I had always been a believer of doing what guides your heart.
However, if you told me 10 years ago where that would have led I may not have believed you! In October of 2007 a friend of mine convinced me to try hot yoga. The only reason I tried it was because of all of the calories I was told I would burn in one class. Wow! Post class I felt awesome and I couldn’t believe how hard it was. It wasn't the defeated kind of hard I had felt when trying other activities, it was the achievable hard and I loved it. From that point on I did as many classes as I could afford to do. I certainly began feeling the physical improvements such as strength and flexibility. My family really noticed how happy going to yoga made me. It wasn’t long before I noticed how it started to change and challenge my life from the inside out. I wanted to simplify, I wanted to experience things I had never even thought about before, I wanted to be a better person and most importantly I wanted to share what I felt with others. I guess the term, taking yoga off the mat now applied to me !
With a little voice in my head telling me I should teach yoga, I continued to try and convince others to try yoga or go to class with me. However, that little voice got louder and louder and was starting to disrupt my daily work life. I managed to push this voice aside convincing myself that being already over 40 there was little chance I could or should teach yoga to others.
Then it dawned on me, isn't yoga for everyone? Why do I feel I wouldn't make a good teacher for someone? I could likely teach beginners,children or maybe children or adults that need a more therapeutic approach to yoga. I then thought wouldn't it be amazing if individuals with developmental disabilities were doing yoga? I started thinking about my previous 8 years of “hands on” experience in the field of social services. I felt very strongly there were many individuals with special needs that could benefit from yoga. I shared my thoughts to my extremely supportive husband who said, “If there was ever a time for you to do something you are passionate about, do it now!” I really was passionate about this and it wasn't a lack of self confidence at all that brought me back to working with an amazing community of people !
Like everything that is meant to be, it just all fell into place so easily. If that fire hadn't been lit almost 7 years ago or the desire to become a yoga teacher not been so disruptive! I would have ignored the signs that I was meant to do something very special with my life. I sought out what I felt would be the best teacher training in order to teach this particular clientele and headed to Massachusetts where the training was held. I left my full-time corporate position of 10 years to get back to working with a group of people I love. It just had a new twist is all! That first week was followed by 4 years of teacher training that have both supported my initial training and allowed me to branch out into teaching “typical children and adults” ! I fell in love with what ever it was that drew me to the mat and kept me there. I know I became a yoga teacher because it felt right and not a day goes by that I don’t appreciate the people that supported the path it took for me to follow my passion.
by Gail Gagne