I have been a yogini as long as I can remember. I have always been in tune to that still, inner voice which coaxes me onto the ground, pulling energy from the earth, breathing with the rhythm of the ocean and feeling light like air. In this way I consider myself blessed, to have always known exactly what it is I need to balance and center. Many people are not so fortunate. They wander aimlessly, searching for anything which will make them feel connected, whole. To be able to share with others my insight and knowledge is to be able to help others feel whole. To share a yoga that is beyond exercise, incorporating pranayama, asanas, and meditation on a dynamic basis, is my personal purpose. Not only do I get to enrich the practice of students through teaching, but they enrich me and my practice as well. This is why I teach yoga. It is as essential to my being to be a teacher as it is to be a student.
I have several “favorite” yoga teachers, for varied reasons. If pressed to choose one, it would be Rodney Yee. Rodney has been a role model to the yoga community with his integration of western style to appeal to newcomers, solid routines to benefit students from the most basic to the most advanced, and his personal teaching style. Many of my tough moment in teaching have been pacified by remembrances of Rodney. When I am broke and the world asks me, “Why don’t you just go get a real job, stop playing with yoga?”, I remember that Rodney bussed tables in California just to get enough money for yoga lessons. When I catch myself planning a lesson’s asanas ahead of time, I remember some of my favorite lessons with Rodney in which he walked in with no plan, no format, just gave a class based on the group feeling at that time. Rodney has a practice that I could only hope to exemplify in my own: intuitive, spiritual, connected, and well rounded.
While my current style is an informal Vinyasa Flow, I’d like to take the 500 hour teacher training course at Agama Yoga – Thailand. I have been teaching yoga for years, but with no proper certification or school training. I have been very fortunate to have a wide body of highly talented teachers, but would like to pursue a more academic understanding of yoga practices. Agama Yoga certifies it’s teachers in a 500 hour Tantric Yoga vein. I’ve done some self-guided studies into Tantra Yoga, and am intrigued by it’s methods. It seems Tantra is so misunderstood and initially judged. I should like to become an ambassador of sorts to spread this lovely alternate branch of yoga through the world.
My impact on yoga is that of true personal practice. Many people avoid yoga based on preconceived ideas of forced religion, freaky chanting, and a dislike of exercise. I bring in new and old students with a personalized yet intensive approach to each lesson. My ultimate goal for each student is that they will further their own, individual practice enough that they don’t need me anymore. If I can teach others to build loving kindness, solid balance, and peace within themselves, I am a true, good teacher. This scholarship will give me the tools I need to fulfill my vision as a true teacher of this path.
Love and Light,
2012 Yoga Scholarship Essay
By: Jesse Grant
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