The Yogi Next to You

This week, we’re please to bring you another special Teacher Training edition of The Yogi Next to You.  You may have seen these ladies around the studio, or met them here or here. Today we’re asking them a few questions about how they got from being a yogi to being a yogi who wants to teach.


Why did you decided to do teacher training?

The Yogi Next to You - Lauren Lesser

Lauren Lesser

Lauren Lesser: After 10 years of practicing yoga (the past two primarily at Mala), I found my curiosity growing around the “magic” of yoga. Why did it make me feel so great? What was going on in my body? I wanted to learn more about anatomy and how it relates to specific poses. I wanted to understand more about the therapeutic benefits. And I wanted to challenge myself to try something completely new and see where it took me.

Blakeney Schick: Both of my parents are retired teachers and I’ve never thought of myself as a teacher per se before this spring and summer. But I knew that if I was ever going to develop that capacity, it should be teaching something that I really love. It was also time to take my practice to a new level.

What’s the biggest surprise in stepping into your teaching seat at the front of the room? 

LL: The multi-tasking that teaching requires! Who knew a yoga teacher must not only teach a class, simultaneously have an eye on every student, assist poses, count breaths, and watch the clock all at the same time!

The Yogi Next to You - Blakeney Schick

Blakeney Schick

BS: The surprises don’t stop. Something you thought you knew disappears the second you try to call on it — like an instruction to move into Half Moon (Ardha Chandrasana) — but then an hour later something else you didn’t even realize you had squirreled away in your brain somewhere suddenly comes out of your mouth. I think I’ve surprised myself more over the last four months than I’ve surprised anyone else.

One nugget for yogis who are interested in teacher training?

LL: You will learn A LOT, not only about asana, anatomy, philosophy and teaching, but about yourself – how you learn, what you can bring to the teacher’s seat, and what interests you that might never have thought about before.

BS: Talk to the teacher trainees if you see them in class. We’re a talkative bunch, so ask us questions! Also, read this because there is so much truth in it. And whatever else you do, keep getting on your yoga mat.

Mid-training session pick up: Nectar or Starbucks? 

LL: Nectar for a mid-training smoothie!

BS: Nectar, although I’m more of a seltzer from the deli kind of person. What can I say? I like bubbles.

We’re thrilled to bring you the stories of Mala yogis in their own words.  Maybe you know them, maybe you’ve never seen them before, maybe they look familiar, maybe you once knew their name, but forgot.  Whatever the case may be, here is the chance to learn a little more about the person practicing on the mat next to you.  Click here to read about other yogis.


About The Mala Yoga Blog

We are a Brooklyn-based studio that focuses on alignment, balance and community. Have a read, try one of our Practice Podcasts, or come in and say "hi" in person!
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