What Our Grads Say About Kushala Teacher Training

“Visions of teaching yoga in a Mediterranean resort danced in my head, with ideas of working holiday visas and discount cruise packages to dream about in bed.

The decision to take yoga teacher training was half fuelled by daydreams and the other half by practicality. I would just need to overcome my fear of public speaking and ignore those new dreams of stuttering, losing my voice and the class walking out on me. I took the training to share a practice that has influenced my life in so many positive ways, have worldwide employment opportunities, and be my own boss.

I didn’t go into the training completely confident as I am not the strongest or most flexible person in a class. I also have a tenacious old injury in my right wrist and elbow, which can quickly turn Chaturanga Dandasana into Owchuranga Helpsana. I also didn’t know if I would always be able to have childcare or the time off the job I was currently in.

I was elated and surprised when my employer at the time agreed to the teaching schedule and the weekends the training ran turned out to be the ones where my daughter was with her father. It appeared there was absolutely nothing standing in my way of taking the training other than me pulling out the magical credit card.

The philosopher Seneca said, “While we teach, we learn.” This effect is known as the Protégé Effect because the teacher works harder to understand the material, recall it and apply it. The feedback from the students further enhances the teacher’s learning. Paul, A. (November 30, 2011. The Protégé Effect: Why teaching someone else is the best way to learn. Retrieved from http://ideas.time.com)

Through repetition procedural learning takes place and the asana practice of yoga becomes automatic like walking. It turned out that this has been the greatest gift I could have ever given myself! In times of great stress and uncertainty, I have been able to find a space where I could practice without too much thought and instead focus on feeling my muscles working, listen to the sounds around me, and enjoy breathing. To be able to custom make myself a class when needed and tailor it to modify my body is like being my own yoga doctor.

Having the foundational 200 hrs gave me the golden ticket access to dive in and train as much as I wanted. I was getting addicted to learning and excited to share what I had learned; I was like a toddler again greedy for knowledge and eager for the experience. Then one by one, all of the things I feared actually happened and surprisingly my world didn’t come to a catastrophic end. I learned that I really can’t take myself too seriously and that the practice is unique for every-body.

The Kushala teacher trainers subtly teach compassion, non-judgement, acceptance, and forgiveness. These are not just words, but a formula for self-care that has been in the forefront of every interaction and life situation I have had since. The YTT program at Kushala has mastered the art of yoga teaching because their underlying values are practical for living well in the real world.

I have had some very beautiful and unique teaching opportunities, of which I doubt I would have had if it were not for the kind references of Chris and Karen. They also made their studio available to me where I was supported by the Kushala community. Those memories still fill my heart with so much joy and gratitude. However, the best memory I have was the day I subbed a class while my parents were visiting and they were able to attend. The tables had finally turned; my dad actually did what I said for an entire hour!

At the moment I am not teaching, but when I was my hope was that those underlying Kushala values would transcend my words and somehow make as big of an impact in someone else’s life as they had in mine. The greatest lesson from YTT was that we are all our own teachers. I now feel confident in listening to myself and trust that I am capable of anything.”

~ Carrice Wong, YTT 2017

“I want to extend my heartfelt thanks and deep appreciation to you both for such a wonderful journey.  The gifts you gave me over the last 6 months have been, and continue to be, deeply appreciated. It was a truly transformative experience for me.  You both are such wonderful teachers and amazing human beings!

My understanding of yoga along with life perspectives are among the greatest gifts that I have come away with.  The community and support was also a pretty wonderful experience. It was truly an honour to be part of YTT 2019.  I am, and will forever be, so very grateful for the impact on my life from the program and for all of my teachers.”

~ Sharon K, YTT 2019

“After joining Kushala back in 2006, it was obvious to me that Chris and Karen were deeply committed to the path of yoga, and mindfully dedicated to creating a warm community. These genuine ingredients have contributed greatly in my continued love of the practice and my decision to immerse into the YTT process. My intention upon beginning the YTT was to deepen my practice, so that yoga could become a foundational and steady companion in my life through thick and thin. It was a big step because like most of us, I have a really full life. What I discovered were two really caring and seasoned teachers, who have created a process which is deep, organized, and generous. I will not say that the YTT was easy, because it wasn’t, but I felt completely supported every step of the way, and grateful that the hard work yielded life changing results well beyond my expectations. I came out of the YTT with a much deeper appreciation of this amazing path and its philosophy, a new understanding of anatomy and asana providing me with more confidence and strength to practice deeply and safely, and a heartfelt passion and enthusiasm to share this wonderful practice.”

