How Teacher Training at YS Changed Me For Good

Written by Shannon Sliva
Shannon has been our YS soul sister since 2007. In 2015, she moved to Denver to become a Bad-Ass Professor but she promises to visit often. 

When I signed up for teacher training at YogaSport in the spring of 2012, my goal was to learn more about the tradition of yoga and my personal practice. It is safe to say that the program surpassed my wildest expectations. In truth, teacher training with Angela turned out to be the first major step in a life-changing journey to meet my best self.

Before you quickly click the link below to sign up, let me tell you what teacher training is not. It is not easy. It is hard work, physically, mentally, and emotionally. During some weekends, you will practice for hours on end, coaxing your tired body into yet another wheel to support your classmates in their growth. During others, you will scribble volumes of notes on anatomical terms like flexion, extension, lordosis, and kurtosis, and scratch out diagrams of the individual muscles of the rotator cuff. You will delve into your thought patterns and – sometimes painfully – extract emotional and spiritual roadblocks from your path to personal freedom and authentic relationships with others. While there is joy to be found in each of these processes, it will not always feel joyful and light. The joy comes later, like a blissful savasana at the end of a challenging, gut-wrenching practice.

When I started teacher training, I was mostly unaware of how much my need to be perfect was limiting my growth and development. If you too like to be good at everything, perhaps you can imagine how challenging it was for me to place myself in the shoes of a total beginner when I entered the training. I was frozen by fear and self-doubt. As I identified the roots of my mental blocks and pushed through physical and emotional barriers with the guidance of my teacher and the support of my classmates, my fear of failure was slowly overcome by courage, authenticity, and self-belief. I did not know what to say, but I said something anyway. I did not know how to do it right, but I did something

anyway. For me, this was a gradual but revolutionary shift which awakened a hidden part of myself that I barely knew existed. (Click here to read a blog post I wrote on this subject during training)The magic of this process is that it was not limited to my journey as a yoga teacher. In my work and in my relationships, I am more open, adventurous, and flexible. I speak and interact more authentically. I am less afraid of my mistakes. I feel bold, capable, and connected with what I have to offer. I laugh louder (or so I’m told).

While many things other than my teacher training at YogaSport have contributed to this ongoing transformation, it was through that initial process that I first invited a colorful, resonant tide of energy and movement into my life. If you are seeking a shift of some kind – even if you don’t yet know what it is – I invite you to join me on this beautiful journey.

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4 Week Fundamental Series

Luke Downward DogWe are excited to announce a new workshop series at YogaSport, The 4 Week Fundamental Series. In this 4 class workshop, you will learn the basic alignment and form of Power Flow Yoga. Through demonstration, discussion, hands-on adjustments, and guided practice, we will provide you with a solid foundation of this dynamic style of yoga. Each series will cover the following:

Class 1: Sun Salutations
Class 2: Warrior Poses
Class 3: Balance & Triangle Poses
Class 4: Backbends/Abs

All classes will include additional floor and inversion postures. This series is designed for brand new students who want to learn more about the practice as well as seasoned practitioners looking to fine tune their asanas.

Fall Sessions
Session 1: Thursdays 9/17-10/8
Session 2: Tuesdays 9/22-10/13
Session 3: Tuesdays 10/20-11/10
Session 4: Thursdays 10/22-11/12

If you purchased a Groupon for this workshop, please email to complete your registration.  

Member Spotlight : Andra King

Camp Ty

 Name: Andra King

 Nickname: Little King and Aundie (my brother’s name for me since he couldn’t pronounce my name  when I was born)

 Day Job: Marketing Coordinator for KDC Real Estate Development & Investments

 How long have you have been practicing at YS? Well, that depends on when you consider what  my start date is. I actually took my beginners class at YogaSport in 2005/2006. I loved it, but didn’t stay  consistent. Several years ago a friend who had actually taken the beginners series with me way back  when, asked if I wanted to do a challenge. I agreed and I am happy to say I haven’t stopped since.

