On the Path to a Yoga Fountain of Youth

By Matt Montross

Have you ever noticed that yoga teachers don’t age? All joking aside, that was no small part of the reason I decided to do a Yoga Teacher Training. A few years ago I realized I needed something to untie the knots that the rest of life had built up with tension from work stress, a sedentary job, sports injuries, and the general culture of striving and achieving that I come from. This training was an opportunity to really go deep with the experience and try to take my health and mindfulness to a new level.

Of course taking on a 200 hour time commitment is never truly easy, but living less than a mile away from the studio it was never going to be easier. And while there are a plethora of yoga studios in and around Portland I just clicked with the staff at Sellwood Yoga and really felt comfortable there. Bill and Savonn do a lot to create an intentional feel at the studio, and while I’d toyed with the idea of doing the training previously I never seriously entertained it until I saw the sign for their teacher training in Spring of 2023.

What’s the training like? Well your mat is always by the door because you spend a lot of time at the studio. And there’s a lot of time in stretch pants (what are men’s yoga pants anyway? I’ll dig into that at another time), but those are the small shifts in what has been a tremendously positive experience.

It’s been challenging to work 40+ hours a week with a good but ultimately taxing job and then add this time commitment on top of it, but the coursework is engaging and the in person discussions make the time go by pretty quickly.

At the start there is a lot of learning about the history, philosophy, and anatomy that weave together into the background knowledge necessary to understand where yoga came from, and where it’s going. The engaging but intense course content gave way to more and more practicing to where we are now taking class mates’ classes several times a week, all the while creating some truly rich friendships and connections within the cohort.

I didn’t intend to teach yoga, I just figured I would improve my own health and have something to help me get through the winter, but now that I’m in the swing of the program I am definitely excited to lead classes and share some of the knowledge I’ve gained over the last few months. Many other students report similar sentiment.

Probably the best thing I can say about the program is that the classes taught by my fellow students are an exceptional blend of sound fundamentals, good pacing, unique sequencing, and each person’s individual personality. We’re all nervously but eagerly supporting each other as we take off the metaphorical training wheels and put ourselves at the front of the class to teach to the public later this month.

Details for those classes are now on the schedule for February and March, and we hope to see you on the mat.