Sometimes, you just have to roll with destiny, and assume that just because something seems to easy to be true, does not mean it’s not good for you. Especially when it is rolling you in a direction you have been visualizing, and it is aligned with your intentions.
Roll with Destiny
First, I moved into a building that happened to be across the street from a yoga studio. While that is good enough new, that studio had opened only a month before I moved in. That wouldn’t seem such a wild coincidence, unless you knew that I had not seen the apartment until the day I actually moved in (circumstances called for my partner to make all the physical decisions, while I was away at a yoga TT).
Letting Go of Preconceptions
The studio happened to be Corepower Yoga, the largest franchise of yoga studios in the US, with over 160 studios nationwide. I had been to a Corepower in Seattle with my friend, who says she likes Corepower because it doesn’t seem to be too “culturally appropriating”, meaning it seems more American than Indian. So I took a class, as they offer your first week for free, throwing pre-conceived notions to the wind and open to all that may come. I was greeted by smiling teachers behind the reception desk, and an intense 75 minute class taught by a warm, experienced, and real yoga teacher. At the end of class, she shared a very personal story with us, and I was touched by her openness. We wound up chatting a bit, based on the story she has shared with us, and I mentioned that I taught yoga, to which she said, “Really? We are looking for teachers!” and invited me to contact the manager. An invitation to apply on the first meeting, not bad!
I still wasn’t sure how I felt about the studio, so I took a bunch of different classes, with different teachers to get a feeling before I contacted the studio manager. I found myself genuinely happy to be there, challenged by the classes, and impressed with the quality and diversity of the teachers. Finally, one teacher gave me the email of the area manager, who I promptly emailed with my info. Just in time too, as the following weekend they were holding a FREE, yes you read that right, free yoga teaching training intensive to prepare non-Corepower trained teachers to teach at Corepower. They offer these intensives rarely, and only for two reasons: 1. They are expanding and need new teachers and 2. They aim to offer a consistency in quality that requires training.
Meet Joel – Corepower’s Best Kept Secret
On Thursday, September 15th, I took a class with Joel, a master Corepower teacher who is in charge of opening new studios. He literally travels all over the country opening studios and training teachers. After the deep and joyful class, we had an info session, when he told us the history, present, and future of Corepower, with an infectious passion and joy. All the doubts I might have held about the “Starbucks” of yoga were dashed and replaced with admiration and excitement.
The next three days were filled with lots of learning, laughter and sweat. Not only did Joel share his knowledge about yoga postures, adjusts, and class management, but he also shared his warmth and encouragement. We could feel that he truly wanted us all to succeed as Corepower teachers, sharing one of Corepower’s values – team based professional development. Corepower succeeds because it offers studios full of good, consistent, happy teachers. Seasoned teachers mentor new teachers, with a combination of a nurturing and nudging that inspires each teacher to keep practicing and keep teaching. There is a big push for teachers to take classes with other teachers, as a part of good business and good teacher development. And without a doubt it works to build better teachers and a better community, both of which benefit students.
After the Intensive
After 3 days of intense practice – we literally went through the bulk of a 200 hour training in 15 hours – we were invited to take as many classes as we could at any Corepower studio, to familiarise ourselves with the classes and culture. I jumped at the chance and took classes everyday, sometimes twice a day! What I love about yoga is that it encourages the practice as the only way to deepen knowledge. Reading and listening will only get you so far; you have to feel it to get it, and you have to practice to feel it.
Let me remind you, dear reader, that ALL of the training and these classes were offered by Corepower for FREE. While I have no issue with paying for yoga, I do greatly appreciate the rarity and generosity of this experience.
Next post is all about my first yoga studio audition. Please read!!