My Yoga Teacher Journey

by guest blogger and soon to be yoga teacher Orla Thornton

Summer has well and truly begun. Which can only mean one thing for me.. my path to becoming a Yoga Teacher is almost here! Anyone who knows me can confirm that I have always had a deeply rooted grá for healthy living and exercise. Prepare to lose hours of your life if you bring me near a health food shop or any place wellness related! After completing my Physical Education degree in 2013 and working full time for a year, I felt the need to escape the real world and responsibilities and somewhat 'find myself'.....thus off I trotted to Australia. The logical solution of course. There, I had a wealth of amazing experiences, one of the most memorable being my discovery of all things Yoga.

Orla Thornton Yoga Journey 1

Beginning my practice and discovering my 8 limbs with Ashtanga Yoga, I soon moved to the east of the country where I discovered the Kundalini practice, beach yoga, chai lattes, crystals and wearing feathers in your hair. Most days I walked around in my bare feet, usually walking to the beach! Living the dream! Soon I noticed the necessity of Yoga to both maintain my physical and emotional wellbeing, as well as the social aspect of being in a room full of bodies taking time for themselves. I was inspired by the people I met and their life experiences. Some of these people played a major role in cultivating my love for yoga today. In a world that can be so rushed and intense, it is so important that we are kind to ourselves and dedicate time to looking after our health.

Before long it became clear to me that the warped concept of yoga being ‘stretching’ or ‘easy’ was absolutely untrue.. anyone who has held the half moon pose or high lunge for more than a minute might just agree with me there! Or maybe not... And there lies my unease that I still have a lot of growing to do in my own practice before I join the other trainees! It is so much more than simply a physical practice. Yoga is nourishment for the mind and the soul.

Orla Thornton Yoga Journey 2

As one can imagine, living in rural Kildare has afforded me many opportunities to be at one with nature and take timeout, go for a run along a lovely scenic route and watch the sun set. However maybe not so many to be immersed into the realm of Yoga Zen! On my return home, my practice became a little less frequent without a wealth of yogis, bare feet and the latest Lulu Lemon ‘active wear’ surrounding me and I found that as time went by and real life slowly took over, I felt something was missing. It was getting harder to touch my toes, feeling tranquil and serene was a less common occurrence and my mind was less than calm. Being far from many of the urban centres, I felt there was nowhere for me to go to get back into my practice. The rush and ultimate craziness of real life away from a beach and spending hours picking out my favourite essential oils was taking its toll.

Luckily for me, a close friend noticed my restlessness and recommended a local studio that had escaped my radar and vóila, my love with yoga and all things mindful had been reconnected! It didn’t take long for my nearest and dearest to notice that my energy was returning, I was more carefree and certainly more at peace with myself. I was hooked. I could touch my toes again. Hurrah! I was losing myself in deep relaxation in restorative classes almost to the point of having to be woken from my mat. Hurrah!

Soon afterwards, I began researching places in Ireland that did yoga teaching courses and I wondered if they could be even done in a place that was not located in rural India with ancient Yogi’s leading the practice. It was then that that I found The Art of Teaching Course. One thing led to another, I listened to my gut instinct and I attended a restorative class with Sibylle which left me so relaxed afterwards that I got lost on the way home - true story.

Sibylle and Naomi exuded passion and love for their practice and the supportive and uplifting atmosphere they provided at the information day made me realise immediately that this was the right choice! It really struck a chord with me when I read through the course outline and found that they wanted to help prospective teachers to teach yoga in a meaningful and relevant way, whilst also establishing your presence as a teacher and what you stand for. Naomi is also a qualified Physical Education teacher which made me feel a little more at ease that I could transfer my current knowledge of teaching to the Yoga Realm.

It may sound a little silly, but yoga and exercise really has changed my life. I have had numerous illnesses, injuries and times where I just haven't been motivated, but having yoga always grounds me and reminds me that I only have one life so I need to take the chance and go for what I love.... So here it goes! Keep your legs crossed for me.

Slán :) 

About the Author

Orla has signed up to  The Art of Teaching 200hr Yoga Teacher Training this August with Sibylle & Naomi in Yoga Dublin, Dundrum. 

We look forward to welcoming Orla and the other trainees and being a part of their Yoga journey!

Instagram: @orlathorners


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