This post is dedicated to a very special student- Ali Basye-Featherston. Ali showed up to training with a sweet kind brightness that brought calm to our days together. This is my first Q&A with past students and is intended for you to get an insight into who attends and how my yoga teacher trainings change lives.
Why did you attend YTT at that point in your life?
Early in college, I wanted to become a yoga teacher, yet doubted I had time or money to make it happen. I learned of Marianne Wells Yoga School (I’ll condense it to MWYS) from one of my yoga teachers that had previously trained with Marianne in Costa Rica. I looked at a lot of other yoga schools over the year, and felt that MWYS was the best match for me. The full immersion training the summer after my sophomore year- reducing distractions while fully immersed in studies and practice of yoga – was perfect.
How Marianne Wells Yoga School inspired you to live your truth, your dharma?
I found my calling through this training. I left Costa Rica feeling the seed of inspiration that had been in my belly was finally beginning to bloom. Before the training, I majored in Environmental Science & Policy. Yet I knew that I didn’t want to pursue that forever. My degree would be a Plan B if the yoga plan didn’t go as hoped. Six months after teacher training, I realized my previous plans had changed. MWYS gave me the tools I needed, and the confidence to reach for it. Through my social media platform. I continue to see my dharma in action as I help others in their yoga practices. I encourage my students to spread kindness to others, as well as treat themselves with kindness. This yoga teacher training has inspired me to see everyone as worthy and deserving of a yoga practice – to meet everyone at their own individual starting places. I use this inspiration to influence others in a positive way.
What you would say to someone looking for a yoga teacher training?
Do your research! Treat researching a YTT school just like you would pick out a college. Compare your options and make sure you get the right fit for your goals, timing, budget. Decide what truly matters to your teacher training experience -philosophy and educational approach by the school, location, duration and cost. Who is leading the training and what are their qualifications? Will the training help you meet your goals? Do the lead trainers teach the majority of the coursework? Are all costs clearly spelled out? Call the instructors to learn more about their approach to the training. Ask to speak with past graduates of the program to gain a fuller perspective. Don’t simply read the marketing material online.
If you want to earn more than just a certification document, look for a well-known and trusted school (even if that means it’s more costly) with experienced trainers both in teaching yoga and training future teachers. You’re better off to save up for a high-quality training than to settle for the cheapest and easiest option. But just because it costs more does not necessarily mean it is better. There is a wide swing in prices. I felt my decision was right for me – the depth of training, the location, lodging, meals, and the group of other students was perfect.
Tell me about all the good stuff in your life now
Only 6 months after completing my training I changed my major. I created my own degree program in Digital Marketing and Entrepreneurship. It’s been 18 months since I’ve completed my YTT. I now run all social media and marketing for a fitness studio in Baltimore. I teach weekly yoga classes at that studio, and free classes around my college campus. I am a marketing intern for a Geospatial Data committee (combining my love for the environment and marketing). I offer free weekly tutorials for anyone anywhere in the world via my social media platforms. And, I even work with two of my favorite yoga apparel companies – Alo Yoga & Gaiam. I’ve even contracted with Marianne Wells Yoga School to help with their social media efforts.
Although that list of good stuff is quite long, it’s only the tip of the iceberg. I’m currently finishing up my Senior year at the University of Maryland and plan to pursue a career in social media/digital marketing after graduation. I will continue teaching yoga as a part-time job and plan to lead my own yoga retreats soon. I’m grounded in my direction, for it gives me what I love as well as options to pursue as my life unfolds.