Watching a Dream Unfold: Yoga Teacher Training ~ Judy Moss

It’s a funny thing sometimes, isn’t it?

This weekend was the fourth weekend of Yoga Teacher Training. That’s right folks, it has finally happened. What I have been chasing for two years has finally become a reality for me. I knew from that first yoga class that this is what I am meant to do. This is where my heart thrives and I want to pour all that I have into becoming who I am, authentically.

That’s sometimes a hard thing for us to figure out. Life has a way of getting so busy and cluttered that we slowly begin living reactionary lives trying to just get by rather than intentionally making decisions to get where we want to go. Before you know it, we have forgotten all about where it was we were heading.

The truth is that we can always be doing something to get where we want to go be it taking a class, reading material, getting a mentor, etc. You get the idea here. A dream job or a happy life doesn’t just happen to find some people and not others. Whether we want to get down to business and admit that our own decisions lead us to where we are or not doesn’t make a difference. The simple truth is that we decide the path of our lives in the daily decisions we make. That’s not to say that bad things don’t happen, but when they do, how are we going to handle them? I think that is where who we are at the core shines...during those hard times.

One of the best things you can do for yourself is to find your passion and be fiercely protective of it. In doing that, you have to nurture it and share it with only those that will aide you in bringing it to life. That is the exact reason I chose to do my yoga teacher training with Yoga Story. There are training programs all over and numerous online schools that will get you certified, but when you are following your dream, you don’t go through a program with just anyone.

I knew without a doubt that Yoga Story would hold me to the highest of standards and offer only their best in educating me to become a part of the yoga community. That’s the thing about them, they are not just a studio or a school, they are a community; a network of genuine love and support for their students and teachers.

Has it been easy? Ha… Absolutely NOT!!!
Has it been worth it? You better believe it!! ????

We are now four weeks into training and I have met some amazing people and made wonderful, lasting friendships. A common interest brought us all together, but Yoga Story is making us part of a community. Who knows where we will all end up after training is over, but one thing is certain…

I will forever be grateful to Yoga Story for their integrity and dedication to offering nothing less than their best in this program.

What I know for sure is that you have to absorb the joy in pursuing a passion. It may no come fast and it probably won't come easy, but it will come if you keep reaching for it. Go out and grab the life of your dreams!!! What are you waiting for?


Teacher Feature ~ Kelsi Zahl

Favorite pose and why?

Natarajasana, Dancers Pose
I love being in this expression. The asana feels all expansive in every direction, it is the perfection of physics.  We ground down to lift up, we press back to move forward. The story behind the posture speaks to my soul: with the light of knowledge, the yogi dancer dances on the head of the serpent, ignorance, the heart of all suffering. With the knowledge of the earth and my own strength, I can keep lifting my heart towards heaven. With the past placed behind me with the light of awareness, I can move, with the heart first, forward; and whilst all of this transpires, I can fill the present moment with beauty.

First introduced to yoga?

My sister-friend Juli took me to a yoga class one day and after that one experience with the dear Alex Austin, I did yoga every day, some days I would do it twice. At first I was addicted to how it made me feel, but then, I realized that it helped my brain. Sri P. K. Jois says that yoga can cure mental illness of all sorts. This has been my experience. Yoga paired with service (seva) has continued to keep me off the slippery slope of addiction and eating disorder for over 12 years, two things which landed me in the hospital in my youth. As long as I show up with the willingness to practice, I am graced with freedom.

And it is this freedom, moksa, that lights my heart of fire. Yoga, in its full form, makes me strong because it allows me to say yes and no in life, instead of being a slave to my own selfish intent and that of the world.

How does your practice make you stronger?

It keeps me in balance. As one who rides the line of too much and too little, it is a true victory for me to ride the middle ground and find some kind of ease.

How do you remain grounded outside the yoga studio?

By practicing asana at home and I have a rather religious morning ritual of 3 pages of stream of consciousness followed by meditation.

Advice to beginner yogi?

Have fun. If you are old to yoga, have fun.

Mantra or intention?

It’s not about getting there, its about being here.

Biggest misconception about being a yoga instructor?

They are avatars.

One healthy food I swear by and why?

Almond Butter. High alkaline, filling and good for the skin. Anti-cancer

Yogi of the Month ~ DJ Talbot

How long have you been practicing?
I started yoga in September 2016 but didn’t regularly start going until the following November.

What’s your favorite pose and why?
I would definitely say the headstand. When I first saw the pose in Todd’s Explore Yoga class, I thought it was the coolest thing ever. It challenges me every day as I try to perfect it and maintain for longer periods of time.

In 10 words or less describe why you love yoga?
It gives me a challenge as well as self-confidence.

How does your yoga practice benefit your other passions/ hobbies?
I like to run, play soccer and be a part of my high school drum-line which all require me to be in shape. Yoga does not only keep me in shape but also prevents and relieves injuries I receive.    

Why did you start practicing yoga?
My mom always encouraged me to go to yoga with her and always said it would be a good thing for me. I guess one day I finally decided to go and I slowly started to fall in love with yoga.

How does yoga impact your everyday life?
It makes me more confident in myself as I find my limits within my practice. The more poses I discover I can do makes me realize how remarkable we are as humans.

