September 8 | The Practice |
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.
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.