200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training Program – Full Testimonials

HELD
Natalie, 2017 Graduate

What did you love about the program?

Oh my gosh, so much! The community, first and foremost. It really was a place where we all grew and grew close through our time together. Each instructor brought something different, different teaching styles and expertise. I also loved how available Savonn was and how invested she was in us. I wasn’t from the area and didn’t belong to the studio, but she and Sellwood yoga made me feel welcome.

What was the one thing that you resonated with in the curriculum?

I really loved the breathwork and pranayama. I continue to use this all the time. I loved that Mindfulness and Meditation was woven into it as an amazing offering in addition to our training. Sellwood Yoga’s 200 hour teacher training takes a holistic approach to yoga and doesn’t just teach you how to teach. I feel like it helped me harness who I am as an instructor.

What would you like to share with prospective students?

Don’t waste a moment doubting yourself; you are in good hands. Take advantage of their level of experience, and ask for what is in your heart and what you need on and off the mat.

LOVE
Nicci, 2016 Graduate

What led you to explore teacher training?

There were so many factors that led me to teacher training, and in a nutshell, I can honestly say that yoga saved my life. At one of the lowest points in my life, I chose to take a yoga class, and that led me on such a journey of self-healing and growth in ways I did not think possible. Through this journey, a community was formed with people who inspired me and held space for my journey. There is a saying, “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.” That saying could not be more fitting to how I felt when I decided to enroll.

What did you love about the program?

There was so much excitement. We had such an amazing group of folks. The curriculum was very educational. I loved the philosophy portion of it. I loved the anatomy instruction. I loved being part of all the classes the students were teaching. I felt so alive and part of something so fun. There wasn’t a thing I disliked. I think, most of all, I loved the challenge. I stepped outside of myself, and it felt so good.

What would you like to share with prospective students?

This will be one of the best decisions of your life. Don’t hesitate. Only good things come from this. If you do commit, keep an open mind, and let all the possibilities in. Take the extra classes, and sign up for the workshops. Take yourself out of your comfort zone. If you are only in it for fitness, throw that to the side. It will strengthen your mind more than your body. Trust in your teachers, and ask questions. Talk during the discussions. Everyone grows by sharing and listening.

GRATIFYING
Armand, 2020 Graduate

What led you to explore taking teacher training?

I decided to enroll in Sellwood Yoga’s teacher training program to expand my own understanding and appreciation for yoga. I saw it as a unique opportunity to dive deeper in my own practice, to challenge myself in new ways. I never anticipated teaching in the future. After teaching for the first few times, however, I found that I equally loved sharing yoga with others.

What did you love about the program?

Despite my familiarity with the studio’s instructors and community, I loved the casual, welcoming, and non-judgmental approach to teaching and working together. Each student had a different level of curiosity and interest, and it felt like everyone had the space and freedom to ask those odd or simple questions that may be initially seen as irrelevant or less sophisticated, at least to a newer student. Similarly, given the class size, we got to know each other really well, and as the months went by, it felt like a small family gathering every weekend. I leaned on others as I was doubting myself in my ability to teach, or as I felt confused about my own practice and other things going on in my life.

What was it like teaching that first community class within the program?

Despite the natural nerves, honestly, it was easy, comforting, and a very, very joyful experience. It was rewarding to teach a class of my fellow classmates, family, studio members, and others in my own style and with my own sequences. It felt like I was expressing my love for this practice by sharing it with others, and I was equally appreciative for others who wanted to join and participate in that moment. It was absolutely a rewarding, memorable experience that I will never forget and still feels like a major point in my own yoga and life journey. Definitely just as important—and memorable—as the actual information we were there to take in.

ACCESSIBLE
Ashley, 2015 Graduate

What led you to explore teacher training?

Yoga teacher training was a dream after practicing yoga for many years in my early 20s and 30s. Not necessarily as a means to teach yoga, but as a way to deepen my practice and spend some real time studying the lineage around a “hobby” I had grown so fond of.

What did you love about the program?

The people, hands down. Savonn and Bill are such steady teachers, and they create an accessible, fun, encouraging space for people to show up as they are—no expectations or limitations. I appreciated the 360-degree learning opportunities presented to us that went beyond just deepening the physical practice of yoga (shapes and moves). They gave us solid tools that we could use on our journey with yoga beyond our teacher training, including sessions on the “business of yoga,” philosophy of yoga, anatomy, mindfulness, prenatal yoga, etc.

