My yoga journey didn’t start out as ‘yoga’ in the beginning.
It began in 2007, when a friend got me into training for half marathons. One day, I had finished my run and was doing some light stretching when I happened across a television program showing a yoga practice and I thought I’d give it a try. The fluid vinyasa style of the practice had me immediately hooked. I recorded that show every day and made it my post-run stretching routine. As a runner, yoga provided techniques for efficient breathing, and my entire body just felt better.
I wanted more.
But at that time there weren’t a lot of studios offering yoga in my area, so I would drive three hours to a studio in Chicago just to take a live class.
Yoga made me feel so good that, eventually, I wanted to share the practice with others.
So, I got my first certification through Yoga Fit in 2008, and taught classes until 2011. And life threw me curve balls that just got in the way of my practice (maybe you can relate?).
In 2013, I found my way back to yoga when I connected with R.R. Shakti. With renewed inspiration, I began the 200-hour teaching training with the Institute for Inner Power Yoga® (previously Yoga World Reach Seva School.) I graduated with my certification in 2014 and began teaching at a local gym, moving on to teach at Bike and Soul in downtown Angola, where I continue to lead classes as a Certified Inner Power Yoga® teacher today!
In the time span from 2014 to present, I have taken several certification programs at various studios. I am grateful to these programs for having honed my teaching skills and deepened my understanding of Ayurveda, chakras, Restorative Yoga, art of assists, and more. I feel confident, honored, and excited to share all that I have learned as a senior instructor for our upcoming 200-hour Inner Power Yoga® Education programs.
Inner Power Yoga® Education was my first in depth training in yoga culture. After taking other education programs, I have always gone back to my IPY notes and materials. This training differs from other programs in the way the material is presented, and the authentic method in which it is taught. This training inspired me to get into my body, to the places I don’t want to see, teaches me to honor all facets of my being and know that this is my power.
Since starting my yoga journey, I have noticed my perspective has shifted. I find myself better able to communicate to others, I’m not so quick to judge or to be angry. I’ve found forgiveness for others, and myself. The friendships and connections I’ve made from yoga are amazing! I wouldn’t know some of my favorite people if not for this journey.
I absolutely love leading a class and showing my students how he/she can move their body into a place that feels good. I’m always learning, and my STFs teach me something about myself each day I’m in the studio.
My yoga practice is always evolving and changing. That is the best part about yoga – the journey it takes me on every day, every week. There is no other form of exercise that brings my entire being into balance. This concept is hard to explain. You have to experience it, on the mat, simply moving your body.
My sankalpa as a yoga teacher is simple: lead a class with intention from my own personal experience on the mat, allowing space for my STFs to feel, notice, and experience the practice.
I love how yoga can completely transform a person's perspective about themselves and their body in a loving, nourishing way.
In bringing the 200-hour Inner Power Yoga® Education Program to Angola, I am most committed to showing students how to teach a class that accommodates both beginners and advanced levels of practice. I focus on teaching proper alignment in each posture, sequencing classes with intention, and creating music playlists that compliment that intention.
I am on my own learning curve with the methodology and stories of yoga.
My goal for this year is to dive deeper into this aspect of the teacher training so that I can further enrich my classes with meaningful yoga stories.
EMPOWER YOUR BODY, FREE YOUR MIND, REWILD YOUR SOUL
The 200 hr. Inner Power Yoga® Training starts fresh this year at Tadasana Mountain Yoga in beautiful Nederland CO. led by Inner Power Yoga® senior teachers: Justine Sanchez and Diana Underhill.
The is a comprehensive course in authentic yoga culture, designed to deepen your personal practice, enrich your understanding of yoga history and philosophy, and prepare you as a dynamic and competent yoga teacher.
