Originally featured on EpicSelf.com.

For me, yoga has been integral on my path of self-healing and self-improvement. It took me a while to finally take the leap to do a yoga teacher training but I’m so happy I did. My doctor suggested to me the idea of yoga as stress relief. It was 2014 and I was suffering from chronic IBS among other health issues. My doctor recommended I decrease my stress levels and gave me an information packet with tips and techniques. Yoga was listed as a stress reduction technique and I decided to take that approach since I had taken a few classes before. I bought a 30 day New Student introductory pass, committed to going 4x per week, and had no idea what awaited me on the other side of this decision.

I kept my promise and completed yoga 4x per week for a month trying several styles including Hot Bikram, Restorative, and Beginner’s classes. Something inside of me came alive and I found myself looking forward to getting on the mat everyday. I loved what the teachers would say in class and how they could bring me to a level of grounding I felt I couldn’t access on my own yet. I noticed my symptoms began to improve so I kept at it semi-consistently for the next few months.

In May of 2015, I immersed myself in yoga on a month long solo and self-made yoga retreat in Ubud, Bali. During that month I reignited my love for Yin Yoga, Vinyasa Flow, Meditation, and Pranayama.

I considered taking a teacher training to deepen my knowledge. However, I always talked myself out of saying “I’m not ready yet” and “I’m not flexible enough” etc. After much research and trepidation, eventually I decided to put fear aside and listen to my heart. I enrolled in a yoga teacher training program in Houston, TX where I live.

My yoga training is in the Pralaya Yoga System. The Pralaya Yoga System is a blend of Hatha and Ashtanga yoga designed by Robert Boustany, an international yoga instructor of 40+ years renowned for his knowledge of anatomy, energetics, & esoteric forms of yoga. Pralaya Yoga develops strength & functional flexibility, defines muscles, and supports joint longevity & improved alignment. This yoga system increases energy over time by relaxing and decompressing the spine and developing precise muscle balance. These changes in the body allow for maximum neurological activation of muscles and organs to function your best.

I made THE BEST decision by deciding to complete yoga teacher training. My life has changed so much through both my personal practice and my training. Yoga is a vehicle to reconnect your mind, body, and spirit. Integration of all parts of yourself allows your body to heal and transform in amazing ways. I’ve been blown away by the transformation I’ve seen in myself. Listed below are the Top 5 changes I’ve noticed in my life since becoming a yoga teacher:

  1. I’m conscious of what I consume and I’m able to control my IBS symptoms without any medications.
  2. I feel the connection with something bigger than myself. I find peace knowing The Universe is always working for my greatest good and am able to connect with others more easily.
  3. My physical body has become strong and I’m more sensitive to it’s messages.
  4. I have a deep sense of gratitude and an easier time expressing it.
  5. I’m able to breathe in tense/stressful situations and not react immediately

If you are like me (coming up with list after list as to why Yoga Teacher Training isn’t for you), do yourself a favor and JUST DO IT! There is something inside of you that wants to answer the call. You just have to have the courage to trust your feelings and act! You wouldn’t have the desire to deepen your practice via teacher training if you couldn’t do it. We will always be students of yoga and there is so much to learn. Join me on the other side, you won’t regret it!