Reflections on the Centre’s Yoga Teacher Training Program: Ginny & Kim
Ginnys’s Reflections on the Centre’s YTT Program
“I feel…” were the only words I could get out before the tears took over. Finally I managed to add “I can’t even get out the word ‘blessed’!”
It was the closing circle at the end of our 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training at the Salt Spring Centre. Emotions had taken over in a huge wave throughout the circle. We sat in a group sharing our experience, the changes we’d faced, the fears we’d overcome, and our intense gratitude and appreciation for the centre, for our teachers, and for everything in our lives that led us to this training.
The Salt Spring Centre of Yoga truly emcompasses the qualities of Yoga. Love, compassion, care and devotion flood from the people, the building and the land to create an atmosphere that moves everyone who is lucky enough to find themselves there. It was an immense honour to have begun my training and my journey as a teacher in a place with such a pure lineage of teachings.
I have been practicing yoga for seven years. Yoga was my rock through a lot of difficult times. It slowly guided me down my path even when I didn’t feel connected to it. I now see it was leading me to this centre the whole time, where I could connect with a true yogic community, a family and solidify a foundation underneath me, at a time when I really need one. Once you open your life to yoga it is with you forever. Baba Hari Dass said many times “if you work on yoga, yoga will work on you.” It’s true. Once you set foot on that path, it stays with you, holding you. The Salt Spring Centre provides to perfect framework of practice and teachings to help us understand and feel that support.
I am amazed at the depth and structure of this program. As you work your way through this training, it becomes more and more clear how much time and effort went into designing and tweaking every aspect of the course. It creates a very solid foundation of teachings to understand and practice yoga from many different perspectives. But the experience of this training is so much more than that as well. It provides a detailed and well-rounded knowledge basis for new teachers, but beyond that, it creates the perfect environment for self-discovery, healing and connection. It is a place that brings you home.
Thank you to my teachers. Thank you to my fellow students, who are also my teachers. I am forever grateful. Namaste.
Kim’s Reflections on the Centre’s YTT Program
If you have ever visited sacred space in the world, including your own, you may recall a certain magical feeling that arises from being present in such a place. Perhaps a warm sense of peace washes over you, or calm subtle grounding lands you gently in its roots. You may find yourself captivated by its beauty, or notice a feeling of being home when you have never been there before. The Salt Spring Centre of Yoga holds all that and more and its offerings are true gifts to the world.
Over the months of July and August I was blessed to participate in the SSC 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training program and I could not be happier. From the moment I applied I was gently guided and it was clear the Center was a place of love. Even before I set foot on the property it felt as though it was calling to us all. As we began to gather on the first day, I found myself feeling like everyone looked familiar. At first it surprised me and I had to take a second look to make sure I was wrong, but as it continued to happen I realized something profound: we all looked familiar because we were already connected, and we all felt at home because we were. The students, teachers, and supporting staff are all so devoted to the program that it was as if we were one family embarking on a journey together. There was no feeling of strangeness, no separation, only one community living, breathing, and practicing together in the name of yoga, union, and peace.
The YTT program is founded in the Classical Ashtanga and Hatha Yoga systems and the curriculum incorporates the eight limbs of Ashtanga Yoga. Inspired by the Center’s guru, Baba Hari Dass, the teachings begin at the birth of yoga and reflect its pure nature by referring to the sacred texts and practices of its origin. All of the facilitators and supporting staff practice Karma Yoga and devote their time freely to the cultivation of the Centre and its visitors. They are yogis in their own rights, with deep personal practices that reflect in their joyous and humble actions daily, and they wholly embody their mantra of “teach to learn”. Like skillful gardeners they carefully tended our soil, nourished and protected us, and raised us from seedling students to flowering teachers, all the while receiving their own lessons through personal studies and applications. Each day was carefully crafted, layering lesson upon lesson, so we had a perfect balance of powerful learning and were never overwhelmed. Though the schedule was full and the hours intense, we were continuously reminded to listen to our bodies and rest as needed. Incorporating sadhana, satsang, kirtan, asana classes and clinics, theory, history and much more, the teachers of this sacred place bestowed years of knowledge upon us in just several weeks and empowered us to go forth and share this wisdom with the world.
Through their embodied practice, each member of the Salt Spring Centre of Yoga showed us the meaning, purpose, and result of yoga, and what we could be if we wished to dedicate ourselves to love.