What did you learn about yourself by taking Sellwood Yoga’s teacher training?

I can do hard things! Also, pursuing advanced education is always a good thing, no matter the subject matter. Yoga has been around for thousands of years, and my experience with it was (and still is, comparatively) very limited. I was grateful for the opportunity to dive in deeper and gain a better understanding and appreciation for the history of this wonderful practice that I love so much.

NOURISHING
India, 2018 Graduate

What led you to explore taking teacher training?

I wanted to deepen my personal practice. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to teach, but I knew I wanted to learn more. I loved my community at Sellwood Yoga, and my positive experience there encouraged me to dive deeper. I don’t think I would have sought out teacher training at another studio.

What did you love about the program?

I loved learning more about the science of what I had experienced firsthand in my personal practice, and I loved my cohort. We formed our own little community. Later, when I was considering teaching, I loved being able to personalize my classes based on my own informed opinions I made during the instruction. Plus, I just got to do a ton of yoga, and that was amazing!

What was the one thing that you resonated with in the curriculum?

I loved learning more about restorative practices and how to create a comfortable, safe space for people to relax. Sellwood Yoga has always modeled the most thoughtful techniques and practices.

EMPOWERING
Pam, 2016 Graduate

What led you to explore taking teacher training?

I’d been practicing yoga for most of my adult life, and when I learned that Sellwood Yoga was offering a teacher training course, I was excited at the opportunity to explore yoga more in-depth. I initially had no plans to teach.

What did you love about the program?

I loved being part of a supportive learning community of teachers and students. Savonn and Bill were endlessly encouraging and always ready to answer questions.

What did you learn about yourself by taking Sellwood Yoga’s teacher training?

I learned that it is never too late to be a student. It was a great reminder that stepping beyond one’s comfort zone is invigorating and empowering. And I found myself with a new career!

AUTHENTIC
Heather, 2016 Graduate

What did you love about the program?

There was a lot of room to get what you needed out of it and make it your own. There was also time and space to explore all the aspects of yoga, from common yet elusive alignment in certain asanas to anatomy to philosophy.

Tell us about your yoga teacher training community—your fellow students.

All were ready to learn, all shy about it, all willing to be vulnerable and courageous. Lots of backgrounds. I really enjoyed the group.

What would you like to share with prospective students?

Go for it—it is so enriching in your life and in your practice. And it is YOURS with which to do what you want. If you try teaching, great! But even if you don’t or have no intention to teach, you’ll learn so much from amazing teachers whose agenda is only to give you an experience to learn as your authentic self, not “make” you into something you are not.

COMMUNITY
Katie, 2020 Graduate

There are many 200 hour yoga teacher training programs. Why did you select Sellwood Yoga? What did you love about the program?

I selected Sellwood Yoga simply because this is the studio I’d fallen in love with and been attending since 2014. There are so many special things about Sellwood Yoga, and I have found such a vibrant, joy-filled, diverse sense of community here. I knew I wanted to be mentored as a teacher by the same teachers who instilled such joy, intention, acceptance, and humor in their classes. I could not have been happier with the experience I had at Sellwood Yoga. The sense of community, the diverse ages and interests of the group, the personalized mentorship and relationships we built with the instructors, the practice teaching modules—everything was fantastic.

Tell us about your yoga teacher training community—your fellow students.

My fellow students were a wonderful, up-building, supportive, and fun group to be with, and one thing I loved most was that we were such a diverse group. In age, we probably ranged from early 20s through mid-60s. We had different careers, were in different stages of life, and had different aspirations as far as teaching, and we had varying reasons behind what had led us to yoga teacher training. I was able to learn so much from my classmates, and it was incredible going through this transformative process with them. I loved seeing everyone’s unique personality and giftedness come through in the classes they taught.

What are you doing today as a result of your yoga teacher training?

Today, I have my dream job teaching yoga and mindfulness within the Health and PE department at St. Mary’s Academy, a private all-girls school in downtown Portland. It’s an immense privilege to teach students for a full semester. We dive into all sorts of yoga history and philosophy and learn breathwork, mindfulness, and movement practices. The end of the semester culminates in the students creating their own short yoga class, and it’s incredible to see how empowered they feel, and how they continue to incorporate mindfulness and yoga practices in their lives.

