Alicia Poldino – Utah, USA
It is exciting and such an honor to be the first Anusara teacher to move through the process from Elements to Inspired to Certified! I was not aware I was the first person to complete this process until Cara Zaruba Butler, Director of Professional Development, and Ory Brown, Licensing Specialist, told me. That created an additional component of celebration to my Certification.
I had a lukewarm relationship with yoga for more than a decade before I took my first Anusara class. That first Anusara class changed my whole world. I fell in love and enrolled in a 200-Hour Teacher Training with Tiffany Wood. I knew I wanted to work with the prenatal/ postnatal population and wanted the strongest foundation possible. Tiff’s training lit a fire in me, and I completed an 85-hour prenatal training immediately afterward. I started teaching yoga and never looked back.
I did not intend to pursue Anusara Certification when I started this journey. That first step to my Elements license was a great opportunity for feedback and individual coaching from a master teacher as I was starting out as a new instructor. The Elements process was very accessible and seemed like a natural “next step.” That is where my effort stopped for a while. I was just doing my thing and continuing my studies over the course of the next 5 years. I attended workshops, lectures and trainings to improve my skills and knowledge. The teacher is always the student.
Tiff was always gently nudging me along the path to Certified. Her support and guidance over the years helped me realize that I was already preparing for the Certification process. At one point, she encouraged me to create a list of all of the trainings, workshops, and teaching hours I had completed “just to see” how much I had already done. It turned out to be a lot! I decided to jump in and complete the Inspired licensing process. After having a few years of teaching under my belt, this was a powerful experience. I had become a little too comfortable (read: in a rut) with my teaching style. Going through the Inspired process woke me up and called me to step up my game. It was at this point that I saw it was possible to achieve Certified status. Over the next 2 years I completed the rest of the training hours, reading requirements, and mentorship for Certification.
The Certification process was certainly challenging. I own a studio, teach full-time and have two young children. Finding the time (and money) to complete the trainings and workshops was challenging. Luckily, I am a nerd for learning, and we have a great Anusara community here in Utah so the opportunities were abundant.
My favorite part of the process was the written exam. I was thrilled to see how much knowledge I had gathered over the years! Also, I was amazed at how much I did not know or had forgotten. I am pretty sure that was the hardest exam I have ever taken. Working with my assessor was also very challenging. At first, it was difficult to adjust my style and open up to another way of teaching, speaking, cuing etc. It ended up being one of the most impactful and important experiences in my teaching to-date. I am forever grateful to Jackie Prete for her insights, wisdom, humor, and gentle encouragement while I went through all of the emotions and struggles of the assessment process. I came away with a greater appreciation for how skilled I am as a teacher and how learning and growing never end. We keep refining, getting better, bringing in more experience and more wisdom. There is no end-point on this journey. The teacher is always the student.
Through this adventure, I fell in love with Anusara all over again. With that, I fell in love with myself all over again. The effort called me to step into a deeper awareness and reveal another layer of Chit-Ananda: so much joy in remembering me and celebrating my
connection to something much bigger. It is an honor to be a part of this beautiful community, and I look forward to the years ahead with the Anusara kula. Namaste!
Certified Anusara Yoga Teacher, Japan
The Certification process for me was a welcomed opportunity to devote the necessary time to re-learn and reaffirm the high level qualities of the Anusara method. I chose to not renew my Inspired license after 2012 and had been completely absent from the Anusara kula. During the past six years, I
intensively studied other various yoga methods, meditation, and university
psychology curriculum for a national certification.
Although my yoga instruction method is Anusara-based, Certification was furthest from my mind until an unexpected inquiry from Masumi Yoshida (Inspired instructor in Osaka) to return to help grow the kula. Previously, I had immersed myself in Anusara for eight years with the goal of Certification but had
come to terms with departing and moving forward without Anusara. I am grateful for Masumi’s energy and love for Anusara that moved me and opened a new path in my yoga journey.
I enjoyed the Certification process because it was an opportunity to thoroughly study Anusara again with a fresh perspective like a new student. The review of the texts and my old notes dating back from 2004 (over 100 notebooks from workshops, retreats, immersions and teacher trainings) brought back countless instances of “Wow!! Yes!! This is a wonderful methodology!!” Many concepts in my notebooks that I did not understand years ago have become clear with new meaning and appreciation. The process was a time of self-discovery, spiritual growth, and a newfound appreciation for Anusara. The nine-day written test requirement was a special challenge especially to me as non-English speaker. It turns out that even with the language difficulty, I did not require the full 9 days to complete the written test. Enjoy this defined nine-day intensive period with Anusara!! This nine-day period of re-indoctrination was a great foundation to prepare for my assessment class. I highly recommend this sequence!
As the only and newly-Certified Anusara instructor in Japan, I feel a deep responsibility and obligation to share Anusara with the Japanese yoga community. I am honored to have been able to experience the Certification process and wish to shed light to this path with my fellow Anusara instructors.