Graduate Story: Stephanie Musgrave – Graduated 2019
Peeling back the curtain on the practice of Yoga
Written by graduate of the 500-hour Teacher Training Diploma, Stephanie Musgrave
Steph’s Yoga Journey
I came to Yoga while working in a fast-paced corporate environment and immediately fell in love with the stress release that my daily asana practice at a local gym gave me.
After 7 years of regular practice, I was really interested in learning more so I decided I wanted to become a teacher to hopefully share the benefits that I had received with others. I definitely was obsessed with mastering more challenging poses, and had a misconception that a Yoga teacher should be able to hold handstands, headstands etc and generally have an aura of mystery around them.
I laugh now as I was well and truly unconsciously incompetent in my knowledge of what a teacher could be (hint, it’s a lot more and deeper than this!) and it’s thanks to the institute that I was able to peel back the curtain on the beautiful practice of Yoga.
Why The Yoga Institute
You never forget a great teacher right? I had developed a habit of testing out every Yoga studio I came across and had experienced a few amazing teachers who were extremely knowledgeable, confident and most importantly, kind. After chatting with them they had one thing in common, they had done their training with the Institute.
I had also looked into a few other courses offered in Australia but the Yoga Institute really stood out amongst the pack as it seemed to offer the most extensive training on both a practical and theoretical level and also didn’t portray the perfect “instragrammable” yoga bodies in their marketing. To me this suggested a deeper level of course on offer.
During my year of training, my whole perception of Yoga completely changed: it went from viewing Yoga as a physical act with a bit of breathing thrown in, to understanding that it is a rich philosophy steeped in history and a way of life that can set people on a path to have a more stable and calmer mind through a number of tools, not just asana. Through studying the Yoga Sutras, and developing a daily meditation practice, I was able to become a much less anxious person and release unrealistic expectations of myself in life and misconceptions of what a Yoga teacher should be. After teaching in the real world, these realisations would be far more beneficial to my students than being able to fold myself into a pretzel.
After The Yoga Institute
The course brought many unexpected joys; like making lasting friendships, tools for pregnancy and motherhood, and giving me the confidence to go out and teach!
After graduating, I set up a little home studio in a barn where I was living in Glenorie, and was ecstatic every Sunday when people from 21 years of age to 65 showed up on my door for class. It was the Yoga Institute’s focus on experienced-based learning and adapting classes to all individuals that enabled me to achieve this. Shortly after I opened up the barn, a boutique gym Platform Fitness also launched near me and I joined them as a teacher leading up to 9 classes a week. When I was teaching there, it gave me a sense of purpose that I had never experienced before in my life.
Then my husband and I moved to the Central Coast and I became pregnant, so I had to say farewell to my gym family. A challenging early pregnancy coupled with covid lockdowns meant I had to lean heavily on the lessons of Yoga such as surrender and self-study during this time, as I had to let go of my pre pregnancy asana practice and teaching role due to intense morning sickness.
After all of that, the thing that I am most grateful for in my Yoga training at the Institute is that many of the tools I learnt there (movement, pranayama breath work, mantras, sound and surrender) served me during the birth of my son. My empowered labour set us up for a great to start to his life and motherhood in general, which was definitely an unexpected benefit of the course!
I do hope to get back to teaching in the near future and delve more into pre and post-natal Yoga, as well as Yoga for children, but for now I am content with caring and nourishing a little human.
You can contact Steph via Instagram @stephfugar or via email at Stephanie.email@example.com
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