The training is divided into four 4-day intensives with thorough discussion and experiential learning of anatomy, sanskrit, sequencing, Ayurveda, mythology, and yoga theory. Creative projects combined with a deep immersion into yoga asana offer each participant an opportunity to come into deeper contact with his or her true self and learn tools of optimal self-care and well being. This training is designed for those that want to teach yoga, those that don't want to teach but are looking to expand their practice and those that are somewhere in between.
REALIZE, EXPERIENCE, AND CELEBRATE YOUR INNER POWER.
TEACHER FEATURE: Meet Justine
I am really excited to anticipate huge growth for our Inner Power Yoga® Education programs in the years ahead. Over the past decade, we have become committed to offering a program that expands beyond most 200 hour Yoga Teacher Trainings and our new 300 hour will take you even deeper! broader!...more empowered!
...but our curriculum is not for everyone.
Here are five real reasons why you would NOT want to choose Inner Power Yoga® for your training:
5. You are looking for a Guru.
At Inner Power Yoga®, we don’t claim to be gurus…or sages…or even healers. In fact, we strive to remind you that your greatest teacher is within YOU. We believe that you already know the deepest wisdom in your heart of hearts. That wisdom is what attracts you to yoga in the first place.
As STFs (students, teachers, and friends) for one another, we offer a mirror that reflects our true Self. You are invited to see your inner guru as it shines radiantly like a light in the darkness.
We are here to remind each other of our inner power and intrinsic goodness. We stand together to remember Love. There is no greater healer.
4. You want it fast and easy.
If you’re looking for a drive-through certification, Inner Power Yoga® is not for you. In fact, we consider ourselves to be “slow yoga” at its best. Yoga is a lifelong experience and our education programs foster a deep-seated relationship with the process and the source.
We consider four sources for learning:
Teachers: Our seasoned trainers have unique backgrounds and expertise. We all strive to give you every tool we have collected over decades of teaching. The curriculum is based on experienced asana, as well as comprehensive Yoga academics: history, philosophy, and theory.
Tribe: We keep our tribe intimate and riding the highest vibrations so that you are supported along your transformational journey.
Trial: You must take the practice hOMe—engage, explore, go deep—until it becomes tried and true for you…in your own unique and authentic expression. Remember, your greatest teacher is within YOU!
Time: Inner Power Yoga® invites you into a sustainable practice that will ebb and flow, expand and grow, in the dynamic play of personal development.
3. You are expecting a glamorous yoga rock-star lifestyle to follow your yoga teacher training.
We do not promise six-figures or an entourage. Instead, a living yoga practice will change your perspective and reveal the beauty and abundance that your real life holds right now…as it is. With an emphasis on a psycho-spiritual awakening, your education with Inner Power Yoga® invites you to higher, deeper, and wilder realizations of an authentically joy-filled life.
2. You just want to master your vrscikasana.
In our yoga education programs, we do spend a lot of time exploring yoga asana including anatomy, alignment, and spanda kriyas. ...because with educated practice, you can experience the most stable physical integration, so that you can enjoy the most gloriously open expression of your asana.
HOWEVER, if you are looking for a yoga teacher training that is all about physical fitness, you’re barking up the wrong vrksa.
Our education program is fortified by the seasoned expertise of all our yoga asana teachers as well as the my extensive education in Yoga, Mythology, and Psychology. I have lovingly curated content from my BA in Traditional Eastern Arts, my MA in Mythology and Psychology, and my recent PhD work in Yoga Tantra and Esoteric Alchemy to provide a program that takes you to new heights of exploration. Get to know your true Self on every level: body, mind, and spirit…so that you can be a living example of empowerment for others.
1. You don’t want your life to change.
The number one reason you would NOT want to take Inner Power Yoga® education courses is that you don’t want to change. Someone once told us not to use the word transformational in our marketing materials, because that is promising something that may not actually be realized. Here’s the thing: if you are approaching your yoga education with an open heart and mind—showing up 100% to the process—there is no way to avoid change.
Many people that go through our programs are there for personal enrichment. They are ready to take their practice to new heights…to take their understanding of the teachings of yoga to new depths, and to enjoy a wilder appreciation for the human experience.