ENRICHING
Rebecca, 2020 Graduate

Did you have any fear and apprehension about or barriers to taking that first step?

All of them! All the fears and all the “am I nuts to be here?” questions and so many apprehensions. I felt too old! (I was almost 59 when yoga teacher training started.) I felt nervous, but they were the “first day of school” excited nerves, not the “I shouldn’t be here” regretful nerves.

Tell us about your yoga teacher training community—your fellow students.

I made some deep, deep connections. I see some fellow students regularly: some in person, some via random text messages or social media posts, others in a class at the studio or in advanced training together. There is great familiarity and joy when we see each other and share milestones of babies and marriages and life accomplishments, as well as support when we face challenges. Our graduation was in February 2020, and a month later, we went into lockdown. Most of us lost the chance to launch our teaching in person, but we wanted the community and connection more than ever. I don’t remember how or who started it, but we started teaching just for each other on Zoom twice a week. We used a Google spreadsheet for anyone who wanted to sign up to teach a class, taking turns and then providing feedback. I guess you could say we kept yoga teacher training going without our instructors or the rest of the Sellwood Yoga community. We kept up with our Zoom classes for about six months. That experience solidified our relationships and really sealed in what we had spent four and a half months learning. AND it launched my Zoom teaching career.

What are you doing today as a result of your yoga teacher training?

Unbelievably, I’m running my own yoga teaching business. I have a website, teach private sessions in student’s homes, teach at Sellwood Yoga every week, lead workshops at Sellwood Yoga, and teach Chair Yoga on Zoom and in person at senior residence homes and community centers. My focus on Chair Yoga, Accessible Yoga, and Yoga for Healthy Aging classes would not have happened without the support and encouragement of the yoga teacher training instructors and my mentors. Whether they know it or not, they all helped me find this path.

EXPANSIVE
Kari, 2018 Graduate

There are many 200 hour yoga teacher training programs. Why did you select Sellwood Yoga?

The community, hands down, is what led me to select Sellwood Yoga. Very supportive. Very real. At the time, I was only going to Savonn and Bill’s classes. I liked their approach to teaching. Not dogmatic. No militant asana alignment. It was explorative instruction to fit your unique body. Everybody could be themselves in the practice. That said a lot to me, as I had practiced at other studios where the instruction was not skilled enough to individualize to the students in the class at that moment—where it was more about the teacher’s yoga abilities vs. where the student was at that time in their practice.

What was it like teaching that first community class within the program?

I was certain I was going to mess up, make mistakes. One of the students who signed up to take the community class said to me right before I started, “When you feel like you are going to freak out, look at me in the back, and you will see a big smile on my face encouraging you.” That just shows how supportive the Sellwood Yoga community is—they come to your first community class to support you! The first five to ten minutes, my heart was pounding. But then, I got into a groove and taught! And I made a mistake! And we all laughed about it. I have been teaching since graduation, and to this day, I still make mistakes when I teach. It is part of being human. But it felt so great to finally do this. I was hooked. I wanted to teach.

What would you like to share with prospective students?

You can do hard things. When you are terrified, Sellwood Yoga will hold your hand the entire way and work with you individually to help you find your authentic voice as a teacher. If you don’t teach, that is okay, too.

JOY
Sally, 2019 Graduate

What led you to explore taking yoga teacher training?

I’d been practicing yoga for nearly 20 years at that point and really connected with the movement and philosophy, so I wanted to learn more. I also wanted to explore if teaching could be a potential encore career for me as I get closer to the age where I’d want to step back from my current day job.

What was it like teaching that first community class within the program?

We took baby steps within our yoga teacher training classes by teaching to classmates before we did the community classes, and that really helped. My first attempts teaching to classmates were hilarious because I literally wrote everything down, then tried to crib from my notes while moving through the poses. Let’s just say I got better because the feedback we received from the instructors was effective and delivered with compassion and understanding. So when I taught my first community class, I was nervous but also felt well-prepared and excited.

What did you learn about yourself by taking Sellwood Yoga’s teacher training?

I learned that I can create a space that is welcoming, authentic, fun, respects the diversity/needs of students, and honors the practice of yoga. And importantly, that I don’t need to be the “best” yogi in the room to pull it off.

Looking to embark on a transformative experience?

Our next 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training Program will take place from October 2023 to March 2024. Click the button below to learn more about the program, curriculum, and faculty.