• Nawal

Fall Reflections 2020 - How did you get in to Yoga?.....

Updated: Oct 7, 2020

As we move in to fall I find myself doing more gentle yoga to help my body ease in to the colder months, summer vibes have turned in to Autumnal winds and winter is peeking around the corner. Most of my 2020 work was cancelled due to Corona virus, and so to pass time and attack some goals that have been on the back burner, I am currently enrolled in a course for 100hours of Ayurveda and Yoga , some Core Anatomy Intensive with Sadie Nardini and then 100 more Yin Yoga Training Hours in December....

.....Check the amazing Nutritional overhaul program called : Whole Body Living you can take, with my Yin Yoga instructor Stephanie Calhoun. See her website HERE: https://stephanie-s-school-7655.thinkific.com/courses/whole-body-living

Enjoy This Deep Core Strength Yoga with Sadie


And so needless to say I am having a massive inspiration and an invigorated view with my mind absorbing new anatomy perspectives and Teaching methodologies. Reinvigorating and reinspring me in my classes, to test new cueing and see how students respond. I always want to find wording that clicks for as many people as possible..... I love seeing that light go off in a students understanding.... I have many long time students as well that have become friends and it is important to me that their investment in me is cultivated. And I reflect that through my continual learning and sharing through teaching movement, dance or yoga.

Today, I want to tell you how Yoga became a thing that I "do"..... its a question I get from friends and students...... often... and actually it is more of methodology, a lifestyle that I practice, and believe in as I have tested it personally more than a thing that "I do" . I believe that we can generate energy and help longevity through physical movement and yoga and I have proven it to myself through consistent practice over the years.

for me, knowing how to control and have agency over ones body is very empowering and necessary for good mental health....

My introductions to Yoga were through bellydance instructional DVD's- and Yoga CD's.... most of the 'Tribal Fusion" bellydance instructors had some type of yoga conditioning.....

I had just had a baby June 2008 and made a huge move from Vancouver bak to our home town in Saint John in august. We moved slightly outside town and while I was home on maternity leave (we are fortunate to get a full year in Canada) I practiced bellydance isolation, got deep in to the "Salimpour School" and read everything I could find on bellydance and did yoga non stop relatively isolated n the woods, and took dance from the local teacher who was a woman in her mid 60's ....

After a family gathering a photo was given to me (yeah, an actual print photograph lol ) and my husband said, oh, that is a nice picture of us"

I looked at the photo, slightly horrified; It 'totally isn't' I said 'look at my ass' - what I was referring to is that I had nearly a 45degree sway back, I couldn't believe I had been so unaware of my posture. (See the blog on trauma showing in posture)

I was mortified.

I made a personal resolve to connect more to my body-

My husband assured me I looked fine and not to be so hard on myself, I had after all had my first child a couple months prior.

I realized he would tell me I looked fine, and beautiful no matter what and I was more interested in having a healthy body as I aged- and so I began to investigate yoga classes in my area. At the time there were limited offerings as it had not yet become main stream in my community. I was breast feeding an a 'stay at home mom so it was hard to find the 'perfect' time to attend a weekly class. hmm, I though, if I attend a training then I will educate myself and have these skills for my entire life. The cost seemed to be for training what it would be to go to class for a couple years, not including driving. and I began to look for something in Atlantic Canada...nothing nothing and then a friend sent me the add for a teacher training, that she also wanted to do. it would take place in Moncton which was 2 hours away, she didn't have wheels but I did, we could stay at he aunts house. The training was for 200hours and would take place one weekend a month for an entire year culminating in a 10 day retreat. As a breast feeding mother one weekend a month seemed entirely manageable and by the time the end of the year came she would old enough to be with other care longer, and the monthly meeting would give you the entire month to absorb and really practice and integrate the course material......it seemed perfect!

A photo of My first Halloween as a mother in 2008.....Yoga and Dance helped me heal my abdominal trauma and get strong again postpartum.

Now how to pay for this course , I wasn't working ...I had a monthly stipend for maternity leave but it wasn't an extra couple thousand dollars. I applied to the anyway, there was a small application fee which I paid....and I was accepted in to the program...... I put my deposit down even though I did not know how I would pay for the rest.

