Last August, I was lucky enough to be interviewed by my amazing yoga school, Himalaya Yoga Valley. In the interview, we talk a bit about Eka Yoga, but mostly we talk about what to expect when you decide to continue your yoga education in a 500 hour training. If you are interested in doing any type of yoga training or retreat, I highly recommend HYV. You can find out more about HYV, what they have to offer, and their locations around the world at http://yogagoaindia.com/
In this article we interview one of our 500 hour graduates Angela Glaz of Eka Yoga Seattle to share a personal experience with those thinking of further education and development through a 500 hr Teacher Training. This post gives a great insight into the differences between a 200 hour and 500 hour Teacher Training and what you can expect if you choose to further your study in this capacity.
For those graduates who are not familiar with you Angela can you tell us a little bit about yourself; name, location, current teaching status etc…?
My name is Angela Glaz and I am currently living in Seattle, WA, USA with my husband and fur child, a Dachshund named Desta. Currently, I teach weekly Hatha and Vinyasa with a local studio I have been with since they opened their doors four years ago. Throughout my time with this studio I’ve also taught kids yoga series and workshops on: The Bandhas, Chakras, and Ayurveda. Early this September, I will be taking the first steps in opening my own yoga center, Eka Yoga. Eka’s vision is to honour and serve the uniqueness of every mind, body and spirit through yoga and Ayurveda. You can find out more about Eka Yoga at www. ekayogaseattle.com
Congratulations on the opening of your new Yoga studio, what an incredible step to take as a Teacher! Before opening your studio you decided to complete your 500hr Yoga Teacher Training with Himalaya Yoga Valley, what drew you to this schools program and how would you describe your experiences in 500 hr tt compared to your 200 hr?
It is nearly impossible to narrow it down to one thing! My top two reasons for attending my 500 hour with HYVC (Himalaya Yoga Valley Centre) are: HYVC’s mission to stay true to the source of yoga and their foresight to include a business immersion week in their 500hr curriculum. As for the differences between level 1 training & level 2, the 200hr TT (teacher training) is comparable to high school, you’re learning your basics or the foundation of your education. Your 500hr TT is like attending college or university. You have the chance to explore and a build upon that foundation. For me personally, I felt like I was a hot mess through my entire 200hr TTC. I learned a lot about yoga, but mostly I learned a lot about myself. My 500hr on the other-hand was completely different! I still had my days where my practice brought up things that I would have preferred stayed buried, but I felt as though I was more comfortable in my own skin, willing and ready to explore what was next for me personally and educationally. Although you are still on a pretty tight schedule during your 500hr, I felt as though the HYVC team gave me the room, the tools, and the encouragement to do that exploring.
Before you arrived on your level 2 training you were asked to start investigating an area (s) of interest or specialisation that you would like to focus on and research during your time here, what inspired you to specialise and develop your teaching knowledge in ‘Yoga and Ayurveda for your 500hr Portfolio development?
Through out my life, I always strived to be healthy, yet never really felt healthy. During my 200hr, I was introduced to Ayurveda, and I found it fascinating! I continued to educate myself on the topic for my own well-being, and sure enough, it changed my life just as much as yoga had. Most of us do a teacher training because yoga did something great for us and we want to give others the opportunity to find that greatness through yoga as well. I did my research on Ayurveda for the same reason. I wanted to know more about the connection between Ayurveda and yoga so that I could give my students a well rounded wellness experience.
It sounds as though you went into your 500hr with a really clear idea of what you hoped to gain and expected to achieve during your experience, not that all student-teachers would be in the same position, however based on your initial inspiration for attending a level 2 training how do you feel the program supported your professional development & over all learning goals?
When I returned home, I took the business outline and "Yoga and Ayurveda" research paper, I was assigned to work on throughout my training, and I turned it into an actual business plan. I am presently in the process of finding a space and getting the funding to make the plan a reality.
Upon your initial return and previous to opening your own centre you returned to teaching at your local studio, what changes did you have or did your students notice in your teaching?
The most popular response I received from my students when I returned home was, “You seem more in charge, and I like it.” It’s a funny thing to say, but I understood what my students were trying to convey. When I returned, I felt as though I had earthquake proofed and added a few new stories to the original foundation I built in my 200hr.
Wow, sounds like your students had a fantastic response to your return, in what other ways do you feel your have applied what you learned on your training not only to your teaching but also to your personal practice?
In my teaching, I am sure to never ever ever say, “your first dog of the day.” Also, I’ve been making a conscious effort to tell the story behind the sequence I plan in order to show my students how it all connects – intentions, breath, asanas, sanskrit, philosophy, health benefits, etc. In my personal practice, I am very proud to say that I have made sure to keep my routine of my morning meditation, pranayama, and asanas, even if it’s only 15-20 minutes. I leave my house by 6:30am every morning for a walking meditation with my husband and dog and I make sure to do at least one breathing exercise and five sun salutations before I go to work. There are many mornings when I am sure that staying in bed is the answer, but as soon as I finish my practice, I’m always grateful that I chose the later.
Although developing your knowledge and personal practice were strong elements of the 500hr TTC, what was the highlight or most valuable aspect of the 500hr TT program coming back as an experience Yoga teacher?
I really enjoyed and also found the one-to-one weekly meetings with our assigned teacher super helpful. Whether I was feeling overwhelmed, unsure, confused, or nervous about anything and everything that was part of my training, Eveanna always knew what to say and what tools to give me to move forward in a successful way.
Do you have any final comments or anything else about the training that that you learned on the training course that surprised you or that you wish to share?
“We are society yogi’s.” Lalit made sure to remind us that although we do our best to stick to tradition, we live in a world where two 2 hour yoga practices per day is not realistic for most. We are not yogi’s living in a cave, we live in a society where we need to pay bills, care for our family, etc. We do not have to renounce the world to be good yogi’s. I feel that HYVC’s well developed curriculum, knowledgeable teachers, and welcoming space has created a yoga program that can’t be beat. I’m so thankful for the knowledge, tools, and encouragement that they’ve passed