 What is your favorite YS workshop or class? I truly think all the classes and workshops are wonderful. However, the workshop I feel I learned the most from was 40 days. It really brought me to a new level of being present, not only with my practice and discipline, but with my community! Go Team Orange!!!!

 Name one thing you consider yourself to be very good at: I have never been comfortable  boasting about what I am good at, when asked to do this spotlight I cheated and polled a few close to  me. I learned I am good at being very thoughtful and caring to others with my giving nature, hmm is  that even something to be good at??

Meg Coach Patterson

What’s the number one yoga pose you just love to practice? I love to practice crow to tripod (I know that is 2). Crow was the first inversion I accidentally did in Shanna’s class out of the blue one day several years ago. I think it surprised us both when it happened and since then it just reminds me of where I started and how far I’ve come.

TCU Game

Why did you start practicing yoga? To be honest, to lose  weight. I had no idea it would give me so many more gifts.

Who  inspires you the most and why? I have been very blessed to  be surrounded by several who inspire me on a daily basis for their  own reasons, they know who they are. If I had to pick one, I think  I would pick the first person that inspired me when I was very  young, my Dad. The lessons I learned from watching him love  and live by example and then his inspiring spirit when he fell ill,  continue to live within me and inspire me every day.

 Why do you still practice? I love challenging myself and no matter how long or how much I practice, I am challenged every time.

What do you just love about YogaSport? I just love the YogaSport people and community!!! I feel so supported and encouraged every time I am there, it just makes me feel at home.

What’s your guilty pleasure? A good Bone-in Rib eye accompanied by a nice glass of red wine!!

Yoga in the Park

Furthest city traveled: Tokyo, Japan

What is one thing we don’t know about you that would surprise us? Unless you were in 40 days, most don’t know I was an exchange student in Tokyo in High School.

Mac or PC? PC


Wearing the White Belt by Shannon G

In my 28 years, I have never made a B. I have never failed a test. In many ways, the experience of failure is uncharted territory for me. And yet, for that very reason, many other frontiers remain uncharted territory for me as well. Because I have never felt myself to be strong or athletic, I have always avoided sports and competitive physical activities. The answer? Don’t play. Opt out. My desire to be good, to be perfect, to meet the expectations of others reflects an underlying fear of failure. A fear which evidences itself when I refuse tasks that I don’t feel confident I can excel at. When I struggle to find the fun in an experience I cannot dominate.

The bad news is that I can’t avoid everything in life that I’m not good at. (Did I say good at? Who am I kidding? I mean BEST at.) And that even if I succeed in avoiding these insufferable failures, I am cheating myself of beautiful opportunities for growth. Rather than continuing to flex the muscle that is already strong, when will I begin to tone those muscles which have atrophied from disuse?

In his book, Mastery, George Leonard says that life “makes beginners of us” over and over. How perceptive! As we travel along our life’s journey, new adventures appear at every turn. These adventures challenge us, stretch our capabilities, and encourage us to grow. Much to my annoyance, they also require us to take the role of “beginner” over and over again. Leonard says, “In the master’s secret mirror, even at the moment of highest renown and accomplishment, there is an image of the newest student in class, eager for knowledge, willing to play the fool.” Aha! So not only must we be the beginner, it is our willingness to do so that forms us into the master at all.

My commitment to teacher training has been a deliberate act of putting on the white belt – the belt of the beginner – and being “willing to play the fool.” I did not enroll in teacher training because I knew I could be good at it, much less the best. I signed up because I wanted to build a new muscle and perhaps find a part of myself that I don’t already know is within me. To say the least, the experience has been challenging, uncomfortable, and sometimes terrifying. But along with the struggle of the beginner comes the thrill of those first inklings of a growing competency… those that say, “Though I thought I could never do this, perhaps I can after all! What else can I do that I didn’t know? Where is my next adventure?”