With so many 200-hour Yoga Teacher Trainings popping up in San Diego each year, I often wonder who is taking on this HUGE responsibility of leading teacher trainings and creating new Yoga teachers. While I'm not here to name names, I have come across many 200-hr teacher training programs in the San Diego area, where the people leading the programs have only been teaching for a couple of years at the most, and their teaching resume is equally unimpressive.
An important aspect of all trainings and mentorships is the connection you have with the person who is leading the program, and if their leadership is going to help you fulfill your goals. An important question to ask yourself is Why did you choose THIS training? This is a big investment of your time and money and it is important to investigate the curriculum and even more important, the philosophies and background of the teacher leading it. Just because the studio is close to your home, the timing is right or you like the teacher, doesn't mean you should invest your money in them. While these are all feasible reasoning points, ask more questions!
We believe that you have a right to know the answers to the most important questions, which is why we asked Kristina Kuzmich, our mentor in our Yoga Teaching Mentorship Program, for her answers. Our Mentorship Program begins Wednesday, April 1, 2015 at 1:30p! It's not too late to sign up! Email Kristina@yogaboundforlife.com for more information.
1. How do you live your Yoga?
Living Yoga is more than what we do on the mat, it is how we live off the mat as well. The on the mat practice is a personal journey to deepen the overall practice. My living Yoga is a choice in how I See the world, myself and others. Yoga teaches us to pause and See things for what they are. Everyday is an amazing opportunity for me to wake up, show up and keep practicing living mindfully and truthfully. Some days this comes with ease and some days it is more challenging. Whatever is presented, is a way for me to be honest with what is coming up and to hold space for its realness.
2. Why do you teach yoga?
I have always been a teacher. I think I was born into this life as that :) I find joy in helping others find their own inner voice and guidance; their own empowerment and Self-Love. Yoga is a way of living my life and therefore, my choice to teach yoga is to teach people how to live free in mind, light in heart and accept all of who they are (physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually). I teach yoga to help others live a life that is authentic and true to their hearts. I believe that the more we love ourselves and live a light-hearted life, the better the world is. The connection of mind and body, that rich relationship, that deepens in the yoga practice lends way to the heart path, so that we each can find ourselves and love who we are. In turn, we inspire others to do that same.
3. Who is your teacher(s)?
You. Me. Everyone. Ever day is my teacher. Every moment is an opportunity to open up and See; the learn. However, I do have great teachers who have taught me this viewpoint. My teachers from Naropa University who taught me the practices of Mindfulness in Meditation. Thich Nhat Hanh in all his simply explained realizations on mindful living. Annie Carpenter has been my teacher since 2010 and I have learned so much from her dedication and discipline to the practice. My husband. My mother. My father. My siblings. My cat, Oscar. My friends. The earth. My mistakes. My rudeness and quick to react demeanor. Myself. My life.
4. How do you practice self study (svadhyaya)
I am a study nerd. I love to study, read books, take notes, write articles, share information with others. Everyday is nearly a self study experience for me. Some times I delve in for hours on end, while other days a simple one page reminder on mindfulness by one of my many wonderful meditation teachers will suffice. To me, svadhyaya, may fill more time in my life than my asana mat practice.
5. How long have you been teaching?
I began teaching at a young age. In high school I was the caption of my cheerleading squad (yeah, I did that) and I started teaching dance routines and stunting techniques to my fellow squad members. It came natural to me to lead and to bring people together. By the time I was in college, I knew I wanted to teach, but wasn't always sure as to what. Being in the fine dining restaurant business for many years, I dabble with thinking this was my career. So I became a Sommelier and directed a wine program, leading classes on wine education for a few years. But it wasn't until I actually took my meditation practice to the mat, in moving meditation, that I realized I wanted to be a teacher of mindfulness and yoga. The eight years of progressional massage therapy education and application accompanied with my yoga teachings helped me to See what my true passion was - to share the lineage of Yoga with others through teaching. Therefore, in a round about way, to answer this question, I have been teaching/leading for over 16 years but of those, six years I have dedicated to teaching mindfulness and yoga.