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Homegrown yoga teachers

Cassie Pence
Daily Correspondent
Vail, CO Colorado
Special to the Daily
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The “Know Your Farmer” campaign is all about strengthening the local food system, connecting people to their food and those who grow it. Well, local yoga instructors Keri Bergeron and Amy Baker want you to “know your yoga teacher,” too. They decided the only way to strengthen the local yoga community was to grow great yoga teachers right here in the Vail Valley.

On the heels of their first teacher training last May, Bergeron and Baker will teach their second annual 200-hour yoga teacher training – called Evolve Yoga Teacher Training 2012. Certified by Yoga Alliance, the training goes from Sept. 10 to Oct. 28, Mondays through Wednesdays from 5:30 to 10 p.m. and alternating weekends from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., at Dogma Athletica in Edwards.

Every Monday at Dogma Athletica, they will host an open information session following the 5:30 to 6:45 p.m. class to answer questions. They want to remind all yogis that training is not only for those who want to teach yoga but open to anyone who wants to explore and deepen their understanding of themselves or of the process of yoga. Bergeron and Baker will alternate teaching the class, but they took some time to answer seven questions about their next teacher training.

Vail Daily: This will be your second teacher training. What did you learn from the first training you led last May, about both the yoga teachings and yourself as a teacher?

Keri Bergeron: The biggest lesson has been that the learning never stops. There is always something to work on, to learn from, to grow with. Our first training exceeded our expectations as far as the students’ commitment to the process and willingness to learn. This time around, we are focusing on refining the process. Our goal is to continue to inspire evolution within our students and ourselves.

VD: There are yoga teacher trainings all across the U.S. and world. Why stay home to do it?

Amy Baker: Enrolling in a teacher training within your own community allows each student to stay with or near friends and family and students can continue to work. This can alleviate some strain on family and finances, as well as provide an immediate and continuing support system with your peers. In the spirit of the times, this is an opportunity to act locally. You don’t have to travel to find a quality 200-hour teacher training with experienced and knowledgeable instructors when there’s one in your back yard.

VD: What does the course cover?

KB: It’s a foundational course. It will give you everything you need to get out of the gates and start teaching. We will give you a deeper understanding of asana and alignment, hands-on adjustments and teaching people for injury prevention and modification. We’ll teach anatomy and the physiology of yoga, as well as sequencing and how to plan your class for a variety of levels. We’ll explore finding your authentic voice as a teacher – and in life – so you speak your truth and not just spew out what you think you’re supposed to say. We’ll help you build class themes from a realized place. We’ll cover yoga sutras and yogic philosophy, meditation and pranayama, and during all the trainings, we’ll dive deep into self-exploration through a variety of different practices, like journaling. We’ll do video analysis, small-group instruction, and students will teach two free community classes to help with practical application of the trainings.

VD: Who are your yoga influences?

AB: We both completed our initial training with Ana Forrest and have since studied with Janet Stone, Darren Rhodes, Christina Sell and Andrei Ram. And beyond these yoga superstars, we continue to be inspired by our trainees, by each other, by the people we encounter each day who exemplify yoga with kindness, truthfulness, gratitude, dedication and a positive attitude.

VD: Does the course teach a particular yoga style?

KB: Because we appreciate so many different styles of yoga, our teaching has become a blend of technical alignment and powerful flow. We believe in a playful, authentic, nondogmatic approach. We believe that a challenging physical practice provides the opportunity to pierce inward. We believe that there is no prerequisite to practice yoga and ask only that you bring an open mind and a willingness to explore. After over a decade of practice, we remain eternal students of yoga and are inspired daily by the notion that self-inquiry and education lead to personal evolution. We invite people to come evolve with us.

VD: How many new teachers went on to teach from the first training? How are they finding their style?

AB: We have had 10 out of 15 participants pursue teaching here in the valley in various settings. They remain connected through a Facebook page dedicated to their group and by supporting each other’s endeavors. As we said earlier, the learning never stops. Each graduate continues to attend classes and seek out teachers and knowledge within the valley and beyond. They continue to ask questions, practice and pay attention to continue to discover what is true for them.


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