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#ODDLight: YTT Yoga Alums Edition

November brings us a v v special ODDLight feature. While we LOVE our teachers here at One Down Dog, we also LOVE our students. On the blog this month, we’re showcasing that love by featuring some of our fabulous Yoga teacher training alums. We’re getting to know more about them, why they love yoga, and what they most value from their YTT experience. Check back in a couple of weeks for another dose.

If you read these profiles and they inspire you to pursue teacher training, you’re in luck! We have another cohort of ODD teacher training starting on January 31st! Find more info here or speak to one of our lovely desk staffers the next time you’re in one of the studios.

Name: Katie Walsh
Nickname: Katiewalsh (one word), K-Dub, Kwalshy (this dates to college)
Hometown: St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands

What’s your ODD love story?

My ODD love story is YTT! I joined the studio in 2015, and for 2 years I was the kind of person who showed up, took class and left. I had friends who practiced at the studio and favorite teachers, but I didn’t really participate in the community that much. That all changed when I decided to do YTT (I took Sabrina to coffee to ask her about the program, and she said to do it!). Now ODD is a true hub of my LA community. I’ve forged meaningful friendships with my fellow ODDYTTIES and with the teachers and staff at the studio. ODD has even produced a fruitful freelance writing gig (thanks to Cindy!) And now I get to practice teach here too. YTT was so amazingly life changing for so many reasons, but the fact that it made ODD my true LA spiritual home, full of friends, has been one of the best parts.

How do you define yoga?

It’s all yoga. I’ve told friends who are nervous about taking my class all that’s required is showing up and breathing. Yoga is the union of breath and movement, but truly, it’s the union of body and soul, however that happens for you.

What is one small fact that most wouldn’t know about you?

One big fact is that I was born and raised in the Caribbean—on the island of St. Croix. My parents still live there and I try and go back every year. I’m a proud Crucian and native Virgin Islander.

If you could have one superpower, what would it be?

Reading minds! But I think I’m getting better at it 🙂

What’s the biggest thing you’ve gained from doing teacher training at ODD?

Oh my goodness, EVERYTHING. I remember the first night of YTT, Jess mentioned how life-changing it can be and I was skeptical. I was so wrong. I cried with gratitude within the first hour of our first Saturday with Bri, and texted my mom that I could not have waited one second longer to have done this. Not only did I gain a whole posse of new friends, a supportive community, a whole new world of knowledge about yoga, the body, and the mind, but I can actually teach a yoga class! The biggest thing though, is probably the knowledge, acceptance, and trust in myself I gained during YTT, as well as the tools to hone that.

What is your favorite asana pose and/or sequence and why?

I love Single Pigeon and could hang out in it for hours. If super-warm, King Pigeon is fun too. It just feels delicious and healing in my body. Having done teacher training, I now know just how important it is to open those hips, physically, mentally and emotionally too!

 

Name: Kathryn Corrales (just changed from Couillard)
Nickname: Kat
Hometown: Morristown, NJ

What’s your ODD love story?

When I moved to the LA from the Inland Empire, I knew two people that practiced yoga in the area. When I asked them for studio recommendations, they both recommended ODD, independent from one another. I took that at the first sign that it was THE place to be, it took only one class to know I had found my new yoga home. I loved EVERYTHING about it, the graffiti walls, the music in class, the teacher that encouraged us to give ourselves “a huge fucking hug” during cooldown, the sense of community that I felt immediately, and the dancing!!

How do you define yoga?

Yoga is everything. As cliché as it may sound… it’s where mind, body and spirit unite. It’s where I first found my self, it’s how I shed what doesn’t serve me. It’s my church, my therapy and my gym. It’s freedom and it’s discipline at once.

What is one small fact that most wouldn’t know about you?

I’m part Hawaiian.

If you could have one superpower, what would it be? 

That power that Sabrina the teenage witch had, where she just pointed at herself to change outfits and was magically transported to where she needed to be, no more getting ready or commuting. Is that just the anti-lazy superpower?

What’s the biggest thing you’ve gained from doing teacher training at ODD?

This is a hard question to answer because I gained so much from it, it’s difficult to choose one thing.
I have to say that it’s confidence. I gained a huge sense of confidence in myself and my knowledge of what serves me and what doesn’t. I gained the tools to build boundaries, in the best way. Having always been a “yes” person, I finally learned when to say no. It’s not what I set out to learn in TT, but it was what I needed.

What is your favorite asana pose and/or sequence and why?

This is constantly changing. A good old sun salutation A never fails to feel good, and I do love Malasana but Savasana is always the best asana.

Name: Elena
Nickname: Never had one!
Hometown: Phoenix, AZ

What’s your ODD love story? 

My favorite love story with ODD is the love I found with my fellow teacher trainees. I feel so blessed to have to have such a strong bond with a few of the women in my class. They have become women I am overjoyed to see around the studios and anytime we grab coffee or hanging out we never stop laughing.

How do you define yoga?

I define yoga as the practice of feeling better. Whether that means sitting and breathing for a few minutes or flowing through a yoga class it’s all yoga to me.

What is one small fact that most wouldn’t know about you?

I love ramen and try to eat ramen in every new city I travel to.

If you could have one superpower, what would it be?

I know it’s basic but I really want to fly. I used to dream about it when I was a kid and I’ve always loved being up high!

What’s the biggest thing you’ve gained from doing teacher training at ODD?

Wow picking one thing is hard but I have to say the community and friendships I gained. Like a lot of people in LA I’m from somewhere else so having such a wonderful community where I can go and everyone that works there is amazing and I see friends in class really makes this place special.

What is your favorite asana pose and/or sequence and why?

One pose that always puts me in a state of immense gratitude is pigeon pose because at the beginning of my asana practice I couldn’t do pigeon and had to modify with reclined figure four. So it’s a beautiful reminder of how much our bodies can change and to continue working towards the poses that seem impossible right now.

 

Name: Katie Wong

Nickname: Parents call me Kate, strongly dislike it. Wish I had more it got confusing with 3 Katie W in our ytt group

What’s your ODD love story?

I started my yoga journey at One Down Dog. I used to be really into indoor cycling and was committed to Audrey’s classes. Sweat was the first yoga class I ever took and I barely made it out alive. The challenge is what initially pulled me in and the teachers kept me coming back. Time spent out of the house and on my mat helped reduce caregiver fatigue, so thank you ODD!

How do you define yoga? 

You know that sweet moment that can happen in a class, when everyone sighs at the same time? It makes me check back in and feel the collective energy of everyone in the room. Yoga is connection to the self and to others. It makes me a better human.

What is one small fact that most wouldn’t know about you?

I have never traveled outside of the country, but I will be backpacking in Thailand mid November.

If you could have one superpower, what would it be?

Ability to fly. Driving in LA is too stressful.

What’s the biggest thing you’ve gained from doing teacher training at ODD?

I am painfully shy and have gained so much confidence from ytt. Very much attributed to the wonderful friendships I’ve made. If you’re considering teacher training, make the jump! You will find your people and continue to fall in love with the practice.

What is your favorite asana pose and/or sequence and why?

Favorite pose is any grasshopper variation. My usually dirty feet help keep my foot from slipping and it’s a fun silly shape. New fav is Stonehenge, learned that cozy pose from Natalie. I’m the person twitching through savasana so give me all the props!