So, you would definitely NOT want an Inner Power Yoga® education if you aren’t ready for exciting personal transformation.
But if you are ready to take your Yoga higher, deeper, farther, and wilder...Inner Power Yoga® is for you.
Hope to see you in the upcOMing year!
R.R. Shakti ♥
Written by Gretchen Fruchey,
Inner Power Yoga®
In my opinion, Baby Boomers are a seriously under-served population when it comes to yoga. Because I work predominantly with this population, I have heard over and over how challenging it is to find classes and studios that suit this group as they mature into their sixties and seventies. In my private yoga business and as a Director for Inner Power Yoga, it is a major priority to reach baby boomers and spread awareness of how essential yoga is for this generation, but also why that is beneficial for those generations beneath them. So here is a little shout out to my favorite group of clients and how and why I reach them!
First of all, let’s start with some respect! As baby-boomers age, we have a responsibility to reach the “young old” before they are sick. The large population of active seniors presents an incredible opportunity! They are the grandparents who want to vacation and play with their families, socialize with their peers, grow spiritually and intellectually. Constantly being told they need these elements to avoid alzheimer’s, cancer, heart disease, and depression, I believe they just need the tools. This generation is paving the way for what it means to work hard and play hard—they have seen more technological changes in their time than any generation will ever see again, and have stepped up. Facebook has more baby boomers now than any other generation currently using their platform!
This is a social, awake group of people who want to contribute and remain useful. Even after retirement, they are working in their communities and continuing education, taking every opportunity to remain vital and inspired. As well, they want to feel vibrantly ALIVE and accept their age with grace and pride. They are whom we need to embrace and energize because we desperately NEED this population. We need them to continue working if they can, to care for our children so that we can work! We need them to be healthy enough to teach and work with the truly old—those bound to wheelchairs and beds through age or disease. I have worked in so many nursing homes, and those who are 80 and older respectfully look to those in their 60’s for care and interaction. So let’s teach them! Let’s target classes and workshops and trainings specifically to this group! I can tell you from experience, my baby boomers are my most dedicated group of students. They love researching, improving, and practicing the homework I give them! They see the changes in their bodies and how they operate in the world and they want to tell all their friends! And oh how they teach me.
We know yoga is good for any ageing body: to digest stress, retain muscle strength and bone density, prevent rigidity, and support healthy organ systems. So, in addition to looking to yoga for the movement aspect to facilitate mobility, strength, and vitality, we at IPY also look to baby boomers to continue learning and set a supreme example of healthy, embodied ageing. We encourage our ageing students to join our education programs and trainings. Whether or not the goal is to be a teacher, our older students completely embrace and live the teachings. Because our style is very whole, all asana is about accessibility and benefit to all populations. We show modifications that are empowering, and enable those with more limited ranges of motion to still cultivate a strong practice. Everyone wants to feel strong in their body! To bend over and pick things up, rake the lawn, pick up grandkids, move furniture! Not all baby boomers want to go to a restorative class, many flow classes move too quickly and don’t offer props. This generation needs some support and tools, but they still want a challenging asana practice. They aren’t afraid to sweat or be sore—and they are wise in their ability to just push themselves far enough. It’s a beautiful thing! Because they are already compromising for their changing bodies in every way, they naturally embody a surrender toward balance and ease.
My baby boomer (and older) teachers are so inspiring and those younger, Gen X to Millennial all look up to them for their settled wisdom. But to those in this population who have never tried yoga, it can be intimidating and inaccessible. We need to reach out and tell them—COME TO YOGA!! Become teachers and teach your peers! I am here to say YOGA IS HERE FOR YOU, Baby Boomers! Imagine if all grandparents were teaching their kids and grandkids what we teach them in yoga: how to breathe and find peace and meet personal needs and stay kind; to love and respect their bodies, prevent injury and illness, to eat well, manage stress, cultivate joy and peace. That would be a wave of karmic contribution that would never end.
