I began teaching yoga in 2002, after only a 30 hour teacher training. This was at a time, when the now standard 200 hour teacher training was much less common than it is today. The closest 200hr trainings were in California or New York. Although I wanted nothing more than to travel and train with the best, I was in my 20’s and paying off college debt. So, I did the next best thing. I signed up for a week long, 30hr teacher training with a senior ashtanga teacher who came to town, it was ok. After the training, my primary teacher asked me to apprentice with her, and I jumped at the chance. After a few months, she nudged me to begin teaching. I contacted a few studios, and I was hired on the spot. This would be unheard of today. To teach at most yoga studios, you would be required to compete at least a 200hr training, and possibly a 500hr training. My story is also a bit unique, I had a solid 10 year practice under my belt, including a well established 2 hour home practice, that may have helped me get my foot in the door.
I come from a long line of self-starters. Papa, my grandfather, left school at 14, taught himself to drive, joined the Civil Conservation Corps (a work relief program that gave millions of young men employment on environmental projects during the Great Depression), and later the Navy. He trained himself to be a gifted wood worker, and there was nothing he couldn’t fix. It is in my blood, and I honestly wouldn’t change a thing. Paving my own way as a teacher with just a 30hr teacher training forced me to figure a lot out on my own. The learning curve was steep, and I was forced to get creative. Luckily, I have always been passionate about education, and regularly took workshops with visiting instructors and attended local classes. This helped me learn and grow as a teacher. In 2007, I began training teachers. I was thrilled to take on this new roll and loved the diversity it brought to my work.
Fast forward to 2012, and the yoga landscape was completely different. Yoga studios were popping up all over the place. 200hr teacher trainings had arrived in town and were here to stay. It was clear to me, it was time to do a 200hr training. I wanted to stand out as an expert in my field. Gone were the days of being grandfathered into a 200hr status. Knowing I would one day do a 200hr training, I had been looking around for years to find the right teacher for me. Not all trainings or teachers are created equal, and I knew, I wanted the best. With my first training I was in a position of needing to go with the most convienent option. This training would be a bigger time and financial commitment, I wanted to make sure to find a teacher and program that was exactly what I was looking for, which is why I didn’t just go down the street and enroll in any program. I was looking for a training with a strong focus on anatomy, alignment, and sequencing, something that was lacking from my first training. I had studied with dozens of world renown teachers, but who would be the best fit for me? I meticulously combed through the notes I had taken throughout the years. As is common in pedagogy, I had been incorporating what I learned from different teachers over the years, making it my own. When I came across a black silk covered notebook, I couldn’t believe it. The person who most influenced how I had been teaching for the last 3 years, was Noah Mazé, and I had only taken one workshop with him! I immediately signed up for his training.
I arrived in Flagstaff AZ June 17th, 2012. I was joined by a group of highly qualified teachers, and students. I spent the week having my mind blown. This is what I had been looking for. In-depth learning, a teacher who challenged me to question why I taught the way I did, to be open to new ideas, to be thoughtful, and intentional, to find my own voice, to never stop learning, and to not be afraid to change my mind when I knew more. Four months later, I flew to LA and completed my 200hrs in the Mazé Method. At this point, I felt like my cup was full, I had so many new tools and was fired up to get back to teaching and training teachers. To have taught for 10 years and finally have a training of this caliber was eye-opening. Although a lot of what I had been doing was working really well, a lot of what I had been teaching was due for a deeper look. For example, for years I taught the cue “tuck your tailbone”, that is what I had been taught for 20 years. It was the only cue I had heard regarding the tailbone. But, what exactly did that mean? Was I was supposed to tuck my tailbone in every pose? Turns out, there is a lot more to the story, and we unpacked what “tuck your tailbone” actually means, how to do it, when to do it, and when not to. This one exploration alone gave me so many tools to help my students!
I went back to teaching, with notes in hand, and for a while, I was satisfied. That didn’t last long, I couldn’t shake the overwhelming desire for more. Less than a year later, I was back in LA, completing a 300hr training. By completing both a 200hr and 300hr training, I finally was able to register at the 500hr level, the highest level currently recognized in the industry. The level of education I received is unsurpassed by any training I’ve seen, and deeper than I could have imagined. I went on to complete certification and apprenticeship with Noah. After 7 years of traveling back and forth to LA to hone my craft, I have moved into the roll of emissary. I am proud and honored to offer the Mazé Method yoga teacher training in MN, beginning September 2019.