Chanel Earns Experienced Yoga Instructor
Chanel is a force to be reckoned with – she’s driven, passionate, willing to learn, explore and an extraordinary visionary. We are more than grateful to have her a part of Yoga House’s instruction team. Just recently, Chanel earned Yoga Alliance’s “Experienced Yoga Instructor” or ERYT status – which means you need to keep up with your continuing education, and teach a minimum of 1000 hours!
Congratulations, Chanel on an incredible achievement! Join us as we learn how Chanel got her start, and her journey to today!
When you first started your yoga journey, what were your goals and direction?
“To always be Authentic to always come from my heart”
After doing yoga avidly for several years, all I wanted was to be a teacher. It always felt far fetched feeling and only in my dreams. When my teacher training was nearly given to me, all my greatest dreams in my career were realized, happening before my eyes it still feels surreal. After becoming a teacher it was all about finding my worth as a teacher and an individual in the real world, “finding my voice” unveiling my message.
In the beginning, my goals were to absorb as much knowledge as I could, be attentive and open to constructive criticism, to teach as much as I possibly could, to leave my ego out of it, to always be Authentic to always come from my heart. Of course through time I have evolved into my goals and naturally as have my goals evolve to much more. Becoming an ERYT was always my number one goal. But in ways at the beginning that felt so far away with how tough it was getting teaching positions and I was so content with being a yoga teacher alone!! My direction was always to be present in my journey to absorb all aspects of the beginning because, I would never be a brand new yoga teacher again. Truth be told, In the beginning I really didn’t care how far I got as I felt greatest contentment was being a teacher alone. However I always felt like I would go somewhere with it and always left it to this mantra ” I will be and I will go where I am needed, I will always be aligned in the right place and the right time — that is how my light will shine” The deeper I Got into my teaching journey the more I realized not just how special I am as a teacher but how special every yoga teacher is, that every single one of us has a deep rooted message inside of us that humanity could immensely benefit from. That notion alone gave me my worth. I felt as though All dreams came true becoming an instructor every stride after that is pure bonus, every up and every down : pure glory, pure gold (emoji jazz hands). I still feel like I need to pinch myself constantly that I get to do my dream job and grow as authentic individual with it . It feels surreal and through all my gratitude and eagerness to evolve, every single day every single class, I give it my all with all my heart.
How did you accumulate so much yoga experience?
When I first started I would try to sub any and every class I could, at the studios I was affiliated with ( it was rather hard to get a full on instructor position in southern CA where it was so saturated with instructors and everywhere wanted you to have a wealth of experience. I was very discouraged as not many studios would give new instructors a chance unless you had connections or knew someone. A friend of mine started his own studio after our teacher training and called it Rainbow yoga as it was Newport beach’s first openly gay yoga studio. He would let me teach there and that is actually where I taught my first yoga class. The guys in my class were so kind to me, cheering me on saying I was going to be big! HAHA
It really helped me with my confidence. Aside from that I would inquire with every type of yoga/ fitness studio if they wanted to add a yoga program, A local CrossFit took me on and I created their first yoga program, I taught several classes a week and eventually because I wanted to teach as much as I could, I began my own donation yoga at Hiesler Park in Laguna Beach CA, I called it “Yoga by the Whale”. It was at my donation yoga where I gained a lot of experience. Over 80 hours dedicated to my donation yoga before I moved to Colorado. Then I passed on my business and clients to a fellow yogi who also passed it on and I am please to say this donation yoga is still going on through a long chain of awesome yogis! I am also pleased to say that after I started my donation yoga, my donation yoga was able to enable new instructors an opportunity to teach to gain experience which I feel very proud about because I had such a hard time with it to the point of almost wanting to give up completely on teaching! I then moved back to Telluride and started teaching at The Peaks Resort and Spa. Still eager as ever I inquired every single standing studio in Telluride and to my surprise only one studio turned me away not really needing me at the time but eventually hired me on down the line. I can say I teached at almost every yoga studio in Telluride which was a huge accomplishment for me. I then became a full time instructor teaching upwards of 14 classes a week. At one point I think I was teaching 16 classes in one week, sometimes teaching 5 class in a day. Wish granted! I taught like that for nearly 3 years! It was exhausting but I gained everything I know from that and that is where I owe a lot of my hours and experience over 800 hours of dedication to teaching and subbing in 3 years. That is all I wanted was to try to sustain as a full time instructor like a full time job and I did it!
It was a lot of work and it took a lot of dedication and self care to be able to give so much of myself. It was an opportunity I am so happy I was able to have, but now that is behind me, I have found the perfect balance of teaching.
Now, what does being an ERYT mean to you?
This process or journey of being an instructor, has taught me so much about myself, it has really taught me to truly love myself unconditionally, a feeling long hard earned and that is truly priceless. Being an ERYT is a huge badge of honor through all the sweat, collective tears, utter bliss, discouragement, embarrassment, deep felt exhaustion, long days and short nights that fills me with so much Joy that I have come this far and I still love just as much as the first day of walking into my teacher training. How much I am still so connected to passion and drive as a teach I am still just as eager, however with a deeper sense of truth and a clearer sense of time management and what it means to beyond my means.
You’re a new(ish) mom, how do you balance your yoga practice and being a mom?
It is quite a juggling act that I feel I am still finding my way with. Giving my baby 110% and giving the preparation of classes and workshops 110% – IS HARD. But it is beyond rewarding. I have built all of this up for her. SO I could be the best version of myself for her. When I became a teacher it brought me closer to want to become a mother / nurturer, to raise a child with this knowledge of oneness and self. To teach her mindfulness, respect, self love, general happiness and gratitude for all. Being that yoga is such an internal practice it has its challenging moments of being a mom and maintaining my practice. But in the greatest virtues in life our greatest power is surrendering into the present moment which inevitably children force us to do. I was all my own all to myself before baby and now that I don’t get to have all of myself to myself, I am more aware of how sacred it is when I do get to have moments to deep breath and be within. It makes it all so much sweeter. Motherhood, being a teacher, and the fact that I finally get to share these teachings and apply them to a raising a little human and molding her into her future. My greatest aspiration as a mother is to teach my child to be inspired and motivated in her truth while giving her the groundwork for uncovering her fullest potential.
What are your goals for this year?
My Goals for this year:
- To successfully teach a Colorado Mesa University class, potentially gear up for another module in the Fall and beyond!
- To build and create a thorough and Bad ass Teacher Training with Melissa
- To teach and share more comprehensive flows and workshops with Yoga House
- To Stay present and humble
- To always evolve
Anything else you'd like to add?
HUGE SHOUT OUT TO MELISSA / COLORADO YOGA HOUSE!
If it wasn’t for her and this studio, I am not sure where I would be and what I would be doing in regards to teaching. The opportunities she has given me are more then I could have hoped for, yet again all of my dreams realized for my career. I moved back to Colorado in hopes to excel in my yoga career and I can fully say Melissa has opened up the space for me to do so beyond my wildest dreams and for that my heart is over flowing in gratitude and bliss.
Ready to Try A Class?
Colorado Yoga House is open 6 days of the week and during some months, open 7 days a week. Yoga House encompasses instructors with various backgrounds and teaching styles so you can always continue to discover the depths of this amazing discipline. Click below to see our current schedule, and we look forward to seeing you in class!