Sharing the Joys of Yoga

joy of yogaWhy do I want to become a yoga teacher?

One of my greatest passions has always been learning new concepts, ideas, activities, and practices and sharing them with others–and yoga is no exception. Since I first started practicing yoga nearly four years ago, I have been sharing my experiences and insights with friends and family and encouraging them to get involved. Through a shared practice and interest, yoga has brought me closer to several friends and has led me to meet many new and amazing people.

My yoga journey actually began on a 3-day hiking trip through Zaleski State Forest. On one of the afternoons, after finding a flat, grassy clearing, my friend Jenn, who had been taking yoga classes at our base gym, led an impromptu yoga session for us. Intrigued, I decided to join her at the base gym once a week. I was immediately hooked!

As usual, I had a desire to delve deeper into my newly discovered practice. Pretty soon I was no longer satisfied with yoga as a purely physical workout. I knew that I had stumbled into something with much more to offer, so I began seeking out nearby studios.

Several studios, workshops, and retreats later, I found what I was looking for and so much more. I’ve discovered not only the physical health benefits of yoga, but also the emotional and spiritual ones as well. Yoga has helped me grow and stretch in ways I never thought possible. It has revealed and continues to reveal a whole new inner world that was previously hidden to me.

Over the past four years, I have studied with many wonderful instructors, attended formal classes three times a week or more, and developed a consistent home practice. I am constantly reading books, blogs, and magazines and watching DVDs and videos to learn more and deepen my practice. At this point, I feel ready to take it to the next level. I want to truly begin sharing yoga with others.

While teaching has been in the back of my mind since early on, I was never truly serious about it until my recent trip to India. I spent 30 days backpacking through the Himalayas with a group of 13 other NOLS students–a truly incredible experience that has subtly changed my life in so many ways. One of the best parts of the expedition was the option to have daily yoga if students were willing to facilitate. There was one other student who had been practicing yoga for a few years, and the two of us took turns leading our peers through a morning yoga practice.

High up in the Himalayan foothills, I stumbled upon my calling to teach. I found so much satisfaction in watching my companions discover the joy of yoga for the first time — and the combined strength, balance, flexibility, relaxation, and peace it brought to them. Oddly enough, rather than being flustered or nervous as I stepped up to teach, I felt perfectly calm and natural leading them through each sequence. Some days I would start without a routine in mind and it would just naturally flow through me. I remember distinctly feeling and thinking, “I was meant to do this.” Moreover, I received numerous thanks and compliments from many companions and instructors, many of whom urged me to go home and become a yoga instructor. Now, here I am trying to make that dream a reality!

How have I been inspired by yoga teachers?

Just as I would find it terribly difficult to pick a favorite school teacher from the many remarkable teachers I have had over the years, I find it equally hard to choose a favorite yoga teacher. I have been incredibly fortunate to work with several phenomenal instructors from various studios, workshops, retreats, and random events, each with their own unique style and teaching techniques. Each of them has played a vital role in helping me to develop my practice.

With some teachers it is their detailed instructions for getting into proper asana positions as well as their subtle adjustments to guide me further into a pose that I most appreciate. With others it is their readings of yoga sutras or other inspirational writings and explanations of how yoga can be integrated into our everyday lives. Some instructors have helped provide greater strength and flexibility while others have focused more on relaxation and rejuvenation. Sometimes I appreciate breaking into a sweat and other times I love a cool eye-pillow being placed over my eyes as I relax into savasana. In general, I feel as though my best teachers are the ones who are able to take me to a place deeper inside myself. They are the ones who are able to provide a connection between the body, the breath, and the mind, as well as the inner self, the outer world, and the universal whole.

However, I will highlight one particular teacher who first introduced me to the beauty and power of the sacred syllable, the universal vibration, the sound of the almighty “Om.” I’ll admit, the first time I participated in the chanting of Om at the end of a yoga class, I was slightly skeptical, somewhat hesitant, and even a bit giggly. After a few classes, I began to let go of my nerves and inhibitions and to relax into the swirling sensations brought on by the vibrations. Jen helped to break the vibration into its three parts–beginning, duration, and dissolution–“A–U–M.”

The first time I experienced the reverberation created by the entire class chanting Om, I felt myself being elevated to a higher place somewhere both “inside” and “outside.” The first time I led this chant after a mountain-yoga session and achieved the same effect–a single reverberation created from many voices–I experienced that same sense of elevation. Now, the chanting of Om has become one of my favorite parts of my entire yoga practice.

Why would I like to train with Yandara Yoga Institute?