What misconceptions about yoga, if any, were changed after you started practicing?
I always was scared to go to yoga because for some reason I thought it was a judgmental community and that I would not enjoy it. The more and more I go, I soon realize how wrong I was. All of the instructors and people are all extremely friendly and compassionate. It makes me grateful to be a part of this yoga community and eager to practice more at Yoga Story!

Yogi of the Month ~ Tammy Talbot

How long have you been practicing?
I've been practicing since June, 2016, starting with the 30 days for 30 dollars at Yoga Story.

What's your favorite pose and why?
I think half pigeon pose because the pose is helping open up my stuck hips.

In 10 words or less describe why you love yoga.
Expansive energy floods my body...feeling more alive each practice.

How does your yoga practice benefit your other passions/hobbies?
I love to run and yoga is helping me be injury free, as I had issues in the past with lower back and hip pain while running.

Why did you start practicing yoga?
My lower back was injured while training for the 2016 Bentonville Half Marathon. I couldn't run the HM and I realized that I couldn't keep running if I didn't properly stretch and strengthen my body.

How does yoga impact your everyday life?
Yoga helps me manage the stress of my job and other responsibilities of my life. On my mat I gain clarity and peace of mind.

What misconceptions about yoga, if any, were changed after you started practicing?
I thought yoga would be boring. I love running or walking outdoors alone, and I thought I would feel claustrophobic surrounded by others in a yoga studio. Yoga is definitely not boring, and I really enjoy the community support I feel at Yoga Story! Thanks so much!

Dry January by Julie Worden

Every January I resolve to scale back on consuming alcohol for a while to detox my body after the holidays. When I say “awhile”, I mean a couple of weeks.

During this past year, I noticed a pattern in my alcohol consumption.  If I was meeting friends, there was always a cocktail.  If I was at a social event, I had a glass of champagne in hand.  Even at home with dinner, I had a glass of wine while cooking, or with dinner.  I wasn’t getting drunk, nor do I consider that a problem with alcohol.  I considered it the norm for anyone of drinking age to incorporate libations in social events, gatherings with family and friends, and to relax at the end of the day.  But it did begin to weigh on me when I realized that I was pouring a glass of wine every time I sat down to watch Netflix.  

I didn’t plan to be dry the entire month of January, but what happened was unexpected and a lot easier that I thought.  As the first week rolled into the second, and third, there was a shift in my life…and I loved it….

YOUR YOGA PRACTICE WILL CHANGE ~ Does your brain feel dull or confused during yoga?  Do you feel lethargic and unmotivated?  If I had a couple of glasses of wine the night before a yoga class, the thought of sweating it out in a hot yoga studio was very unmotivating.  I was tired and foggy. Savasana was the only pose that I looked forward to. Remove the alcohol and you will find your yoga practice improves and becomes more consistent.  You make it to the studio 3-4 times per week and you push yourself a little harder in your practice.

YOU LOOK BETTER~ Okay I was going to say “younger” but that’s a stretch! No more puffy face and eyes, and dark circles in the morning.  Alcohol dehydrates your body and depletes nutrients from your skin, and here I was slathering expensive creams and serums on my face and neck every night, fighting a battle that I was making worse! 

YOU SLEEP BETTER~ And you’ll get up and go to yoga in the morning!  I used to think a nightcap helped me sleep better, but I was actually tossing and turning and up half the night.  You wake up feeling rested and ready to take on your day!

YOUR GYM WORKOUTS IMPROVE~Alcohol can limit the metabolism of other substances in the body, particularly carbohydrates, which means muscle glycogen levels are limited.  Your body has to burn through the alcohol first. Fatigue sets in earlier in your workout, making you feel tired and sluggish.  It’s hard to improve on speed, strength and endurance.  I’ve always been a “gym rat”, you never had to twist my arm to work out.  I feel stronger and have more energy to put toward my strength training goals.

YOU EAT HEATHIER AND DRINK MORE WATER~ I do eat healthy, but I noticed that when I had a drink in hand I was nibbling a lot on cheese and gluten-free crackers, chips and salsa, a bite of dark chocolate here and there.  In the morning, I reached for coffee first. Now when I wake up I have a cup of hot lemon water and I want to eat breakfast before I have any caffeine.  And I don’t want as much coffee anymore.  I want water!  I crave fruits and veggies all day, and water!  Eating healthy consistently is so much easier.

YOU NOTICE A CHANGE IN YOUR BODY~ All of those glasses of wine with dinner, margaritas on girl’s night out, and champagne at brunch are filled with empty calories and sugar.  You’ll create a calorie deficit by replacing booze with water, and you might lose a few pounds. 

YOU HAVE MORE ENERGY~Ever look at your to-do list and get pissed off?  When you wake up after a good night’s sleep and no brain fog, you’ll hit the ground running and blow through that to-do list like a boss.  And you want to make it to yoga practice, hit the gym, plan your meals for the week, and prep your food.  See how it all works together?

YOU BECOME NICER~ Or maybe more pleasant is a better way of putting it.  I think I’m a nice person, but I realized that I have more self-awareness and it’s improved my relationships.  It’s not always all about me.  Having more compassion and empathy feels really good.

So there you have it.  As dry January comes to a close, I can say with the utmost honesty that I still LOVE my glass of wine with my girlfriends. And my cranberry vodka with a splash of lime while relaxing on the deck with my Handsome. And my margarita no salt with my chips and salsa.  Is this a permanent change for me?  I’m not sure.  But for now I’m loving the way I feel.



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