Yoga Teacher Training Graduates: Maureen Copeland
I’ll never forget the day I was approached at the sunset junction farmers market by a girl handing out fliers for a new yoga studio. It was about 2 years ago; I had just moved back to LA from Santa Barbara. I was looking for a new studio to call home to my yoga practice. Little did I know what was in store for me.
I have been practicing yoga since I was a teenager. But I have never had a strong and consistent practice until I found One Down Dog. I instantly connected with the power vinyasa flow and the message about keeping it real at One Down Dog. I felt like I could just be myself and not try to be some yoga-ized version of me.
When Jessica decided to offer the first teacher training something inside of me said, “do it”! I had toyed with the idea of yoga teacher training before. I had just gone back to school for my BSN so I wasn’t sure how I was going to work full-time, go to school full-time and do yoga teacher training. Even though it seemed impossible and a little crazy, I knew that my mission is to serve others through nursing, yoga and Buddhism. So I listened to my heart and signed up for the training.
I wasn’t sure what exactly would happen after I finished the training. I didn’t see myself teaching classes per se, more like incorporating yoga into nursing somehow. But during teacher training I started to discover that I liked teaching; I found it equally terrifying and exhilarating. The most important thing I learned in teacher training was to find confidence in my own voice and myself. This is still a work in progress for me.
I currently teach two classes a week: 6:30am Flow on Monday and 5:45pm Sweat on Friday. I have learned so much from teaching yoga. Not only have I deepened my own practice, I have also discovered the joy of practicing for others, my students.
It’s really a creative endeavor for me to come up with new flows and playlists every week. My goal for every class is to guide my students on a yoga journey and leave them feeling grounded, centered, and a little more joyful.
I am so grateful to Jessica for being such an amazing teacher and creating an awesome space where we as a community can explore our dreams.
How Yoga Teacher Training Changed My Life
Yoga teacher training was a life changing experience – sounds dramatic, but it’s true!
I tried yoga for the first time in college but didn’t practice regularly until about 4 years ago. I enjoyed yoga because it was a way to de-stress and help ease the pain from working behind a computer all day. It never crossed my mind that I would want to be a yoga teacher until I went to One Down Dog. I met a few teachers and they all loved teaching, I had never “loved” any job!
A few months passed and a teacher mentioned to me that Jessica was going to lead One Down Dog’s first yoga teacher training at the end of the summer. I was working 10+ hour days at the time, miserable in my job, and I thought I would never be able to juggle that kind of commitment with my current day job. Maybe when I got a new job and had better hours I could entertain the idea of signing up. I have friends who have completed yoga teacher trainings at other studios and they always say, “It changed my life!” or “It was the most amazing experience!” I realized I needed a change and it was never going to be the “right” time. I could keep putting it off, or I could sign up and try something new. So I did it!
Before I started teacher training, I felt stuck in my job. I would wake up every day and dread going to work. I had always been a driven person, I always knew what I wanted, but here I was, complacent and clueless about what my next steps would be professionally.
In teacher training, we learned about goal setting, something I had always done, but at this point in my life I wasn’t chasing any career goals. Early on in our training, we were introduced to the Sanskrit word bhavana, meaning yogic contemplation and visioning. We set lofty goals for ourselves and I wrote down what I wanted to be doing for a living and what I dreamed of. A week before training ended, I landed the job I envisioned at the start of training. You could say it was a coincidence but I don’t think so. If it wasn’t for training and my new way of thinking, I never would have scored an interview for the position. Training has also helped me further my practice. I am stronger than I have ever been, inside and out. I would recommend teacher training to anyone who is curious, wants a change or wants a challenge.
The experience is difference for everyone, so what will your experience be?
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