Starting in the late 90s, I started presenting for FitTour with two of the first Yoga Sessions to ever be taught in the fitness world. I can remember how foreign yoga seemed to the fitness world, with so many people still teaching step aerobics and kickboxing at the time. By early 2000, more yoga workshops seemed to be popping up all over. For me, the creation of Yoga I.S. education was inevitable since there were literally no standards out there (and still are very few) as to what a yoga teacher is responsible to know. I would try to teach my information in conferences and other trainings, but was baffled by how little instructors understood basic anatomy and exercise mechanics. I can remember in Belleview, WA when back in 2001 when an attendee in one of my workshops sent me an evaluation saying I had “Missed the Boat” in my session by talking about anatomy in my workshop and leaving out philosophy and spirituality. That has stayed with me for years, since I realized all I was saying had been dismissed by cultural bias and ego.
After teaching Yoga I.S. courses for over a decade, I realized what I had to do. It was time I offered an entire training that empowered fitness and health professionals to help more people. I heard so many reported injuries from ill-educated yoga teachers and had suffered many myself. I actually had an Ashtanga adjustment that landed me on the operating table with a torn meniscus in my left knee in 1999. I spent many months deciding how I wanted to plan the first training. Funny how all the guidelines I was given by Yoga Alliance consisted of broad subject areas that I had to have a certain number of hours for and no one ever asked to see what I was doing at all! This really makes me wonder about all these trainings popping up now. There are literally no standards, nor recurrent testing required in the yoga community.
At any rate, my first training was very full. I put my trust in a very unprofessional web designer to create my first website and online school program. We had a lot of computer issues that were very expensive to resolve. I learned so much about the type of student I wanted in my training and so much more about yoga than I ever expected! Since then, we have changed locations, changed web companies, re-vamped the school and web site, and added so much more to course material. Many students come to Yoga I.S. because they want more information and have not been able to find it. Many of my students are already 500 hour certified but there were so many holes in their education that they want to go through this course work. It has been such a joy to see so many of my students go on to work in hospitals, schools, and yoga facilities. Donna and I have turned out some of the best teachers in the city and students come back and say “Did so and so go through your training? They really sound like you educated them” It is such a compliment and I am always so proud to see them come back to further their education.
We have recently updated out 300 hour track with Advanced Therapeutic Applications. The current Virginia class is working to get one in DC and I am excited to see what this brings, as the Virginia training has been such a great experience! In the Louisville studio, it has been wonderful to see how many of our clients enjoy the combination of yoga, pilates, strength training, MAT, and personal training. I am excited about the next batch of teachers, new certifications to come (Yoga I.S. Barre™ Method) and new student trainers. I am so thankful to have Donna and all my dear friends at the Yoga IS Studio and I know together we can make a difference.