Yoga Teacher Training: Peter Myers

Peter Myers is a scientist and academic, a lifelong learner with a passion for exercise science. After receiving his undergraduate degrees in physics and studio art, he put his degrees to work as a New York City massage therapist and personal trainer. He is currently working on his PhD in Movement Science at Washington University School of Medicine, investigating the effects of motor imagery on balance control in people with Parkinson's Disease using neuroimaging. He is also a St. Louis graduate of the Yoga Six Teacher Training Program. Learn more about Peter's YTT experience and how his studies influenced his Yoga Teacher Training below. 

Why did you decide to enroll in Yoga Six’s Yoga Teacher Training (YTT) program?

I just received the letter I wrote to myself at the end of YTT that reflects upon the training experience, and in my letter was also a sticky note with the intention I set at the beginning of training for why I decided to participate in YTT. The sticky note says, "I, Peter, am here to explore new communities and stumble upon exciting adventures."

 

"I, Peter, am here to explore new communities and stumble upon exciting adventures"

 

What was your favorite part of your YTT experience?

Without a doubt, the friends and yoga family I have gained from my YTT experience. I moved here for school, and had very few friends upon arrival. The amazing individuals I met through YTT and beyond are some of the most talented, beautiful, loving, and strong people I have ever met. I could not ask to have been with a more fabulous group of yogis. We supported one another throughout training, and that sense of community has continued to the present.

 

How has exercise science complemented your Yoga Six YTT experience?

To my core, I am a scientist, and I believe that experience and research are the best ways for us to grow as individuals and build upon our knowledge base. While the Y6 YTT did not build upon my exercise science knowledge (this was my second 200h YTT, and I studied massage therapy, personal training, and exercise science between the two trainings), I use my knowledge of exercise science to inform the classes I lead and the teachings I offer.

 

What was the most important lesson you learned from YTT?

My experience overall with YTT was great, but anyone in my training group would tell you that our YTT leader and I constantly clashed with one another. The teacher would say one thing, my science would say another, and we would respectfully disagree about topics. While this may sound like an uncomfortable environment, the teacher and I ended on good terms. Additionally, I think our differing view points brought about constructive discussion for our group that, I hope, strengthened the lessons overall and created a space where everyone felt comfortable asking questions and voicing opinions. 

 

Sometimes one needs to go back to basics in order to move forward.

 

How have you grown -- in mind, body, and life -- after completing YTT?

In mind: I gained a deeper respect for myself, as a person, friend, student, and teacher.
In body: I train hard for obstacle races that leave my muscles worn out and sore. A regular yoga practice counteracts the constant beating my body endures.
In life: Sometimes one needs to go back to basics in order to move forward.

Ready to dive deeper into your yoga practice? Enroll in Yoga Teacher Training today! 

Practice with Peter at Yoga Six St. Louis.

5 Yoga Poses for Stronger Muscles

Doctors and exercise scientists agree that strength training should be an integral part of your health and fitness routines. And, you don't need to hit the gym or lift weights to do it! Yoga is a bodyweight exercise that builds lean muscle mass, reduces body fat, and burns calories more efficiently without workout machines or dumbbells. All you need is time and your mat! 

This simple strength building yoga sequence targets the major muscle groups and builds heat in the body. Hold each pose for 6-8 breaths and repeat the sequence on the other side after completing. 

 

High Lunge

Target Muscle Groups: Strengthens quadriceps and glutes

Start standing with your feet together, hands on your hips. Take a giant step back with your left leg and deeply bend into the right knee. Drawing your thigh parallel to the floor, scissor hug your legs and stack your back heel over your back big toe. Extend your arms skyward.

Warrior 2

Target Muscle Groups: Strengthens quadriceps and glutes, stretches inner thigh.

From High Lunge, rotate your back foot 90 degrees and bring your heel to the floor so that the outside edge of your back foot is parallel to the short side of your yoga mat. Align your front heel with the arch of your back foot. Keep your front knee bent over your front ankle, with your shin perpendicular to the floor. Keep your torso stacked over your hips, spin your arms to the horizon and gaze forward at your fingertips.

Plank

Target Muscle Groups: Strengthens upper body and core muscles.

