Yoga is a journey I’ve been on for a while, I recently took the plunge into an intensive hatha teacher training. This month the yoga school I’m at decided to feature me in their newsletter, so exciting!
A Story of Self-Love, Alignment and Anatomy
Originally from Sweden, Emelie Peacock has been living in Vancouver for the past ten years. She is a journalism student by day and ‘yogini’ by night and is also the scholarship recipient for the 240-hour Yoga Teacher Training Program.
How and why did you get into Yoga?
I started yoga as many people do, as a form of exercise. From the outset it was not a spiritual practice for me at all. When yoga teachers would cite mantras or get students to “oum” together I would cringe and wish I wasn’t in the room. But slowly, as my physical practice deepened, I started to notice hints of other, deeper benefits. I couldn’t quite put my finger on them, they appeared as fleeting moments of calm, self-love, mental stillness. I knew there was something more to this practice, which is what brought me to teacher training.
What do you love about Yoga?
I love that there is so much to yoga that I don’t yet know. I love how yoga has such a long, deep history yet it is so accessible to anyone with a body, an open mind and a little time in their day. I love how yoga is both accessible for those wanting a deep spiritual practice while also appealing to those who are more scientifically-minded or exercise-focused. I love how yoga has so many levels that you start to access, as you get deeper into your practice.
Do you have a favourite pose?
For most of my life I’ve struggled with emotional imbalance, which is a large part of what brought me to yoga. The hips are where we store stress, trauma and anxiety, so my favourite poses of all time are the hip openers. Eka Pada Rajakapotasana a.k.a. pigeon pose is one that teaches me so much. It takes a keen awareness of alignment and strength, while also releasing tension in the body and with each breath allowing the hips to relax and open. After this pose I feel calm and stable in my emotions.
What is the most valuable thing you have learnt in YTT240 program so far?
I’ve learned a ton about the history and spiritual elements, as well as the physical practice of yoga, and this is only the beginning. Perhaps the most valuable lesson so far has been how to, little by little, start living my yoga practice. Each weekend the enriched training provides amazing lessons and a supportive space to immerse yourself in yoga. Then taking that learning out of the blissful weekends and integrating it into your daily life, that’s where the challenge is! Little by little I am learning to integrate meditation, yoga and awareness into my life, as well as working on spreading calm, love and kindness to the people around me.
Are there any common misconceptions about taking Yoga Teacher Training?
A lot of students, particularly those like me that started doing yoga for exercise, think that yoga teacher training mainly involves the physical body. The beauty of teacher training and of yoga itself is that there is so much more to it than the physical. Teacher training delves into the 2,500 year history of yoga, the philosophy of yoga, how to become a more balanced person and teacher, and more. On the other hand, students that come to yoga having realized the spiritual benefits may be surprised at how much “nerdy alignment” and anatomy is involved in teacher training.
Do you have a plan for when you graduate?
At the moment I am keeping my heart and mind open for whatever comes next. Yoga is a journey that I am happy to finally be on, and one I see teaching me things I need to learn throughout my life. I would love to share yoga with those who face economic barriers, as well those who may need yoga to heal deeper wounds and trauma.
Originally posted by the Vancouver School of Yoga.