I got a call from a family member a few weeks later... like literally the day after the cut off date for the deposit..... there was some money for me... something had been sold and I was nettled to some of the money- I could not believe it..... this money meant I could take the yoga training!

Here is a photo of me and my Yoga buddy DC, snapping a pic of some inappropriate graffiti on the way home from a Yoga weekend in 2009-2010

So, for me there has always been a sense of luck or good fortune when I come to the mat, it's like by committing to my self and my practice I am opening up my chances to receiving good fortunes.

I began the training in fall 2009, come January 2010 it was time to do an 8 week practice teach in our communities . I was worried, I didn't know that many people. I had 2 friends agree to come and I rented a studio, it was a cold winter and the studio was cold, as should have gone earlier to heat it, that would then generate another cost..... and this practice teach was to be done free of charge so I was paying for the space rental..... I few more people said they would come, never did so I cancelled the practice teach..... when my two student became sick and couldn't continue coming...I was devastated, how was I going to complete this.... I was more so taking this taring for my own healing and health, my plan wasn't to become a yoga teacher why did I have to do this stupid practice teach..... then I got a phone call....

remember how I said there weren't many offerings

for yoga at the time in my community?

well, I got a phone call one day from the local gym in the village I live in. They needed a yoga instructor and had contacted the Atlantic province yoga school and was given my number.

I said actually. I am just in training and actually need to do my practice teach. She said she would get back to me. and within a couple hours said she contacted the gym gym and its members and they would gladly host me and not make me pay for the space and offer it as a "free' class to their members : I would get to do my practice teach !!

A wonderful woman Debbie who I am still friends with until this day who coordinated for the gym not only got me this position to practice teach but I was able to continue to teach there on a 'reduced rate that I got blessing from with my YOGA teachers, and when I finally got my full certification ***See my blog post on Teaching Before your 'ready', Debbie also arranged for child care while I taught, she was truly an angel.

I was able to complete my yoga training the following July and when I 'graduated' with my first 200 hour training from Atlantic Yoga Teacher Training and then was able to transit to resident yoga teacher for the Human Performance Centre.

I eventually had demand in southern NB for both my Bellydance classes and Yoga classes and was teaching in community centres, gyms, and even with Work Safe NB. A step towards my personal healing resulted in my being able to share this same tools with too many people.

Enjoy this Class from ME, some of my Favourite upper body openers with STRAP. If you would like to take online classes with me you can get started for $10/Month. I also offer Private lessons where we can get deep in to your questions.

I have felt truly humbled by the amount of trust people put in to you as a YOGA or movement instructor. I have worked with soo many different people, its incredible to I SEE glimpses of where people may be at in their own journey of healing. And how my class could impact that, and could effect How tall they are allowing themselves to stand. To me, this is something worthwhile, and worth developing. Which is why I continue to invest and investigate what is out in the world and what is in within myself when continuing to teach yoga. I have practiced, taught, seen and experiences the magic it has brought in to my light and I will never tire of being absolutely delighted to share this. I am still fascinated by the fact that I never intended to teach yoga and here I am 10 years later still offering classes, and training , now online classes. We never really know how something will impact our lives until we take that first step. I didn't know HOW I was going to taking that training but something deep inside me told me I had to take that first step and send in the application even though I had never done yoga, or even though I didn't know how I would be paying for the course. I just knew it had to happen and it all came together. This "luck" or serendipity is another element I have experiences time and time again and will be talking about, Luck and Creativity through my Blog in the upcoming months.... If you would like to get my updates take a moment and go to the home page to subscribe to my news letter :)

My online archive has yoga, bellydance classes, workshops on creativity , musicality, character creation, whirling and so much more....


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If you are a person who has ever taken my classes or even just one class I have learned from you and I am thankful for every interaction, warm, weird or awkward...I am greatful for it all as I have learned from and thank each and every person.

Wherever you are today, lets take a moment, sit back in our seats, take a deep inhale and .......exxxxxhaaaahhhle relaxing those shoulders down.

xoxoxo Nawal

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