~ Angela Prider, YTT 2019

“Kushala Yoga Studios and the owner’s Chris and Karen are indeed a gift to Port Moody and the yoga community. I completed the 2019 Yoga Teacher Training in June 2019 and am so grateful to Chris, Karen and my fellow students for everything that I have learned. The duration of the course was well paced, 4 full days, 1 weekend a month from January to June with time in between to absorb and digest the information. Chris and Karen were outstanding teachers, sometimes working in tandem, other times individually, focussing on their individual specialties. Karen’s extensive knowledge of yoga history and meditation broadened my existing knowledge of yoga. Chris’ focus on anatomy and kinesthetics of the human body really helped my understanding of the mechanics of yoga. Even though I have been practicing yoga for over 2 decades, the verbal cues that we were taught in class really honed my practice and gave me the confidence to help others with their practice. Many guest teachers were brought in to expand our knowledge of Chakras, Ayurveda and specialty teaching (trauma, children).

Chris and Karen, a husband and wife team, sincerely and authentically cared about all the students in our group. Our sharing circle facilitated and fostered an openness amongst our group that was encouraging, healing, comedic at times and real. I was initially concerned about my teaching abilities, but through the support of Chris, Karen and all the beautiful ladies in my group, that I grew to know and love, I was able to achieve a long held dream.

I honestly can’t say enough about this program, the teachers, staff and the beautiful studios in the heart of Port Moody. Thank you Chris and Karen, for all you have done and continue to do, I am forever Blessed.”

~ Brenda F, YTT 2019

Kushala’s 200 hour teacher training program was the best thing that I could have done for my personal practice. I feel as though I have a deeper understanding of yoga as a whole, as well as a more thorough understanding of yoga postures, and alignment. Chris, Karen, and Leo did an amazing job of creating an open and supportive space to learn, practice, and grow. I am so grateful for everything that I have learned from this training, and look forward to sharing what I have learned with my community. Thank you!

~ Nicole Horn

The Kushala teacher training program far exceeded my expectations. It was heart warming, heart opening, and heart building. I use the word heart, as the program touched my heart and soul in addition to the practical aspect of teaching a class. The teachers have an incredible wealth of knowledge and experience; their personal touch, and honesty are what make this program so unique and valuable.

~ Carol Lund

Taking the Yoga Teacher Training at Kushala was one of the best decisions I have ever made in my life. The Instructors come from a variety of backgrounds and yet all managed to hold a safe place for the students to be vulnerable as they learned the essential tools of finding their own authentic voice as an emerging teacher. There is training with guest speakers and an in depth look at the business side of being a Yoga teacher. The mentor relationship was invaluable to my progress and I am so excited to bring the skills I learned from this program out into the community. Thank you.

~ Anjanette Sims

Whether it’s depths of Yoga philosophy, the basics of meditation or specifics about how to design a well rounded class, there is something for everyone at the YTT program at Kushala. But don’t be surprised if you find more than you even hoped for. Chris, Karen and Leo are amazingly knowledgable, approachable and supportive and you will discover a whole new world that will not only deepen your practice but will certainly prepare you to be a competent teacher.

~ Marta K

The Kushala Yoga Teacher Training Program far surpassed my expectations. Besides the asana practice and wonderful teaching skills, I also gained knowledge about history, philosophy, anatomy and more. The overall experience was much more than just training to become a yoga teacher. It brought a new perspective to everyday life. It offered me guiding principles that I will no doubt pass onto my children, for I believe, if practiced, hold the key to enhanced communication, better relationships with yourself and others and overall happiness! Thank you to the wonderful team at Kushala for giving me a transforming experience! The support and kindness you showed will never be forgotten.

~ Salina Buchan YTT Grad 2012

I am so thrilled with my decision to take the 200 hr. YTT with Kushala. The facilitators are incredibly knowledgeable and friendly. The content is more than I could have ever imagined and the guest speakers were fabulous. A whole new world has opened up for me. You have made the right choice with Kushala’s Yoga Teacher Training Program.

~ Heather McLennan YTT Grad 2012

Completing the YTT program at Kushala was an amazing experience! The supportive and trusting atmosphere that was provided made coming to this program a pleasure. This past 200 hours really opened my eyes to so many different aspects of yoga that I didn’t even know existed, but came to embrace. Karen, Chris, Alissa, and all the guest instructors and speakers brought their experience and knowledge forth in interesting and creative ways, which made it easy to love to learn. Whether you are eager to teach, or want to deepen your practice and knowledge of yoga, this program will provide the tools necessary to help you achieve what you are looking for. It truly was a life changing journey that is now continuing in my daily life.

