10 Yoga Teachers Share Their Real-Life, Post Teacher Training Inspiration

I always enjoy the yoga teacher trainings I teach every year. It’s my hope that the students leave feeling a renewed dedication to their own path of practicing and teaching. So, after my training in Portland, I checked in with the participants and asked them, What are you currently inspired to practice and teach?

Happily, I found that their responses are varied and unique according to each person’s current state of teaching, practice, and frame of mind. Some took away specific physical alignment points, while others feel inspired to work with fluidity in yoga transitions, or to stick to a daily meditation practice, or to listen and read their students with more acuity.

To me, it shows that we all need continued support on this path of practicing and teaching yoga. That’s why I’m so happy that they’ve chosen to share their thoughts and inspiration with you below.

Hillary Acer
1. “I feel inspired to ask more critical questions. As a younger teacher, I often put the wisdom of older teachers before my own. However, those truths don’t always work for my body or my mind. With extra curiosity and with permission to challenge some of those truths, I’m figuring out what makes the most sense in my own teaching and practicing, and I challenge my students to do the same — to ask hard questions.”
Hillary Acer, RYT, Berkeley, CA

Benjamin Leslie Yoga
2. “I’m inspired to be more gentle, patient, and aware in my yoga practice and teaching. After struggling for nearly a year with my own hamstring and lower back injuries, I’ve finally realized that I will not fix them by pushing or pulling harder but by coaxing them gently, patiently, and intelligently back to health.

Likewise, I’d like to bring a more subtle awareness to the unique body types and injuries I see in my public classes every week, to encourage other yoga practitioners to be gentle and patient with themselves.
–- Benjamin Leslie, San Francisco, CA

Jessa Voos
3. “I’m inspired to have a little more faith in what I already know combined with my desire to keep learning. Teach authentically with what I know to be true but with the knowledge that those truths might change down the road. Trying to find a balance that will strengthen me as a teacher.”
Jessa Voos, Manhattan, Kansas

Stanley Currier
4. “I’m inspired to find 5-10 minutes a day to just settle down, be quiet, and sit. Before or after an asana class, at home or work, in the park, or even on the bus. I find an enormous shift of mindset and mood after such a practice.”
Stanley Currier, Portland, Oregon

Allison Matt {Photo: Stark Photography}
5. “I’m inspired to get creative in finding several different avenues for students to experience a posture. Ever heard a student say they tried something once and never again? Often times it’s like saying you don’t like kale while drinking a green smoothie. Sometimes you have to be creative and find the intersection of where the student and the posture meet.”
Allison Matt, Portland, OR ‪

Ulla Lundgren
6. I am pretty tight in backbends. Jason suggested to focus on opening my side-body, lats, and the rhomboids between my shoulder blades, to create more freedom in backbends. This is a new approach for me and I am excited about exploring this potential gateway for more fluid backbending.
Ulla Lundgren, Bend, OR ‬‬

Abby Kraai{Photo: Andi Wescott}
7. Lately, I’ve been inspired to allow my students time to move as they want to move. Even if it’s for a minute at the beginning and end of class, I want to give them space to explore what their body tells them to do, not just what I tell them to do. No matter how much we know as teachers, our students know their bodies best.
Abby Kraai, Portland, OR

Rebecca Ray
8. I’m inspired to practice and teach strengthening the whole body to provide stability in standing poses and fluidity in vinyasa transitions.
From this stability and fluidity, the breath becomes steady and smooth allowing the mind to be with the direct experience of the present moment.
Rebecca Ray, Tacoma, WA

Suzanne Hite {Photo: Tony Felgueiras}
9. Laughter is the best medicine in life and yoga. Let your personality shine as you teach—it makes you and the yoga more approachable. Where there’s levity, challenging poses and cues feel like play.
Suzanne Hite, Bothell, WA

Kathryn Hussein copy
10. “Every visit to my mat, whether I’m the teacher or the student, is a practice in slowing down and breathing for when I’m off my mat. I’m inspired to reexamine and refine, to fall and flail, to rediscover my strengths and my fragility, to change even when I think I’m too afraid to. There are no stakes on a yoga mat, it’s always been the safest place I know.”
Kathryn Hussein, Salem, OR ‪


  1. It is always very rewarding to see the progression in students as they try to reach their goals of gaining more flexibility in hip flexors or strengthening of thighs etc. It is also fascinating to realize that all the muscles in the body are inter-connected to each other. An effective sequence to improve a particular part of the body requires work not only on that part but also the origin and end. The study of the body and the progression of the practice is the best gift for one’s health.

    • Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Celestine!


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