There's an elephant in the yoga room - and it's not Ganesha.
It's a subtle elephant. In fact, I discovered it by accident while conducting a survey of yogis across the county for a blog piece on the topic of yoga teacher training.
Who knew - if the Urban Dictionary published an entry for the term yoga teacher training - what would necessarily ensue, ad infinitum?
- That thing I'd do if I had the time off and/or money and/or someone to watch my kids.
- That thing I started but didn't finish - and now I'd have to start all over.
- That thing I did, but the training wasn't certified so it's hard to get teaching gigs.
- That thing I did, but now I can only teach at the school I trained with.
- That thing I will do as soon as I decide which studio training feels right.
- That thing they do here, then we get new teachers and never know if it's going to be a good class.
One phrase. Multiple interpretations. The single unifying element, at least the one you can count on here in SD, is that regardless of style or studio, this yoga community is dedicated to raising the vibration of collective consciousness.
That essentially makes us the perfect spark to ignite a revolution in yoga teaching, and the reason that Evolation is on its way to SD. The idea is a collaboration - a global collective of teachers and studios uniting to design and offer teacher trainings that are accessible and tailored to each student's goals and to each studio's mission.
"The point is that everyone who comes out of this will be more qualified on many different levels to teach or train or open a studio, and to do it in a way that is more accessible and more sustainable," said Evolation co-founder Mark Drost.
Drost recently shared with Discover SD the impetus behind choosing SD as a pivotal landing field and launch pad for this internationally evolving movement.
"The idea was not specifically to start a whole new training company, but to support people who wanted to complete certification or go deeper while bringing together studios and students across many traditions. The San Diego yoga community is fertile ground. You already have a synergy of learning from each other's strengths. We realized that we could provide a bridge, and in doing so let SD lead by example the powerful growth of a collective."
With a network crossing five continents, Evolation offers multiple styles and formats. Whether hot yoga, flow, 250-hour, or 500-hour, each curriculum provides a comprehensive study in history, philosophy meditation, breathing, posture, and teaching designed for students to deepen their practice.
For students or yoga teachers out there trying to complete or extend their certification, Evolation's network offers both an extended - immersion - option, or a modular option allowing you to complete separate modules at different times and places. And accessible and inclusive also mean options for child care, work trade and internships. Check out the details at evolationyoga.com.
Sounds a lot like the SD yoga scene? Exactly.
According to the Evolation team, they're here to nurture a seed already planted in the SD yoga community - a living lineage of strength through unity.
"What we're doing in San Diego is a 300-hour concurrently with a 500-hour training because it's ridiculous for all the 200-hour certified teachers to have to start from scratch and pay for 500 hours," Drost said. "Beginning students who choose the 300-hour can easily complete 500 later through Evolation, or even from a local studio, since many in SD already offer the 200-hour trainings."
Now the only elephant left in the yoga room is Ganesha - destroyer of obstacles and lord of new beginnings.
"What we teach isn't confined to a style so the training is a creative collaboration including synergy and children's yoga," Drost said. "We invite local studio owners to participate not just by including their students, but by teaching, or having their teachers participate and gain hours as teachers or students or as host studios. As we teach and learn from each other we build a sustainable, ever-evolving community of yogis."
Anna Mueco has been a student of hatha and kriya yoga since 2003. Mueco became a yoga instructor in 2006 and currently teaches in Pacific Beach. Send your thoughts about the yoga world to her at anna@HyperNinjaYoga.com