I am the Llamaste Yogi


This past year 2016 was one, which was, I can use one word, pivotal, and in more ways than one.  While news poured in almost daily about some celebrity or other known personality leaving this terrestrial world, some loved ones I had known all my life were no exception - among them my beloved grandmother of 95 years one day after the New Year, and a short time later my dad, though not particularly young, still had, we had thought, many years to go.  Already 2016 was going in a direction of somberness and uncertainty.  With these setbacks, some amazing things were already going on in my life.  

Over the past few years I had been looking to teach yoga and enroll in a course to become a fully certified teacher. New York City, and especially Brooklyn has many courses to choose from, and in some of the top studios in the country, however, finding a course that fit within my schedule whether it was work, family or spiritual, or general pricing, proved to be quite challenging.  That was until I received that email that changed my life - it came from YogaDownload.com.  

 Yoga Download is a website that provides online yoga classes from a wide variety of yogis and offers all different type of yoga, from gentle flow to yoga for weight loss.  In late November 2015, an email was sent out to its subscribers informing them about a brand new 200-hour teacher's course.  The first of its kind and still in development, a 50% introductory discount was offered to members that signed up before December 1st. Although finances were tight, I did some due diligence and found that it had been created by Alanna Kaivayla, one of the top yogis in the practice.  

Alanna Kaivalya, the founder of  the course, The Kaivalya Yoga Method (TKYM), was listed in the March 2008 Yoga Journal as one of the top 21 Yoga Teachers Under 40, and has written regularly for the Huffington Post, as well as published her own books on the philosophy and practice and produced her own inspirational music.  She is in fact the first yogi ever to have ever created a podcast, and now has a vast library of courses and podcasts, covering the practice, philosophy, music, and you name it, it's there!  The fact that it is part of yogadownload.com , one of the best yoga video websites, further added to its allure. 

 The course, not only met, but well exceeded my expectations!  Alanna, along with her team of mentors, Andrew, Avery and Elizabeth, were both amazingly supportive and made sure that I knew all the material inside and out and that I develop the skill to confidently teach a vinyasa sequence.  What an experience it was to create a video where I practiced to my own cueing, recorded to the timing of a metronome at Andrew's recommendation.  

Initially, the course was listed as a 200 hour course, but because of the wealth of material (much of it which is not offered in in-person courses), and the length of the work itself, including written assignments and shooting and submitting videos with someone to act as a student or hand-on-adjustments, the mentors upgraded the course to a 500 hour teachers certification!  Having signed up in December 2015, beginning the course that January, that moment of excitement of becoming a 500 hour certified teacher came almost exactly a year later.  And what excited me even more, was when I did my first group workshop after graduation.

It's true that when you graduate from school, you never know what things are going to be like in the "real world," and I myself had those feelings of caution as I put myself to the test.  Now only did everything come naturally, I was humbled to get great positive feedback from my students, and to know that I made a difference in affecting them in a positive way for the rest of the day!  I am excited to move forward in my journey as the Llamaste Yogi, making a difference in the lives of others!