Meet Our Grads: Chris

Chris Bourke graduated from our Yoga Teacher Training program in 2016 and has gone on to teach and work with several leaders in the yoga and movement world, and is innovating his own approach to yoga for mental health. We are so proud of how Chris is flourishing in his career, and can’t wait to see where he goes next. You can connect with Chris @anchoredtides on Instagram. Here’s what he had to say about his experience.

What is happening in your yoga teaching life?

The QSY YTT gave me an incredible launchpad into many movement training and teaching opportunities. This was in large part due to the way Emma and Leena fostered our unique teaching voices and interests. I remember our final teaching assignment allowed us to pick the ideal community we wanted to teach to, and how we would want to teach. That creative space opened the door for me to explore movement for mental health. I am currently teaching with GOODBODYFEEL and Mindful Strength as well as my own mental health focused practice, Anchored Tides.

What was your biggest takeaway from our program?

QSY was one of the first yoga studios that put a strong focus on anti-oppression and inclusion in their training. We had some remarkable guest teachers that taught us about anti-racism, LGBTQ2S+ spaces, and body inclusivity. That was one of the biggest takeaways – how to build spaces that are welcoming and inclusive to folks. They bolstered the confidence in holding those spaces and the humility it takes to make mistakes, and learn as you engage this work.

Did you have any hesitations about doing the program that you had to address? Or obstacles you had to overcome?

I remember when I first considered signing up for the training I thought “Do I practice yoga enough to do this and become a teacher?” I quickly learned that being a teacher and space holder is less about the postures or the movement, and much more about how we show up compassionately (ourselves included). This training taught me so much about building confidence in front of others from a place of embracing imperfection and not having to know it all.

“That was one of the biggest takeaways – how to build spaces that are welcoming and inclusive to folks. They bolstered the confidence in holding those spaces and the humility it takes to make mistakes, and learn as you engage this work.”

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?

A Yoga Teacher Training is a really wonderful experience regardless of whether it yields a road towards teaching. You spend a whole year in this loving community of people who support one another and nurture each other’s personal/professional growth. During these wild times of disconnection and change, feeling supported by a community is incredibly invaluable. Aside from that, this training is going to give you some of the most innovative, progressive and up-to-date teaching strategies. Leena is a pedagogy GENIUS! Emma is a whiz in creativity and compassionate sequencing. Leslie is a strength and nervous system powerhouse. You are going to feel SUPER supported and SUPER smart afterwards.

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.

Unearthing Ideas of Privilege in Yoga

DSC_3578Kristina recently graduated from our 2014 Yoga Teacher Training Program and will be sharing her laughter and love of yoga at Queen Street Yoga, alternating teaching the Friday 5:30pm Hour Flow with her fellow YTT graduate Marta! Kristina wrote this piece about privilege in the yoga community after our October 2014 Yoga Teacher Training Weekend, in which we looked at the various ways that folks with different kinds of privilege (because of their race, gender, body type, sexuality) might experience a yoga studio (and the world) differently. 

Cath in Dorset- Assistant Gardener
Assistant Gardener by Cath in Dorset

I’ve been practicing yoga for about five years now.  As with anything new, in the beginning, I felt a little bit out of place.  I was uneasy about getting dressed in the change room with everyone else, uncertain of where to place my mat in the class room, and sometimes embarrassed about my inability to move with strength or grace through many of the postures that everyone else seemed so comfortable with.  Those fears were quickly dissolved by realizing that I wasn’t alone – others around me seemed to face the same fears, and those who had been around the block a few times were generally friendly and welcoming.  All was good.  What I didn’t realize was that this quickly-found comfort was, in many ways, a product of my privilege.

Continue reading “Unearthing Ideas of Privilege in Yoga”