Aside from yoga, another of my passions is for being part of and creating meaningful shared experiences for teams, groups, and couples. In my life, these have been experiences such as adventure-based or spiritual retreats, military trainings, and even corporate workshops. There is something incredibly powerful about a group of people coming together to achieve a common purpose, such as learning more about themselves, challenging themselves, learning new technical skills, or how to work better together as a team. While there are a great variety of incredible yoga certification programs available, I believe Yandara has something unique to offer in the shared group experience they provide. Rather than being spread out over six months or a year, this is a residential program offered in Baja, Mexico over the course of 26 days.

At Yandara, a limited number of students are accepted into each program to create a more intimate and personalized experience. This immersion-style training removes students from distractions and allows them to become completely focused on their practice and training. Essentially, students eat, sleep, and breathe yoga for 26-days! Delicious vegetarian meals and tea are served daily and students sleep on the beach in tents–just my style! This program is very into the connection with nature, which I see as an integral aspect of my practice. In addition to the traditional aspects of yoga, such as asanas, pranayama, yogic breathing, philosophy, anatomy, and physiology, Yandara also integrates various forms of meditation, music, and kirtan into the coursework. Last but not least, students are provided ample opportunity to actually practice teaching during the program, which I believe is a critical component.

How do I plan to make an impact in the world as a yoga teacher?

As a yoga teacher, I would love to be able to bring yoga to the outdoors for more people to experience. By digging your toes into the dirt, feeling the wind on your face, and softening into the sounds of nature, I feel as though you are able to unlock a an entirely different dimension of yoga–one that allows you to reconnect with nature and explore new aspects of yourself. Furthermore, getting your hands dirty, balancing on uneven terrain, and trying to ignore flies buzzing around your head can offer a whole new set of challenges to work through! Additionally, I hope to integrate yoga with my passion for creating meaningful shared experiences (such as teambuilding workshops and retreats), much in the same way it was integrated into our NOLS backpacking course. The subtle peace and serenity of yoga combined with the physical and mental challenges of an outdoor adventure or retreat can create a remarkably powerful experience.

Also very important to me, I plan to help make yoga more available to those who wish to practice but cannot afford typical studio prices. I believe yoga is a gift that should be shared with as many people as possible, which is why I love and appreciate studios that offer yoga scholarships as well as donation-based classes. These awesome programs and studios are cropping up all over the place—students are able to come and practice and pay what they are able for classes. In fact, some studios are completely donation-based. There are also studios, like one that I regularly practice at, that use a portion of their proceeds to contribute to a scholarship fund specifically for yogis with financial need. I would love to work at a studio offering these types of programs, and eventually open one of my own. In addition to making yoga more available to locals through donations and scholarships, I would like to contribute a portion of my profits to charities that help bring yoga to communities in need, such as those in developing countries as well as here at home—in our inner city schools, treatment centers, group homes, shelters, and prisons.

Finally, as an Air Force veteran and current Air Force spouse, I would like to help bring yoga to our military members through the base gym as well as the base hospital. Yoga has actually been shown to help improve conditions of service members suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, so the more courses we can make available on military bases, the better. In addition to the service members themselves, yoga can be an effective way to help manage stress for family members of those who are deployed.

2012 Yoga Scholarship Essay

By: Adrienne Jurado

If you liked this article and want them to win a free yoga teacher training, then make sure to vote for her by leaving a comment (scroll all the way to the bottom), and sharing this article on Facebook or Twitter. Each comment, Facebook, and Twitter share counts as one vote and you can do all three!

Are you interested in becoming a yoga teacher? Then visit our Yoga School Directory to find the right teacher training. Or, visit our Yoga Retreats page to explore beautiful yoga vacations from around the world.

Join the Conversation

  1. Jon Perkins says:

    Very inspiring. I hope you win!

  2. Hilary says:

    You’d make an awesome yoga teacher Adrienne! I miss your Himalayan yoga classes!

  3. Chris says:

    Sounds like you’ve got some great ideas, good luck!!

  4. Elizabeth Raffa says:

    You’ll be a fabulous yoga teacher! I hope you win and one day I can take a class from you!!:-)

  5. Danielle Hickey says:

    All the best for my lovely sister. Best of luck, hon! :)

  6. Juan Jurado says:

    You are truly amazing!! I hope you win, you deserve this!!!

  7. John Kowalski says:

    Completely inspiring!! You’re an inspiration to us all Adrienne!! Hope you get it!!

  8. Chris Shaw says:

    Clearly the best choice!

  9. Wendy says:

    What a wonderful calling! I just took my first yoga class – and it felt great! You’ll be a wonderful yoga teacher,Adrienne- I hope that you win!

  10. Amelia says:

    Go Adrienne! I hope you win the scholarship!

  11. Jeanie Witcraft says:


    One thing that stands out in my mind is how effortlessly you “yoked” yoga with other physical experiences. You compared surfing to yoga, and even named the specific asana it reminded you of, which made me smile.

    Why not send out a letter to your ELFérs as a Christmas gift for you?
    I hope you’re selected! This would be a huge boost in your ultimate goals. Namaste, girl.


