Nadine Quehl graduated from our Yoga Teacher Training program in 2018 and is dedicated to sharing yoga as a form of community care. We admire her work as an advocate for the incarcerated women she teaches, and are so glad she is sharing her warmth and knowledge in the community. Here’s what she had to say about her experience.
What is happening in your yoga teaching life?
Before the pandemic I was teaching yoga to women at Grand Valley Institution (GVI). Since the pandemic started, I have led free Community Care classes for QSY with my friend Sara. I’m grateful that we were able to share those yoga class recordings with the women at GVI, since it hasn’t been possible to teach in-person there since the pandemic began.
I have been leading mindful movement sessions for my choir Inshallah once or twice on Zoom to keep us connected. I have also shifted teaching yoga for my colleagues at the University of Waterloo to an online format. This year I started the Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy Practicum at the Centre for Mindfulness Studies, which I love incorporating into my classes.
“I have had a shift in my personal practice of gratitude, self-kindness and community care – a journey that has deepened significantly as a result of YTT.”
What was your biggest takeaway from our program?
QSY teacher training enabled me to witness and embody the power of connection and compassion, as well as confidence. I started the program thinking that I would deepen my practice only, and not teach afterwards, but I have been teaching consistently since I graduated (and in a prison, which I never would have envisioned). I have had a shift in my personal practice of gratitude, self-kindness and community care – a journey that has deepened significantly as a result of YTT. QSY also gave me a whole new understanding of what ‘yoga’ is and the importance of making it accessible and inclusive and taking it ‘off the mat’ to address issues that need transforming in our world.
Did you have any hesitations about doing the program that you had to address? Or obstacles you had to overcome?
After spending way too many years in graduate school and getting burned out, I was hesitant to enter an intensive program of study, but QSY’s encouraging and caring community made a huge difference in my ability to learn and thrive. I also wondered if I would have enough time to commit to the practice and homework. I was concerned that an academic study of yoga might sap the joy from the practice but, happily, it made me love and appreciate yoga even more. I was terrified of teaching, but going in with an open attitude and intention to do the training to enhance my own practice helped.
What would you say to someone who is trying to decide whether or not to do our training? What could you say to help them decide?
I would suggest considering your availability, as it is a big time commitment and you will get the most out of the program if you can make time not only for the readings and classes, but also for the home practice of yoga. Talking to grads is a great start, and I am happy to chat with you if you want to reach out. Connecting with the faculty, be curious and ask lots of questions about the program.
Choosing a Yoga Teacher Training program is a big decision. Learn more about our dynamic and empowering program on our website, and register for a Virtual Info Session to connect with Emma, Leslie and Leena, YTT Directors.
Great interview! Thanks for sharing your insight Nadine!