For over a decade, Inner Power Yoga® Education Programs have offered a comprehensive certification course for Yoga Teachers.
We have now customized an empowerment education program specifically for Yoga Scholars—those on a scholar path who have no plan to teach yoga asana or yoga teachers seeking a deeper approach to continued education.
Engage in a comprehensive yoga study that enriches your entire life—your practice, your relationships, and your life's purpose.
Courses range between 2 hours and 10 hours. They include: Sanskrit Studies, Tantra Psychology, Yoga Mythology, Storytelling, Psychology of the Chakras, Yoga History and Philosophy as approached through the Yoga Sutras, and the Bhagavad Gita, Meditation Immersion, Pranayama Immersion...and more!
Choose the yoga studies that are right for you, relevant for your life and practice in this very moment. (Continuing Education Credits are available.)
Written by Justine Sanchez,
Inner Power Yoga®
Inner Power Yoga® (IPY) offers both 200-hour and 500-hour education programs and yoga immersions. A foundational concept of IPY study is spanda.
Spanda is a branch of metaphysics, the science of eternal vibration.
Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, PhD writes about spanda in his book, The Power of Mantra and the Mystery of Initiation:
“To explain briefly, spanda holds that all creation evolves from the Word. The Word referred to is not speech uttered by a human voice or the audible sound produced when two objects strike each other, but anahata nada, the unstruck sound which vibrates eternally in the realm of pure consciousness. This unstruck sound, the Word that existed before the beginning of creation, is called akshara, shabda Brahman, vak, Shakti, or spanda.”
Author, meditator, and yogic astrologer, Linda Johnsen, M.S. fleshes out spanda further in her 1994 article from Yoga International Magazine, “From the Spanda Karika; Extreme Meditation:”
“Every time your mind turns from one subject to another, there’s a fraction of a second in which there’s no verbal content in your awareness. But it flashes by so fast you almost never notice it. The Spanda Karika says that if you could catch hold of this state of awareness, called spanda or thought free consciousness, you would see into the heart of reality.”
IPY takes spanda into practice by focusing on the way this creative vibration of universal energy manifests authentic movement in our bodies. Our breath inspires spanda, this stirring impulse of consciousness, to manifest. Spanda then moves prana through our bodies.
During the course of IPY study, each practitioner has the opportunity to feel spanda and how it works in their body. It becomes quite accessible to feel and understand via the Four Cores of Inner Power Yoga®.
Briefly, the Cardinal Movements of spanda can be realized at the Lunar or Pelvic Core. Here spanda, or vibrational energy, runs along the entire axial skeleton and the ‘root to rise’ principle applies. Spanda feels both stabilizing as well as liberating.
In the Solar Core we begin to experience the Circling Movement of spanda. There becomes a balance between effort and surrender as we feel the circle of energy move up the front and down the back. At the Vital Core spanda becomes spacious.
These Supporting Movements can be felt as expanding energy that moves along the axis of each arm and leg as well as integrating energy along the tissues of those infinite potential lines of our limbs. At the fourth core, or Palatal plane, we move once again to the Cardinal Movements of spanda. This time vibrational energy feels mostly liberating, i.e. "Free Your Spine." A good example of the liberating movement of spanda that begins at the Palatal plane is sirsasana, or head stand. Liberating spanda lengthens the spine up from the palate thru the pelvis and out the tips of the toes.
Spanda is both a beautiful, visual metaphor as well as an actual placement of your body into alignment. Sreedevi Bringi, former professor of yoga at Naropa University as well as IPY guest instructor, explains that spanda is also a model of reality. In yogic philosophy, reality can be seen as the five acts of Shiva, that is creation, preservation, dissolution, concealment (gap or pause), and revelation (becoming aware). Being aware of mind just before something happens IS that stirring impulse, the attraction to moving your body.
That attraction is spanda, the beginning of yoga.
Inner Power Yoga®