by Janet Arnold-Grych, y4c Trained Teacher, Chicago, IL
As a yoga teacher for nearly a decade, I’ve had the good fortune to participate in many different yoga trainings from contemplative to physically crazy. Yesterday, I completed Tari’s y4c training and I think it was the best training I’ve ever taken.
First, this is an amazingly well-researched program. y4c is grounded in fact and practicality, and of course Tari’s personal experience. Tari doesn’t start with creating asana sequences. She starts with explaining in detail the components of the immune system and how yoga can assist cancer survivors by specifically targeting key aspects of the immune system. Compassion is essential in teaching yoga to people touched by cancer but it’s not enough. That compassion must be grounded in knowledge and Tari does a beautiful job providing that background in several different ways.
Second, Tari is a light. Her approachability, energy and authenticity draw people to her. During our training, Tari created and held space for me and 18 strong women, many of whom were cancer survivors themselves. There were tears and laughter and even bad jokes. There was validation and support around every opinion, every question. As much as we were all in awe of Tari’s effortless instruction (we were able to experience two of her classes), Tari isn’t about being the center of attention. She’s about creating community because she knows that’s where the real power of this movement lies. The collective power of a wave of knowledgeable, caring teachers will enable many more survivors to be reached. It will also be more impactful in shifting the medical community’s collective understanding of the benefits of yoga to people touched by cancer.
Third, yoga teachers rock. Yes, in the past I’ve met some who are more concerned with the physical showiness of pretty poses but they are in the minority. Most teachers I know are in it for the big picture—the ability to help students taste non-reactivity, non-judgement, release. The yoga teachers I met in my y4C training were inspirational–kind, accepting, insightful. Our shared goals instantly connected us and the mutual respect was palpable. During training we were able to team teach and each person in my group brought a different perspective and knowledge base that made my learning so much richer.
As I said, many of in my training were cancer survivors themselves. I had questions and every person I spoke with thoughtfully answered my questions so I could better understand what someone with cancer or on the other side of treatment might think and feel. Those direct conversations were invaluable. They also reaffirmed why I was there.
Like any training, you get out of it what you put you in to it. But based on my experience, I believe that any yoga teacher who steps into this opportunity with the right intention and commitment will be amazed at what they discover. Tari has assembled a curriculum that is rich and real. I am so excited to apply this knowledge and continue to learn within the broader community of y4c teachers. It is an amazing training and I am very grateful to Tari for it.