  12. Zach says:

    Good luck Adrienne! You’ve won this one for sure!

  13. Jeanette says:

    She would be a great yoga teacher. She has inner calm and will really take it to the next level to help others.

  14. Mimi Ledet says:

    Beautifully written and it makes me so happy to see you’ve found a calling! Best of luck to you. I’d gladly take a class from you anyday!

  15. Rob says:

    No doubt you will be a wonderful instructor, hope you win

  16. Craig Erford says:

    Best of Luck—you deserve it!

  17. Jenn says:

    I hope you win! I can’t wait to attend one of your classes once you start teaching!

  18. Ryan Schlosser says:

    Great stuff, you’d make an excellent teacher! :-)

  19. Jen Gresham says:

    You’ve definitely got my vote. Go, live your dream (to quote the movie “Tangled”). You’ve got what it takes!

  20. Heather Grady says:

    You would be such a fantastic yoga instructor! I hope you get it!! Good Luck :)

  21. Molly Zielsdorf says:

    Good luck, Adrienne!! You will be such an amazing yoga instructor!

  22. Angela Artemis/Poweredbyintuition says:

    I think you’re amazing and can be anything you want to be. If you’ve found a calling to be a yoga teacher I have no doubt you’d make an excellent one! Best of luck.

  23. Bud Winn says:

    Good luck!

  24. Adriana Vargas Garcia says:

    She´s the best¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡

  25. David Garcia says:

    I hope you win!

  26. Denise Spacht says:

    Adrienne has always had a zest for life and has always put her heart and soul into everything she has pursued. I believe Adrienne is an excellent candidate for your scholarship.

    Denise S.

  27. Lori Snyder says:

    It sounds like you have it all together and will be a wonderful instructor

  28. Brenda Hickey says:

    This is all you baby’s something you were definitely meant to do. Your students will be truly fortunate because you can bring the entire package, you are so very inspiring! Keep on dancing got this!!

  29. Drew Spacht says:

    My always inspirational cousin never ceases to amaze me with how much she is able to squeeze out of life. You’ll make a wonderful yoga instructor, I have no doubt of that!

  30. Josh says:

    Awesome essay Adrienne! I hope you win it!

  31. Garry Ware says:

    Good luck and I hope you win>

  32. Tosha says:

    Good luck Adrienne……….you’re inspiring me to start doing yoga!

  33. Evita says:

    Dear Adrienne – this was beautiful! I feel this is such a perfect part of your ongoing spiritual and personal journey indeed and think you would be so perfect for this yoga program! My vote is for you!!!!

  34. AJ Jones says:

    You kinda make me want to take yoga now. How weird is that? Good luck with this and all your pursuits.

  35. Jess Reed says:

    u go girl i hope u win i can see u doing this its deff ur thing go out and win this :) love ya cus deff vote yes

  36. Karen Barber says:

    Loved the story, I believe you would do a wonderful job of teaching and helping people that could not afford the expensive yoga classes. Good luck I think they would make a good choice by picking you.. :)

  37. Erin says:

    Good Luck :)

  38. Brad says:

    Yay. GO GIRL!

  39. Ken Potter says:

    Sounds like youu have amazing plans and I wish you total success with them. Best of luck

  40. Travis says:

    I’ve known Adrienne for nearly 20 yrs and she has always been a person of inquisitive thinking. She would be great at this “adventure” in life.

  41. ralph says:

    Don’t worry you will get this I’ll wish the best for you!

  42. Kelly conti says:

    Good luck! I hope you win!

  43. Gracie Morin says:

    Adrienne anything you want will come true. You are a beautiful young lady. You have my vote. You are a winner. Love you.

  44. Francine says:

    Good Luck Adrienne! You deserve this and you would make a great yoga instructor, along with everything else you do!

  45. Dean says:

    Good Luck!!!

  46. Lance says:

    I’m reading this today…with a big smile across my face. See, you have this very warm and comforting way of being goodness and light in this world. I’ve experienced that…from you. And as I soak in your words today, I can only think of what a gift this is that you bring to the world – especially when it reaches to your core (as I know yoga does for you).

    And whatever comes of this – or the next adventures that lie ahead for you – I know that you will BE there fully – and touching people in amazing ways…

    Much love…always,

  47. Verónica says:

    Adrienne I consider you asmy sister in law frotheloveihave for Juan David who is asour little brother youcan count on me, you countonmy support even though I´mnotintothat topic but I love supporting people who have dreams and you are a precious intelligent woman who deserves good things in our Lord Jesús Christ.

  48. Arvind Devalia says:

    Adrienne, you will make a stunning yoga teacher! You deserve to succeed in whatever you put your mind and heart into:-)

    Good luck!

  49. Jennifer Swanson says:

    Good luck!

