By Meryl Arnett (@merylarnettyoga)
Hello and namaste! I am so excited to chat with you via Atlanta Yoga Scene. In my new column, “The Road to 500,” I’ll be sharing my experiences as a certified yoga teacher on her path towards completing a 500-hour yoga teacher training (YTT) certification. Ever thought about teaching yoga or deepening your personal practice? If so, I hope this column will help to share some of the intensity and magic of traveling down the yogic path .
Before I dive in and tell you all the things I’m learning on this journey, I thought I’d share a little bit about myself and my yoga life thus far.
I’m a typical type A, fiery personality (in ayurvedic terms, a Pitta), so naturally, people have recommended I take up yoga to help relax my whole life. When I was 16, I finally took the recommendation and attended my first class at the local YMCA. Everyone else in the room was at least 100 years old in my teenage mind. I could touch my toes, quickly pronounced yoga conquered, and didn’t roll out my mat again until almost 10 years later.
Flash forward a decade or so, in the throes of wedding-planning stress and a massive fear of not fitting in my rather small wedding dress, I stumbled across a yoga and Pilates bootcamp program offered at Body Vision Studio. I did Pilates in college and knew it delivered results so I thought, “what the heck; a little yoga on the side might be nice.” I talked a co-worker into signing up with me, and together we went through four weeks of yoga and Pilates bootcamp. It only took me two yoga classes to say aloud, “I think I want to teach yoga.”
A few years and several internal struggles later, I completed a 200 hour YTT through Atlanta Hot Yoga. Now I teach both Hot and Vinyasa classes around town, and, on occasion, I’ve been mistaken for a Kapha (influenced by earth and water rather than fire, according to ayurveda) instead of a Pitta (WOOT!). Nevertheless, my growth isn’t complete; the power and intensity of my first 200-hour YTT left me hungry for more.
This hunger now has me working my way towards completing a 500 hour Pranakriya YTT at Jai Shanti Yoga. (Full disclosure: since starting this program I have joined the team at Jai Shanti Yoga as a substitute teacher and marketing manager.)
In this column, I hope to share with you the experience and excitement of completing a yoga teacher training as I pursue my road to 500. Each month, we’ll take a look at a leg of the journey: advanced asana, functional anatomy and the Bhagavad Gita have all been recent rest stops on my path.
Next up, mile #1: the power (and pain) of five days of meditation.
See you on the path!