I spent the last year in a Karma Yoga program which gave me time to reflect and to study with great yoga teachers. I want to become a yoga instructor because over the last ten years as my practice has deepened I gained a tremendous insight into how to self soothe, to maintain my equilibrium and gain an understanding of returning to the present moment. I am not always in the present moment but yoga has given me a road map and tools to return from my head and be present again. David Swenson is the teacher who has been most influential on my current practice. I have studied with him three times and each time I gain more insight into the power of yoga. His teaching has helped me become established in living my life from a place of kindness and a daily practice of hard work on the mat. I have chosen Doug Swenson because I currently practice the ashtanga vinyasa system. For my 200 hour yoga teacher training I want to learn to teach vinyasa yoga. I appreciate a vigorous and challenging flow in class, because for me it engenders mindfulness and a meaningful connection to my innermost kosha. I want to cultivate the ability to help students burn brightly, self soothe and realize everything is already okay.
I have chosen the school of Sadhana Yoga Chi Doug Swenson because his younger brother, David Swenson, was my first Ashtanga Vinyasa teacher. David is a very inspirational teacher and a joy to be around. One of his best qualities is the sane and rational approach he has to yoga and life. He demystifies a complex and esoteric discipline with humor and emphasizes having a daily practice. He is a big proponent of working with where you are and not letting yourself off the hook when your mind begins to act up and chatter at you. In a workshop I took called the Ashtanga Mela he spoke of his first teacher being his older brother Doug. He speaks very highly of his brother.
When this scholarship opportunity arose and I saw that Doug’s school was an option I jumped at the chance to study with him. The ashtanga vinyasa system is my core practice, but I am also a practioner of yoga nidra, yin yoga and Iyengar yoga among others. I have spent years of my life immersed in the study of yoga and not just asana. Doug’s program is a holistic approach to yoga and I appreciate this because the sort of teacher I want to be will use a broad range of information to help students. I do not want to be a dogmatic teacher saying yoga “must” or “should” be a certain way. I believe it is very important to bring a breadth of information to class. I appreciate that his program is tailored to the experience of the student. Doug’s program includes a section on Karma yoga, which I believe to an essential part of the yogic evolution process. I participated in a Karma Yoga program in which I chopped vegetables in an organic kitchen at a retreat center for 8 months and washed dishes for 4 months. This year of service, or seva, taught me a great deal about surrender and community and gave me a greater appreciation for who I am at the core of my being. I was able to break through much of my conditioning to embrace myself and my life without getting tangled up in the concepts of how I “should” live my life.
I currently work for a yoga studio as a Programs Assistant. I have been deeply immersed in self study for more than 10 years, including a Bachelors degree from a prestigious art school. I am primed for being an excellent creative yoga teacher. I have traveled the world; I am capable of speaking to new people and putting them at ease. I truly believe that to survive the 21st century we need to build community where we live, in our streets and neighborhoods. As a culture we need to strive to be welcoming and loving. I want to help people self soothe, alleviate even for a single breath the chatter in their heads and help them to find a way to live in harmony with their own personal version of reality.
2012 Yoga Scholarship Essay
By: Kerry Hugins
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