Teaching Yoga, Together: Brave & Badass
Teaching yoga broken to badass
Practice, practice, all is coming. ~ Ashtanga Yoga Founder P. Jois
Wait, what do you mean by ‘all’ …? ~ Me
Hi, there. In case we haven’t met, I’m Asia Nelson, creator of Pranalife Yoga. I’ve been teaching yoga for almost 20 years. Are you considering taking Pranalife Yoga Teacher Training to become a yoga teacher? You’re in the right spot. This is my yoga story:
For nearly two decades I’ve practiced and taught yoga and movement, and certified the best yoga instructors with Pranalife Yoga Teacher Training. I’ve seen a lot of changes – with me, and with yoga – in that time.
For many years, yoga felt great. Time on my mat made me more relaxed, focused, stretched and refreshed. Teaching yoga was my passion, my dharma.
One morning about ten years ago, I was faithfully flowing through Ashtanga’s Third Series. Suddenly, my low back just quit it, and said ‘no more’. I could barely lean forward to brush my teeth, yet spent the next few years trying to shove myself back into those advanced shapes I thought were ‘yoga’. Often, pushing myself meant I would re-injure my back, and barely be able to brush my teeth without pain. I wasn’t making the changes my body craved; I needed to evolve. I was in pain, stuck in a routine that (ironically) had no flexibility, and losing connection with a practice that used to feel like home.
Those were dark days. I felt like I had to stay disciplined and committed. I kept going back to the same practice, hoping it would get better. Because I couldn’t accept that used to heal me was now hurting me. I didn’t want to lose my tribe, or my status as a Master Teacher. In yogic terms: I was suffering.
I had to stop, to let go, and find a new way to be. And I had just enough fire in me to do it.
My evolving bravery
I got brave (and hurt) enough to let go of what wasn’t working, and my body, heart, and practice came back to life. I developed new, creative ways of moving and teaching that felt amazing. And all hell broke loose.
I started by teaching vinyasa yoga without forward folds, and people’s backs started feeling better. When I questioned why we were “opening our hips” (what is that, anyway?) and changed the challenge from stretching to strengthening, lower body issues cleared up. When I taught hip hinging, core stability and ankle mobility, people started LOVING squats. I showed people how to feel their shoulder blades moving and decades-old upper back, shoulder and neck issues disappeared (not to mention Down Dogs stopped being misery on all fours). I rejected the fear around trusting ourselves, got back to useful basics, and people who’d never ‘risked’ a handstand literally took their power back into their own hands to get upside-down for the first time in decades, or ever.
The beginning of real change
Quickly, people felt more capable, confident and creative in their bodies. They also got braver in their lives:
One of my older clients fell in love with photography again because he could get down in the dirt for those great nature shots (he couldn’t get to the floor and back up on his own when we started).
Women started to stand their ground in their homes, jobs and lives because they connected with an inner fierceness on the mat that they’d long abandoned (but never forgotten).
People learned to trust themselves. They stopped doing what was hurting them, and started doing what was supporting their goals.
These are the results I’d wanted to create as a yoga teacher.
Sometimes it didn’t look like traditional yoga, and very few cared. Clients loved my classes and workshops because I gave them what they needed. They went from telling me, “Great class – you really kicked my ass!” to:
- “I can pick up my kids again!”
- “I’m not getting cortisone shots anymore.”
- “I feel less fragile.”
I built my yoga teacher training program from my experience, research, learning and methods, so my teachers could create the same kind of client joy and business growth. Now, every year in the training yogis transform their practices into something they’re excited to do AND teach. My certified yoga teachers trust what they’re doing because they’re standing on a great foundation. Pranalife Yoga Certified Instructors are like no other – creative, confident movement rebels who know how to support their clients, and evolve their practices and professions for life.
Our journey together
This is what it’s about: Move well now so you can move well at 80. Do and be now so you’re always moving towards your freedom. That’s yoga’s vinyasa, the heart of the practice.
I know too many yogis who move now *as if they’re already 80* – managing chronic aches and pains from the moment they get out of bed, cracking backs or hips for temporary relief, and feeling like they turn into dry straw if they don’t do yoga #everydamnday. It’s not healthy, normal, or sustainable. Stop clinging to a practice just because you’ve loved it, especially if it doesn’t feel good anymore. It’s time to be, move, and teach better.
If we’re going to succeed, we have to grow beyond what we’ve been taught. Let go of the dogma, rigid thinking and outdated ideas, and open to new possibilities. You’re going to need tools beyond your current practice if you get injured, bored, or want to evolve beyond what you’re doing now. Truthfully, much of yoga today has become stale, repetitive, restrictive. It’s lost its creativity and left people to blindly repeat the same postures with little sense of why, or where that redundant practice is taking them.
Your next step
The reality is if your practice isn’t evolving with you, it’s not supporting you the way it could. If your teaching isn’t building you an exciting, thriving, long-lasting career you love, then we’ve met at just the right time.
Devour this site to learn more about who I am, the movement I teach, and how to work with me to be certified with the best yoga teacher training and community available.