~ Paula Kravjanski YTT Grad 2012

I am so glad I decided to take the plunge and take the yoga teacher training. The course taught me that yoga is so many things and it has opened doors for me to share the things I am most passionate about. There was so much more than learning poses and I had no idea of the personal growth I would undergo during the 2 months as well the new friendships. The instructors warm and genuine approach was inspiring. My favourite part was learning I could use my untapped creativity to theme a class with music, an idea and poses.

~ Cathryn Smith, YTT Grad 2012

As an 18-year old, I was slightly hesitant to register for Kushala’s Yoga Teacher Training because I wasn’t sure if I was ready for the program yet, but thanks to the encouragement from my family and the teachers I decided to go for it and I am so grateful that I made that decision! Kushala’s program was truly a life-altering experience that equipped me with the confidence and skills to design and instruct a hatha yoga class. The vast array of subjects (including physiology, history, philosophy, meditation, pranayama, asanas etc.) gave me a broad spectrum and knowledge of all the facets of yoga and inspired me to delve deeper into certain areas of particular interest. It has been a privilege to learn and grow with such encouraging teachers and fellow students and I know I can continue to rely on the connections I made in this program for advice and support for years to come!

~ Joylyn Secunda, YTT Grad 2012

Embarking on a yoga teacher training course, one is sure to self-question – can I keep up with the pace of the course? Will it be a good experience? Will the trainers be right for me? Will the group gel together and will it be a positive, as well as a learning experience.

Having just completed the Kushala Yoga teacher training course I can say that all my questions were more than answered and the experience was not only enhancing and positive but life changing. The instructors were of the highest calibre and the course exceeded all of my expectations. It provided a carefully selected blend of theory, pranayama, anatomy with, of course, a strong focus on practice. The class interacted easily and swiftly like we had been together for years. Friendships blossomed and by the end of the course our practice and understanding of yoga had been greatly enhanced.

The course has provided me with confidence and competence. The content was well thought out and delivered with empathy, precision and skill. The retreat and the studio environment added to the experience and together all the ingredients – instructors, content, delivery and environment – all contributed to the progression I have experienced in my yoga practice over the last four months. Thank you all for the experience!

~ Shannon Green, YTT Grad 2011

I researched many Foundation Yoga Teacher Trainings. Then I met 4 amazing yoga teachers that were to guide me through the process of uncovering the archeaology of yoga. They took our class through the ancients to the moderns, classical Hatha yoga, asanas, mediation…. they taught us more than how to teach; they taught us how to learn, live and how to let yoga into your very breath. It was thought provoking and soul searching as they touched on subjects that are inspiring us to find our own seat in today’s world of yoga. Our guides were knowledgeable, caring, fully engaged, and always ready to give of themselves, to learn, to listen, and to share!

~ Cindy Couturier YTT Grad 2011

Doing the teacher training program at Kushala was the greatest gift I have ever given myself. The teachers knowledge of the history and philosophy of ancient and western yoga combined with their deep knowledge of anatomy, meditation, asanas and pranayama was amazing. The growth I achieved at Kushala was enriching and changed my life forever. The sense of community, the friendships and the continual support I receive from Karen, Alissa, Chris and Andrew and all my fellow trainees is invaluable

~ Heather Dawson YTT Grad 2011

Kushala’s YTT program exceeded my expectations in so many ways. I personally found the program provided remarkable growth physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. The teachers were amazing to say the least. They created a space that was filled with patience, encouragement and wisdom that allowed us to find our own path, our own dharma, to deepen our own practice and share with others through teaching. The experience was unforgettable, and we truly built a community, a family, through the program that will be cherished always. I believe Kushala has something extremely special to offer and I am so grateful I’ve had the opportunity to share my YTT journey with them as it was so much more than just learning to teach.

~Moira van den Akker YTT Grad 2011

My love of yoga and the desire to have a rewarding career is what brought me to Kushala Yoga. Beginning something new with a group of total strangers was scary to say the least, however, the first day of the teacher training retreat I knew I was amongst a group of people who would become not only fellow yoga practitioners but new friends. This course brought my practice to a place where I now feel I have a solid foundation ready to learn more, refine , and grow for years to come. The teachers at Kushala are as different as all of the students who come to the school which makes it an amazingly well rounded training. The ongoing support from the instructors is priceless. From day one, as difficult as many days were I grew in ways I had only imagined, I would recommend Kushala 110%.

~Nicole Whitman YTT Grad 2011

Kushala’s YTT is the most enriching course I have ever taken in my life! Chris, Karen, Alissa and Andrew teach from their hearts and have expert knowledge to share. Although challenging, the course is so well paced, and the teachers so supportive in their guidance – that our time together was truly mind, body and soul expanding. Being with wonderful classmates was an added bonus that I will always remember.

~ Leslie McCall YTT Grad 2011

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