Seeking Your Truth

I pull off my socks and step onto my yoga mat. Wiggling my toes and pressing them into the spongy rubber as I come into Tadasana at the top of my mat. I move through several Surya Namaskars before shedding my outer layer, a dramatic wrap style cardigan with a big button at the collarbone. 

My body is moving through the postures with a little bit more ease. Shoulders and hips have made their routine popping sounds and now every pose feels juicy and good in my body. 

With each inhale I come closer to my truth. With each exhale I try to let go of the internal struggles. The voice of fear appears as I try to do a Pincha Mayurasana (forearm stand) in the middle of the room. I fall, landing with a thud. Instantly I become frustrated and I force myself to stand in Tadasana with my eyes closed and breathe for several minutes before I begin the sequence all over again. 

Centering, flowing, shedding and coming face to face with your truth is why I love this practice of yoga. It is why I continue to show up and learn. To learn not just the shapes of the poses but to learn about myself, to better understand my truth and ultimately to try to be a better person out in the world. 

Q & A: What do all those letters means after a yoga teacher's name?

Q: What do all those letters mean after a yoga teacher's name and should I care about them?

A: Most yoga teachers are constantly learning. It's our personal desire to understand the practice of yoga by learning from various instructors who can teach us even more in depth topics like prenatal, children's yoga or simply to further advance our own teaching style. I believe that as a yoga instructor I am always a student, always learning.

Should you care about all those letters behind my name and other yoga instructors' names?

Maybe..maybe not. If nothing else it can be a road map for you to understand the type of yoga instructor that is teaching the class.
There is an umbrella company, Yoga Alliance, that yoga teachers pay annually to be considered registered with them. Think of it as an association or a union. Yoga Alliance came about to create guidelines on yoga teacher trainings. Each registered yoga school is expected to teach students certain standards and to teach an appropriate number of hours on each subject of importance to being a yoga teacher. When you register with Yoga Alliance you are held to certain standards in order to achieve all of those letters behind your name.

What do my letters mean?
RCYT: Registered Children's Yoga Teacher.
This means that I completed a children's yoga teacher training program. I am certified to teach yoga to children, of all ages.
E-RYT 200: Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher 200 hour.
This means that I completed a 200 hour yoga teacher training and after completion of that training I have taught over 1,000 hours of yoga classes.
RYT 500: Registered Yoga Teacher 500 hour.
This means that I have completed a 500 hour yoga teacher training program. There is not a level beyond 500 hour except being labeled "Experienced" after 4 years and another 1,000 hours of teaching.
All of these letters after my name basically means that I am an advanced yoga teacher. That I've been doing this for a while and when you come to my classes you can expect to experience an advanced knowledge of the poses and style of teaching.

Please submit any questions that you might have via email, Gretchen (AT)

Try Human Bowling with your Kids

The winter weather can leave you and the kids feeling anxious for spring. Are your kids bouncing off the walls? Give human bowling a try!
First start by teaching your kids how to do a forward roll, remember to instruct them to put their chin to their chest!

PLEASE NOTE: human bowling is for kids who can confidently do a forward roll on their own without assistance.

Find a space in your house that is free of furniture so that the child will not run into anything, a wide hallway or remove the coffee table from the living room. Set up yoga blocks as the pins, if you don't have yoga blocks try using stuffed animals. Decide on the starting line and then let your kids take turn knocking down the "pins" and then setting them up for the next child.

This is hours of fun and it will exhaust your kids! You're welcome. ;)