This interview was held in June 2021 with Alumnus, Elizabeth (Liz) Bond, of San Antonio, Texas.
Liz completed her 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training with us in 2015, in Whistler, BC, Canada. She also took her Prenatal YTT with us in Hawaii, in 2017, and she's currently enrolled in 300 Hour Advanced Online Yoga Teacher Training as well! We've been so grateful to have Liz as part of our community for all these years!!
What is your yoga background?
Prior to YTT my yoga experience was based around YouTube videos, DVDS, and books! I could not afford to join a local studio, so I built a personal practice around the tools I acquired at home. After my training I was yearning to meet yogis in my community but did not have the courage to put myself out there! My first few teaching jobs were at gyms and with contracting companies (typically at apartment complexes). After a few years I became determined to apply to an actual studio and MAN did my heart grow a few sizes! The love and support has been overwhelmingly abundant!
How or what prompted you to take YTT?
My first yoga class was at a corporate gym, Life Time. I walked out thinking “Woah, I feel great.. what an experience!” Over the next few months I developed a consistent, personal practice. That is when I truly felt the inner and outer changes of yoga, and had the desire to become a guide and share yoga with others.
What notable benefits came about from the training?
Benefits from my training have varied greatly. The most notable benefits were mental shifts. There were moments in each training when I wanted to give up, didn’t think I was good enough, or was simply overwhelmed. With the support of my peers and family I never gave up and pushed through to the very end - and I am so glad that I did. After completing my first training I had never felt so empowered, confident, and blessed in my entire life. The strength and resilience I learned throughout the course taught me that I CAN persevere and that this message is something that I can relay to my students as well.
What was your favourite part/aspect of the training?
The community. Being surrounded by my peers and meeting incredible souls from around the world has been my favorite part. It enhances the material and overall experience! The fact that we also have an online platform to share our progress, ask questions, and help each other is a beautiful gift.
What was your least favourite part/aspect of the training?
I would have to say my least favourite aspect [of the in person training] was having to sit for long periods of time each day. I did not have the best posture and as a result my back and shoulder muscles were not accustomed to it.
What stands out as the most valuable thing you learned about yoga?
I found the entire experience highly valuable! Every aspect not only educated me, I also learned a lot about myself in the process. From how to incorporate the chakras and 8 limbs into a class to accurate and safe alignment. However if I had to be specific I would say the most valuable thing I learned is that yoga truly is accessible to everyone. It sounds so simple but is a seemingly secret truth! In addition, I’d say learning contraindications throughout each training has been instrumental in being able to teach everyone/anyone.
What stands out as the most valuable thing you learned about teaching yoga?
What stands out the most is how different each of us are as teachers and guides. In life I tend to lean towards emulating other people in order to “do it the right way”, but as a teacher I’ve learned that my teaching style will not be an exact copy of someone else’s. It could.. but that would not be authentic for me or serve as a genuine experience for my students! Once I accepted this I felt more freedom within my teaching and was inspired to create more, as opposed to limiting myself.
What stands out as the most valuable thing you learned about yourself?
The most valuable thing I have learned, and continue to learn about myself, is that I am capable! As long as I continue moving forward with an open mind and open heart I can accomplish my goals and continue positively helping those in my community.
What was your experience of the doing the practicum?
I was sooo nervous during both practicums! However the support from my peers was incredible. Their encouragement leading up to my classes was inspiring and gave me the nudge of confidence that carried me through. Leading up to the practicum I came to realize that it is OK to ask questions. If I was confused or unsure, all I needed to do was ask!
What else do you do in life (career/vocation; parent/partner/caregiver)?
I am an entrepreneur! I currently teach yoga and guide workshops at a local studio, run a small jewelry business (The Stone Revolt on Etsy.com), and sell vintage clothes. I recently received my second certification from Herbal Academy with the goal of incorporating herbal remedies into my offerings!
How did the YTT you took impact these aspects of your life?
Subconsciously I tend to incorporate my yoga philosophy and breathwork knowledge into daily tasks and work life. I have worked with many different companies over the years and always ended up teaching staff yoga classes, leading “stretch breaks”, emailing out weekly affirmations, and occasionally practiced stress-relieving pranayama when work became too stressful haha.
Were you surprised by any aspect of your YTT experience?
There were a few surprises for me, pleasant surprises haha. The open discussions we had were extremely thought-provoking. Not only were we asked to “dig deeper” during the philosophy portion, I was always taken back by how many different perspectives we had on the same topic. It was beautiful. Also the amount of anatomical information that every single yoga teacher is required to know - holy cow! Coming into it I had no idea how much information I was about to read and learn.
Tell us what your teaching journey has looked like since finishing YTT?
Prior to the pandemic I was teaching 7-10 classes per week. (It took me years to work up the creativity and confidence for this schedule!) In the midst of the pandemic I began recording classes for our students to watch online, live streaming flows for members, and even became the manager of my home studio! Now I have narrowed my teaching scope to prenatal class twice a week and am absolutely loving it. I occasionally lead workshops and offer yin/sound bowl classes as well. After years of experimenting with different styles I discovered that teaching what I enjoy most (and least) is energetically noticed by my students! That was a huge lesson and has been a great blessing on this journey.
What is the next yoga-related training you’re interested in taking?
I am currently working through the 300 HR advanced yoga training and am over the moon about it! Once I have completed the advanced course there are definitely a few specialized courses that I have my eye on. Specifically meditation and breathwork.
Liz is currently enrolled in: 300 Hour Advanced Yoga Teacher Training