In the year 2000 I found myself in San Francisco walking up to It's Yoga at 848 Folsom St. You could smell the nag champa from the side walk and upon entering the studio the smell of incense became mixed with the smell of musty sweat, it was after a Rocket Yoga Class. Larry would always say you know it was a good class by the way the room smelled. Meaning the stinkier the better.
That was to be my home for the next 28 days as I embarked on my journey of becoming an yoga instructor. There were about 20 other yogis who were also in my training group. I remember sitting in a large circle and listening to Larry give lessons and the whole time I kept thinking "shouldn't we be teaching on each other?", yet Larry would just have us sit and write in our journal about the breath and our core and talk about our hands and feet positioning. Larry also wanted us all to write out our whole class which he called "our script". It was only by the last week that we were really in full swing practice teaching on each other and testing out by teaching a class at It's Yoga. By the end of training we had accumulated handouts and books and notes and journals all equaling out to a 55 minute class. That's how we did it, Larry had us build a foundation, he taught us well and by the end of training we were all ready to go out into the world and share the practice.
Once I had graduated I didn't want to come home to Cincinnati, however at that time there were only two yoga studios in Cincinnati and one of them being ready for me to come back and begin instructing full time. Thats what Larry wanted, was for all of us to get experience. He told us we should be instructing 10 class per week and warned about jumping from yoga teacher training to the next yoga teacher training. He said you will never learn like that, you must get experience.
So here I am in 2014, over 14 years of experience of instructing and practicing ashtanga yoga. I like to think of Yoga ah as a gateway from San Francisco It's Yoga to our studio Yoga ah in Cincinnati. We burn the nag champa, we focus on building a strong foundation in our teacher training program and we promote getting experience as thats really the true teacher and on some days the room smells musty, always a sign of a good Rocket Yoga Class. What's really wild is that I feel like I'm just getting started.