Cartwheel your hands to the floor. Frame your front foot with your hand. Step your front foot backward to meet your back foot. (Option to bring your knees to the floor for more support.)

Dolphin

Target Muscle Groups: Strengthens shoulders, back and core muscles; opens shoulders and hamstrings.

Release your forearms to the floor. Press your palms into the ground and keep your forearms parallel. Gaze between your thumbs and use core strength to you walk your toes toward your elbows. Keep the knees slightly bent with heels lifted away from the floor. Lengthen your tailbone away from your pelvis and keep the spine straight without rounding the upper back. 

Locust

Target Muscle Groups: Strengthens the posterior chain (calves, hamstrings, external obliques, glutes, spinal muscles); opens chest and shoulder muscles.

Walk your feet back out to forearm plank and slowly release onto your belly. Bring your neck into a neutral position, chin on floor, and extend your arms long by your sides, palms face down. Lift your legs, chest and arms off the ground.

Get stronger with these poses and more in Power Yoga and Vinyasa classes at your local Yoga Six studio

Yoga Teacher Training: Andrea Hooper

Andrea Hooper's life travels have taken her all over the world --  from Kyrgyzstan and Central Asia with the Peace Corps, to Egypt and Kuwait with the U.S. Air Force, to Newtown Square, PA with the Veterans' National Education Program. After settling in San Diego as a stay-at-home mother of five children, Andrea chose to transform her life and practice with Yoga Six's Yoga Teacher Training Program. Today, she shares how the YTT program exceeded her expectations and changed her life for the better. 

 

BLOG YTT Andrea Hooper 700x516

 

Why did you decide to enroll in Yoga Six’s Yoga Teacher Training (YTT) program?

My health coach inspired me to enroll in Yoga Six's YTT during the fall of 2015.  After a decade of child-bearing and lots of prenatal and post-natal yoga, I was ready for something to be just mine, and the thought of being able to teach something I love drove me to make the necessary sacrifices to make my dream a reality.  With the help of my loving husband, I committed the necessary time and resources to not only become certified but also to land a job with Yoga Six immediately following my graduation. (And it all paid off for my husband because I am a better wife and mother since attending training!)

 

"As adults, we often don't take the time to cultivate friendships; YTT reminded me of sleep away camp as a child, forming immediate, sometimes lifelong bonds."

 

What was your favorite part of your YTT experience?

My favorite part of YTT was definitely the community.  What a joy to study and learn yoga with 27 diverse individuals for 10 full weekends in a row! As adults, we often don't take the time to cultivate friendships; YTT reminded me of sleep away camp as a child, forming immediate, sometimes lifelong bonds. I was tempted to tell my husband I failed YTT so I could start all over in the spring...

 

What was the most important lesson you learned from YTT?

As a 42-year old woman who has traveled the world, my expectations going into YTT were low.  I expected to learn about breath and postures, but I walked away with so much more.  My favorite part of the training was the knowledge I gained about body/life awareness, handling adversity, listening, riding the "waves of life", connecting with others, and the ability to be myself. YTT provided real life instruction on areas and aspects of life that aren't necessarily taught.  And that, I now know, is yoga.

 

How have you grown -- in mind, body, and life -- after completing YTT?

YTT changed me, for the better.  The training named and defined positive and negative areas of my life that were previously undefined.  I move and think with more awareness, I see energy and goodness in things around me, I am undeterred to try new things, I love myself more, and I practice more patience. I have always known yoga would be a part of my life forever, but now that I am able to teach, I feel it is my duty to continuously grow both my mental and physical yoga practice.  YTT set me on a path of conscious growth.  YTT taught me that my yoga practice is multi-dimensional, that the mental and emotional development is just as important as the physical practice.   

 

I move and think with more awareness, I see energy and goodness in things around me, I am undeterred to try new things, I love myself more, and I practice more patience.

 

After completing Yoga Teacher Training, which of our 6 results – Stronger, Leaner, Calmer, Clearer, Braver and Further – resonates most with you and why?

We all come to yoga for different reasons.  My goal in yoga used to be to throw in a few extra push-ups during my chataranga or hold a posture longer than others in the studio.  Today, my yoga focus is more on life clarity; I practice to clear my mind and my life of unnecessary fog and clutter. During YTT, I learned about "avidya", aspects and areas of our personal lives which cloud our perceptions and comprehension.  I strive to enhance my personal awareness and reduce my unconscious actions and thoughts (avidya) to think and act in a more clear manner.