  50. Lydia says:

    wishing you the best of luck…you would make a wonderful instructor!

  51. Alice T. Hellyar says:


  52. muneel zaidi says:

    nice, yoga is great. i’ll have to come to one of your sessions once you’re an instructor!

  53. Raam Dev says:

    Adrienne, I *love* what you said about wanting to bring yoga to the outdoors! I think yoga outdoors is the best way to reconnect with nature and with ourselves, to feel the connection between our core and the energy of mother nature and realign ourselves with the Earth. :)

  54. Karl Staib says:

    I hope you win! You would make an awesome Yoga teacher.

  55. martha says:

    Hope you win, im sure you’ll be great yoga teacher. If I was closer id come to your class.

  56. Lynn Fang says:

    Adrienne, you totally deserve this! I love what you said about yoga in the outdoors as well – I love the connection to nature when I am doing yoga outdoors, and I think this is so important to bring to the yoga culture. Good luck!

  57. Justin Lenoff says:

    Love it!

  58. Anthony Ty says:

    Great read and thoughts Adrienne!

  59. izennah says:

    Thank you for sharing so exquisitely Adrienne. Yoga has healed, nourished, comforted, elevated, strengthened, inspired, connected and stilled me, within nature, the Universe and myself. You are poised to Illuminate the World with Grace. Love izennah xo

  60. Kate says:

    yo-ga! yo-ga! yo-ga! you better win this scholarship or the world will have me to answer to.

  61. Augy says:

    Wouldn’t want anyone else leading my yoga classes! Good luck Adrienne

  62. Ana says:

    This is yours!!!!
    Hope you win!
    I would love to take some classes with you!!

  63. JACKIE says:

    Good Luck!! You deserve this!!!

  64. Lance says:

    Good Luck and way to follow your dreams!

  65. Janelle says:

    Good Luck Adrienne. I have back problems and yoga is something I have always wanted to try, but I’m not flexible at all. So, fear of humiliation is holding me back. Sounds like you could create a comfortable setting for everyone else who may think this way.

  66. Leah says:

    Good luck! As with all ur endeavors, I’m sure u will succeed regardless of this contest, but I certainly hope u do win and begin this journey quickly!

  67. gaytri says:

    AhA! Glad to see, glad to see!
    Having been on the student side of your classes… you’re totally on the right track Adrienne!
    P.S. Wanna come back as guest yoga teacher?!

  68. Aileen | Kaizen Vision says:

    Adrienne, you will be a fabulous Yoga teacher!!!!

  69. Deb Phillips says:

    good luck! the Erie area yoga teachers network will welcome you!

  70. Hannah says:

    Yes, yes yes! I’m so glad that you’re doing this! I miss your soothing voice. It was nice :) You will be awesome at this. Good luck!

  71. Kathy Baker says:

    You go girl! Hope you win!!!!

  72. Adam Brueggen says:

    You would be the best yoga instructor! Good luck

  73. oliver says:

    Adrienne is the Best!

  74. bri says:

    Can’t think of a better person to win.

  75. Cindi E says:

    From the time she was young and wrote her first published work, Adrienne has been driven to excel and achieve her dreams. She embraces life to the fullest and is truly an exceptional person that would bring her personal gifts to the field and to those she touches with her skills and gifts. I truly wish her success in this endeavor and hope she is selected for this scholarship.

  76. Penny S. says:

    Adrienne is a true inspiration. Her diverse experiences allow her to connect with vast audience on many different levels. When she commits to something, she does so with her entire heart and soul. Adrienne doesn’t do anything halfway. How many people would travel half way around the world, to the Himalayas, to test their abilities? (Many would have the dream but few would have the courage to make the trip.) No matter what happens Adrienne will leave her mark on the world. I just hope that mark includes Yandara.

  77. Joy says:

    I *love* that your heart is leading you to explore and to guide others as you continue to blossom:)

  78. Tess The Bold Life says:

    I can’t think of anyone who deserves this more than Adrienne. There is not doubt in my mind she would be a gift to all of her students!

  79. Cassie says:

    Good luck…I’ve signed up for a yoga class starting in January. I hope I have a teacher who cares as much as it sounds like you do. :)

  80. David Bernhardt says:

    Good luck! Hope you win!

  81. Jean says:

    Very inspiring!

  82. Grandmama says:

    Good luck, Adrienne! Sounds like your dedication will be a gift to many.

  83. Corrine Miller says:

    I have know Adrienne for a long time and she has always been a natural leader. She has been searching for her calling and I believe that she would truly make an amazing Yoga Instructor. She is very inspirational and always want to help people become the best they can be.

  84. Jason says:

    Good luck. Hope you win!

  85. Claudia says:

    Adrienne it is wonderful to hear how you decided to embark on this new journey. I’m sure you will successful. Good luck with the scholarship.

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