Today’s blog post is part of a Tuesday series. “The 200 Hour Teacher Training Experience” showcases the experiences of our most recent graduates from the Spring 2013 200 hour teacher training program.

I hadn’t planned on taking the Om On 200 hour training. It wasn’t something that was well thought out or tirelessly pondered over. Seeing as how I’m already certified and have a few years of teaching under my belt, it wasn’t even necessary for my career. My friends asked me why I’d do such a thing?

The answer was short and simple: it just feels like the right time and the right place. There were, as there always are, gaps in my yoga knowledge. I was initially certified six years ago, and began to teach immediately. During my very first class as an instructor, I had one student with a tailbone injury and one with a knee replacement. I had no idea how to guide these injured students into poses, and no back-up plan for the carefully constructed sequence that I had, naively, created the night before. I think I told the students, “it’s kind of a yoga nidra class tonight. Everybody good?”

Everyone loves savasana, but I couldn’t make a career out of dodging injuries. So I studied hard; I read every book, went to every workshop, watched every tutorial on You Tube, asked a lot of questions of fellow instructors. All of this was extremely valuable, but it was taking classes, being the student again, that taught me the most.

Being a student in an Om On class is like taking a never-ending TT. The instructors, all of them, are focused, skilled, and deeply passionate. They not only taught me poses I’d never seen before, but encouraged me to try them—to be unabashedly playful. I fell often, embarrassed myself more times than I can count, but still felt absolutely at comfortable in that studio. I felt anything, even self-acceptance, was a possibility within that space.

There’s a lot to be said about going to far-flung locations and studying with the stars of the yoga world. During the five months of the Om On TT, I wondered why I hadn’t chosen Costa Rica or India. Instead of spending a freezing cold winter in Richmond, I could have been doing my practice oceanside next to Shiva Rea, or beating drums under a beautiful California sun with Ana Forrest.

In essence, though, part of yoga is finding the right teachers. The ones who understand you, who fully recognize your gifts and demand that you use them. Who coax you out of your shyness and fear, and offer you a playground for your intellect and heart. You may find them in Costa Rica or India. I was lucky enough to find them within walking distance.

So it was a very simple decision to make. I was, quite happily, home.

-Sara Lovelace, RYT 200


Sara Lovelace is a yogini, writer, filmmaker, and fearless fool. She received her MFA in Writing from The School of The Art Institute of Chicago, and her certification(s) at Satchidananda Ashram and Om On Yoga. You can read more of Sara’s incredible insights at Elephant Journal.