Ready to dive deeper into your yoga practice? Enroll in Yoga Teacher Training today! 

Practice with Andrea at Yoga Six Point Loma.

Yoga Teacher Training: Darcy Cantrell

Yoga Teacher Training at Yoga Six attracts people from all walks of life, from aspiring teachers and long time practitioners to 9-5 office employees, students, and stay-at-home moms. Darcy Cantrell -- a classically trained musician, writer, and mom -- practiced at Yoga Six at least once a day for years before taking the plunge into Yoga Teacher Training in San Diego. Now, she teaches almost every day in our San Diego studios. Today, she reflects on her experience and shares how the program transformed her life. 

BLOG YTT Darcy Cantrel 382x282

 

Why did you decide to enroll in Yoga Six’s Yoga Teacher Training (YTT) program?
I decided to enroll in YTT because I had been practicing at least once a day at Yoga Six for several years, and it was rapidly becoming my passion, my addiction, and an integral part of my slightly teetering sanity. One day Zac Armstrong, who manages the Carlsbad studio, suggested that I sign up for teacher training. Little did he know that it had been a secret dream of mine to teach yoga. I took it as a sign that he thought I could benefit from it, maybe even be good at it, and immediately enrolled. It just seemed like the exact right thing to do at the exact right moment. Yoga had become my life, and it only made sense to have my life become yoga. I didn't have a job at the time since I took a couple of years to stay home with Zoe, and I was searching rather fruitlessly for a sense of direction, purpose, and fulfillment, when teacher training fell in my lap. In retrospect it makes perfect sense.

 

"Yoga Teacher Training intertwined yogic philosophies and practices with the deepest needs of my heart and soul."

 

What could you learn on a typical day in YTT?

There are many things we could be learning about- the history and philosophy of yoga, Sanskrit terminology, yogic practices to enhance the spiritual journey, forms of energy management and conscious communication to create a safe space for students, breath work, meditation, anatomy, asana postures... anything and everything in between. Some days are extra special. One day is dedicated solely to anatomy. One day is meditation day, where we try out all kinds of different ways to meditate. One late night is called the "night of transformation"- and let's just say it is very intense. The program is structured to make the teacher in training really look inward and make big personal shifts. It's very beautiful and vulnerable and transformational.

 

What was your favorite part of your YTT experience?
My favorite part of YTT was how the learnings were driven within. It wasn't just book knowledge that comes in one ear and out the other- as has been the case with most of my other experiences in academia. The material was very relevant, even though yoga originates from a time and place so far away- it was woven into our own personal lives and thoughts and emotions and processes, and intertwined the yogic philosophies and practices with the deepest needs of my heart and soul.

 

Up until YTT, I had debilitating performance anxiety that interfered with my progress as a musician... Through YTT I found my voice, my inner wisdom, my beauty, my strength and the unique gifts I have to share with the world.

 

How have you grown -- in mind, body, and life -- after completing YTT?
Nothing has created more growth for me, in mind, heart, and external life, than YTT. I have methods to handle life now that I will carry with me and utilize forever. I have a couple of friends that I bonded deeply with from YTT. I teach yoga almost every day of the week now, and I wake up every day feeling excited and blessed to do so. I no longer have performance anxiety, and I look forward to helping people and connecting to people through yoga. I have a profound sense of fulfillment and belonging. And sharing my personal passion with other yogis brings out the best in me. Up until YTT, I had debilitating performance anxiety that interfered with my progress as a musician. Through YTT I found my voice, my inner wisdom, my beauty, my strength, and the unique gifts that I have to share with the world. It has given me methods of coping with previously debilitating and isolating insecurities and negative perceptions of self, and helped me to see not just a light at the end of the tunnel, but also that I am not alone, and that it is our areas of sincerest vulnerabilities that drive us toward connection and love.

 

Ready to dive deeper into your yoga practice? Enroll in Yoga Teacher Training today! 

Practice with Darcy at Yoga Six Solana Beach and Yoga Six 4S Ranch/Rancho Bernardo.