga teacher training to serve your personal community?
I work in the community sector, and have started to teach micro classes with young people, and people from the culturally and linguistically diverse communities whilst at work. I am using this micro-teaching technique so that people who would not normally come to a yoga class (or perhaps even know what yoga is), feel comfortable to take part. If people show an interest and want to spend longer, we make separate times for a fuller class. I am also teaching a gentle beginners class at a local community arts centre, where we focus on the enjoyment of movement, referencing Krishnamacharya's emphasis on adapting the teachings of yoga to suit the individual, and finishing with a long relaxation.
What is your interest and forte in teaching yoga and mindfulness?
I'm interested in using mindfulness and relaxation in yoga classes to quieten the busy mind, especially for men who do not currently have a practice. I was a painter for around 10 years after leaving school, and then went into grass roots youth & community work, then into management. I have experienced lots of physical pain as a result of repetitive strain in my shoulders from painting and poor posture at a desk based job. Added to this, I have always had a restless mind and body, tending to anxiety. Yoga, without doubt has helped me tremendously in life, with both physical and emotional pain. I aim to use my teaching practice and life experience to help other people experiencing similar issues.
What has yoga teacher training offered you? Has it effected your personal life in a beneficial way?
Yoga Teacher Training has deepened my knowledge of asana, pranayama, meditation, philosophy, and I have learnt from teachers who's classes I wouldn't normally attend such as Kundalini which has been amazing and eye opening. Learning from Celia, and other senior teachers such as Swami Mukti, Leanne Davis, Craig Smith, and Jamie Denham has deepened my practice beyond what I had anticipated.
Yoga Teacher Training pushed me outside of my comfort zone, and has enlivened a love of asana which I had let slip in my own practice, now I am sequencing for myself from the YIMI manuals using the knowledge fromYoga Teacher Training, and my body has opened, and mind calmed as a result.
Did you expect to be teaching in the way that you are? Could you have foreseen where the journey would take you?
I came into Yoga Teacher Training with no expectations of teaching, or not teaching. About half way through the 200 hour course I realised I would like to start teaching so I asked for some advice from Craig Smith, and the very next day a friend called me and asked me to start a class at the community arts centre! Since then, a number of people have contacted me for one to one teaching and Celia referred the owners of a joinery workshop with 16 staff to me for weekly classes.
I'm still working full time in the community sector, and see the social/emotional impact of teaching yoga as great as the impact created in my community work role.
Thank you Steve for your time we truly appreciate you sharing your experiences with us!