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2012 - A Year of Learning and Achieving

January marked the very beginning of my teaching journey. I started with just a couple private classes a week with a personal training company called Fit Squad. My schedule was wide open - too open for my liking - but I was practicing patience and holding out for what I believed in. I had lots of time to take class. And spent countless hours working on my teaching resume and bio, sending it to as many people as I could think of.

In February I taught my first donation based class in the Toronto Dance Community Love-In’s space. The turn out was greater than I anticipated and I was thrilled to have Diane Bruni and Kathryn Bruni Young attend. I also spent one day a week at Ryerson university TA-ing a wonderful group of first year students in their anatomy class. This was the highlight of my week. Their energy and keen desire to learn kept my fire burning, as I continued reaching out to studios in the city. I was offered an opportunity to tour with Corpus (a dance-theatre company) for 6 weeks in the spring, and after seriously questioning whether or not to accept, I declined the offer. I knew I had to be here, sharing yoga and spreading my love for it with others.

First year anatomy class at Ryerson University.

Come March things started falling into place. I began subbing regularly at Breathe Yoga Studio. A big thank you to Svitlana Nalywayko for giving me the opportunity, and the little burst of courage I needed to keep reaching out. In March I also lined up teaching opportunities at two Lululemon stores downtown for the month of May, which gave me something else to look forward to. Things were starting to look up and I was SO thrilled to be getting more opportunities to teach.

In April I met with Felicia Ross, owner of two Moksha studios in Toronto as well as director of the YogaBeat, a pay-what-you-can studio in Regent Park. The fire in my eyes was burning brightly at this meeting, I knew she understood my passion. Good things were coming.

In May I was on multiple studio’s schedules, my dream was coming true. Not only was I teaching community classes at Lululemon in the Eaton Centre and on Queen Street, I was also on the schedule at the YogaBeat. Meanwhile Breathe had offered me new classes at their other location, and I was also given two classes a week at Moksha on St-Clair West. “This is what being a yoga teacher feels like!”

On June 1st Barreworks opened downtown and I began teaching their YogaBarre classes. I was also asked to perform in a dance piece for the Fringe festival, so I began rehearsals. It felt great to be in the dance studio again. The summer was looking busy and I was feeling grateful. In July I attended two weeks of Summer Love-In, a dance intensive that had me in studio up to 6 hours a day. I studied alongside wonderful dance artists and continued exploring various Axis syllabus principles with one of my favourite teachers, Frey Faust. Simultaneously, I was performing in the Fringe festival for 10 days, and teaching most of my classes. It felt so good to be busy doing what I love.

"The Canary Wallpaper & Underwood" presented by Ink on Paper and Choreographed by Alice Irene. Photo by Gregory Holmgren.

In August I continued teaching as much as possible, learning to read different bodies and finding new ways to articulate my instructions. As the summer was coming to a close and I began preparing for a yoga-filled fall, I wrapped up my job with the not-for-profit dance company I had been working with part time since February.

Come September I travelled to Vancouver for my “summer holiday” with Darren, to visit my best friend Mel, and take some time to reflect on my year thus far. While in Vancouver I had time to read, write, take class and rest. I also applied to be a Lululemon Ambassador. It felt like a leap of faith, but I was fulfilling a silent goal that I had given myself earlier in the year. I took the most beautiful class with Whit Hornsberger, a lovely human being and wonderful teacher that assisted my teacher training in Costa Rica in 2011. I also took class from the oh so fun Meghan Currie. Her videos are all over YouTube and I was looking forward to sweating with her. The week away was a well deserved re-fuel and I felt completely recharged and inspired when I got home again.

Half way up the Grouse Grind with Mel in Vancouver.

The fall months were full. I joined the awesome team of yoga teachers at Track Fitness and had more and more inquiries about private classes. I also taught my first series of Corporate classes and loved it! In December Frey Faust was back for another week of Axis Syllabus and I jumped at the opportunity to study alongside him again. His approach to movement inspires my approach to yoga and I continue to be humbled by his knowledge and generosity.

A week or so before Christmas, while teaching another community class at Lululemon in the Eaton Centre, I was asked to be their ambassador.  I felt so much gratitude it was overwhelming. It was in this moment I realized that, although I felt like I had struggled so hard to gain momentum in this community, I had indeed made great strides in my first year as a teacher. For a moment, I allowed myself to feel proud of my accomplishments. I taught over 500 classes in my first year as a yoga teacher and I met so many wonderful souls as a result of this journey.

While the first half of 2012 was much slower than I would have liked, the second half more than made up for it. Moving in to 2013, I look forward to fine tuning my practice as a teacher. I look forward to helping the community of students who share a love for yoga, grow. I look forward to dancing more and writing more. I look forward to finding more balance, taking more time to nurture my passions, in order to better enable me to help care for others.