I’ve always had a desire to provide valuable information to those around me, to be a resource and to have something meaningful to add to the greater conversation. My first career was media—broadcast communications, public relations–for 13 years, and as a result I could write thoughtfully and speak succinctly, delivering news and information to a broad audience. That work satisfied my desire to share information with others. But ultimately, the work I now do in yoga.
I was inspired to become a yoga teacher by Rebekkah LaDyne, an amazing yogini, now based in California, who taught such peacefully inspired classes that I turned the corner from casual student to ardent practitioner.
Rebekkah taught a class called Yin, Flow & Meditation, which helped me open up my tight spots and then engage in ways I’d never explored. Even though the class was intense and strenuous in parts, I never felt pushed beyond my boundaries. The meditations were difficult for my unpracticed mind but helped to quiet me and ease my anxiety in amazing ways. This was the kind of yoga that inspired me to become a yoga instructor.
I teach yoga at several locations, my studio, the local junior college and the YMCA. Teaching yoga is my method of connecting to the vast consciousness. I believe that by being a yoga teacher I have the opportunity to make large contribution to bringing peace into my community. Here I should reveal that I don’t live in one of the west coast’s larger, urban markets but a small city outside Seattle where the majority of residents are enrolled in the military or working in military administration.
This population is largely blue collar and generally unaware of stress reduction techniques. Yoga is often viewed as a threatening and fringe practice. That thinking is SLOWLY changing as more mainstream medical research increasingly supports yoga’s benefits. The studio I own is positioned to help skeptics make an a-ha connection. I would like to receive advanced training to make myself further prepared for those who discover this amazing practice.
I would like to attend the ParaYoga School and the Guru Parampara: Empowering the Teacher Program with Rod Stryker. I first saw Rod Stryker in a video he did with Kathy Smith. So when he came to my area in 2008 to teach a workshop I was intrigued. Star value? Perhaps. Who I met was a deeply knowledgeable yogi, passionate about his practice and how it could profoundly change people. Both my mind and body were startled by his intensity, yet I still came away with more than I ever expected. I’ve since taught hundreds of yoga classes, read numerous yogic texts and studied with a variety of teachers. His teachings continued to percolate through my classes.
I’ve been brought to my destiny in ways I didn’t anticipate. In 2010 I was lucky enough to receive a grant to attend one of Rod’s ParaYoga teacher trainings. The five-day training was extensive. He expounded on concepts and techniques I’d only experienced in the abstract, through reading. Each day humbled me and brought me a bigger sense of wonder. I was left with the feeling of “THIS is what I want to show my community.” This additional training will help me more fully embody these ancient teachings so I can continue the transmission to those in my community. I can’t help but want to share this powerful modality of peace and inner strength. When I see student’s epiphanies, I feel that all the mat work, all the meditation and workshops I’ve attended have come full circle. I feel CONNECTED and it is beyond good.
2012 Yoga Scholarship Essay
By: Cynthia Land
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