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My Beloved New Yoga graduates

Anyone interested in seeing my teachers in action will enjoy the slideshow I posted today on youtube of this weekend’s graduating class. It’s a brief way to glimpse the faces and personalities, as well as a general idea  of the intimate  journey into yoga I share with others……  These are the kinds of people who fill my world now…. My work is filled with introspective questions, smiles, laughter, tears (tears of recovery, just to be perfectly clear) and so much more.
My summer course featured a yoga therapy session with a 20 hour chair yoga certification. In order to fit this in, I could not give them an outdoor retreat day, but I figured summer is so hot they might be happy to forego a day in nature. Still I missed the bonding experience of breaking bread and doing a practice outdoors.  Spring 2012        Fall 2011


My spring training did include a day outdoors doing yoga, journaling and canoing as well as my now famous buddha trail in the woods. I’ll share that RYT video too just to show how different each yoga training experience is. Ah heck, as long as I’m at it, I’ll post the previous (first) course too. That is the one where I trained David along with 18 others. That session, the entire process of yoga training was new for everyone – including me. I learned a great deal, and my program has evolved since. Every course gets more organized, defined and I get stronger as a trainer and have so much more to offer. So check out the slideshows and then, I’ll talk about my summer…


Last but not least, as long as you are enjoying videos, you have to check out my aerial yoga slideshow. This reveals that quirky, fun side of yoga that has served to put my school on the map. It has been so fun diving into a new adventure, and aerial yoga broke the mold for me.
Love it.

O.K. Now for the official blog post of rambling thought.

I just finished teaching a yoga immersion course at the same time I taught regular summer dance and yoga classes, ending with a two week daily dance intensive – all which means I worked 7 weeks without a day off. You can throw into the mix a weekend chair yoga training course and an aerial yoga training course for teachers too.That kind of schedule would be grueling by most people’s standards, and yet, it wasn’t as physically taxing as I expected. I truly love what I do- there is a crazy wonderful balance about teaching dance with all it’s passion and aggressive power and teaching yoga with its calm, reflective focus.

They say dance is external movement  while yoga is internal movement. I see the two as the yin and yang of movement and my relationship with both at this stage of life somehow blends to give me balance. Mostly I love that I can  draw from my past, my present and my dreams for the future to help a diverse range of students learn about themselves, their bodies, art and the art of living. I now work with young people as well as mature people and both spectrums offer a different kind of life insight and energy. Perhaps I just come to the table with deeper appreciation for my work having left it for awhile, or perhaps the fact that I am no longer influenced by others who felt less sincerely connected to the process of giving through art (for them, art was more about what it gave to them personally rather than a way to give to others) has provided me with permission to celebrate what I love and not appologise for my wanting to dive in and devote energy, resources, and time to this karma process.

Anyway, I will miss he wonderful 16 people I had the intimate and intense experience of yoga training with. They were a diverse, funny, insightful group. Sisters in heart, one and all.

My yoga training course is far more comprehensive than what I was exposed to in my own yoga teacher training.  My teachers were wonderful and the school authentic,  so I am in no way implying they didn’t do a great job, but the program didn’t cover many things I feel necessary to prepare teachers for a career in the field. I sure had to fill gaps left and right to do the job correctly. So now, my students learn all the basics of posture focus and anatomy (a far more comprehensive anatomy section than what I received) as well as in-depth study of the yoga sutras and chakras as defined by yoga alliance. But I also give them level one Reiki training, as well as certification in aerial yoga. Then, because I think it is so important for yoga teachers to understand the wide berth of yoga and the systems of training that are popular so they can work with a diverse population of students and know the differences in style, attitude and form, I introduce them to the theory and practice of yin yoga, kundlini, hot/power yoga, ashtanga, Iyengar & restorative, and I throw in fun stuff like partner yoga. I teach them journaling and meditation too. I stuff so much into the training that every moment is filled with productive work. They have to come in for three extra hours during the week to practice if they want down time to review.   My 200 hour course actually takes 230 hours. The students end by teaching a class on their own to the public. My trainees graduate with full understanding of  the broad scope of yoga, and they have a wealth of information at their disposal to draw upon. I encourage them to not regurgitate the information and try to be a mini-me, but to find their unique voice as teachers. Mostly, by exploring all yoga, we find the core principals that are in all styles, and that boils down to what I call “big yoga” or the yoga that goes beyond the mat. It’s the life principals that make yoga more than a physical practice, and learning how to teach big yoga in just a one hour mat class is the challange I put to my yoga teachers.  

Life seems to show more promise and adventure every month now, and my work is a huge part of why I get up, eager to face the day each and every day.
I’m lucky.

And wait till I tell you what I’m up to next at my business – hot stuff……. but that must wait for another post. 


About Ginny East Shaddock

Ginny is the owner of Heartwood Yoga Institute. She is an ERYT-500 Yoga teacher, C-IAYT Yoga therapist, RCYT & Ayurveda Counselor who loves nature, gardening, and creative arts. She has an MFA in creative writing from Lesley University, and a BA in Business Administration from Eckerd College. She teaches writing and is the creator of the memoir writing program, "Yoga on the Page" combining the teaching of yoga to writing personal stories with integrity, intention, and heart.

7 responses »

  1. David Shaddock

    I love the message, even if it kills me to not edit your work (big grin). But there’s an error I can’t pass up: the link to the newest video is rather than what you listed–you put the link to the Spring group twice…


  2. Proving once again that you are necessary… I fixed it.


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