I have big things planned for Floating Yoga School for the rest of this year and next year! I just secured a bunch of dates for retreats and teacher trainings around the world, and I can't wait to share them with you.
See below for the full schedule, and message me for more details!
If you told me 15 years ago that someday I'd be a yoga teacher and that a big part of my life would be spent training other teachers, I wouldn't have believed you. But if you told me I'd be helping people find health and balance, teaching them how to discover their passions and live lives with more depth, I would have said, "yep, that sounds like exactly what I want to do!"
My path to Floating Yoga School and leading yoga teacher trainings was not a direct one, but I don't regret one turn. At 18 I was an eager premed bioengineering major at Rice University, finding balance as an adult on my own, studying hard for classes I didn't really enjoy, and stressing out over whether or not I wanted to commit to a career that seemed so competitive and intense. I slowly realized that my passion for medicine was less about the science side of things and more about helping people. I switched my major to sociology, felt happier and lighter, and moved to New York City after graduation to pursue a master's degree in public health at Columbia University. I worked in benefits consulting for a few years and moved to San Diego to create more personal balance and shifted my career toward corporate wellness.
Although I found yoga in college, my practice didn't become consistent until a few years later. Now I can't imagine my life without it. That doesn't mean I'm doing handstand-heavy classes everyday. Sometimes my yoga practice is about sitting quietly, reflecting, or actively letting go of negative thoughts. Yoga is a personal practice and it looks and feels different to each of us. As cheesy as it sounds, I'm so grateful for what I've learned through yoga, and I feel very lucky to share the gift of yoga with others.
One of the biggest reasons I love leading yoga teacher trainings is because we really get to explore everything that is yoga; there is so much to learn and a 75 minute class just doesn't cut it. You don't necessarily have to want to be a yoga teacher to do a teacher training. All you need is the desire to dig a little deeper. We all have something personal we can work on, something we can heal from, something more we want from life. Whether you've just gotten into yoga, or you've been practicing for years, taking a yoga teacher training gives you a deeper understanding and appreciation of the ancient and ever-evolving practice of yoga.
Maybe you're a therapist, PT, OT, or personal trainer. Understanding yoga can add to your professional resume, enhance your current practice, and provide something extra to your clients.
Maybe you're a consultant or you work in sales. Learning to better understand how humans work on all levels can help you communicate more effectively, connect to your clients, and boost your sales.
Maybe you're a teacher or caregiver. Imagine giving your students or patients the gift of mindfulness and meditation in addition to everything else you provide. A personal yoga practice can help you feel refreshed and replenished, and taking care of yourself allows you to better care for everyone else around you.
Or maybe you're in a place of transition, ready for a new career but aren't sure what that is. Teaching yoga is a rewarding way to connect with people and can be an excellent source of primary or secondary income. Yoga can help clarify and solidify goals and future desires.
Whoever you are, whatever your reasons may be, I promise that a yoga teacher training will enrich your life. I work really hard to make our trainings fun, inspiring, approachable, and affordable. Our trainings are Yoga Alliance approved, 3 weeks long, and feel like you're on a yoga vacation with amazing people in incredible settings. We have two 200 hour trainings coming up in 2017 and I would love for you to join us for one: February in Encuentro, Dominican Republic and July in Lake Placid, New York.
Email me at Helen@FloatingYogaSchool.com with any questions or concerns you have!
I’ve always loved the water. Growing up with super hot Houston summers, my sisters and I would spend hours in the pool, playing “rock the boat” and “categories,” perfecting our back dives and flips, diving for coins or anything else that would sink, and trying to beat the heat. Most family vacations revolved around or at least featured water - lakes and rivers when camping, trips to beach towns, sailing my grandfather's boat - and if they didn't, we'd find our way to water somehow.
After college I lived in New York City and didn’t have much water time aside from vacations and when I first moved to San Diego the cool temperature and instant depth of the Pacific Ocean kept me on the beach for awhile. But there was always a part of me that knew I needed to find my way back into its healing arms. It wasn't until I started teaching paddle yoga that I truly reconnected with my carefree, happy inner child and decided I needed to make some changes in my life and refocus it around water.
There’s something romantic and idyllic about living life on the water. I remember seeing boats anchored in the remote and quiet Shark Harbor on Catalina Island and thinking “that’s the life.” At a time when I was busy building a business, navigating the ups and downs of a long term relationship turned new marriage, and trying to figure out how to balance everything, life on a boat seemed like a welcome escape from everyone, a rare sense of peace and simplicity in an overly complicated world.
When my relationship took a turn and I decided to move on without my best friend of 8 years, I was faced with finding a place to live and starting a new life on my own terms. What did I really want? With the opportunity to start fresh and do all the “crazy” things I wouldn’t have considered when I had a partner's needs and wants to take into account, I decided that I wanted to live on a boat.
I briefly looked at renting or taking care of someone’s boat, but without a lot of experience as a captain or crew, I wasn’t super desirable to anyone and didn’t know the right channels to find a boat owner looking for someone to watch their boat. It turns out the easiest, albeit more expensive, way of living on a boat was to buy one and call it my own.
I had some money in savings and started the search. (More on the boat buying process including getting a loan, where to find a boat, etc. in another post.) I found an older 32 foot Islander within my budget and the minute I stepped foot on it and saw its funky magenta cushions, striped curtains, and full teak lined interior, I knew it would be home. I named her Barefoot Adventures and she became my floating condo for the next year.
Fast forward a few months and it became clear to me that life as a liveaboard was pretty sweet, but that I wanted to use my boat for more than just day sails and play dates. I wanted to sail into different ports, explore different places, and experience different ways of life. I wanted to combine my love of travel, my desire to be on the water, and my passion for sharing yoga; thus Floating Yoga School was created.
Barefoot Adventures #1 just wasn't going to cut it in the Caribbean, so I sold her and started the search for #2. This time around, I wanted something bigger and somewhat newer that could handle island-hopping and some large crossings, something with enough power and electronics to feel safe in unknown waters and rough seas, and something that I could customize enough to feel like home for the next few years without breaking the bank. I found a 40 foot O'Day in Miami that fit the bill and have been living and working on her ever since.
Life as a liveaboard is certainly not for everyone. Depending on your set-up it can feel like permanent camping (or maybe glamping if you're lucky!). There are ALWAYS projects to be done on a boat and usually those projects require money, sweat, and hard work. It can be frustrating, confusing, and overwhelming if you're not an expert in all things electrical, mechanical, and nautical.
But despite all that, it's really rewarding. To me it feels like going back to a simpler way of life. People have lived and worked on boats for hundreds of years, crossing oceans and seeing the world, and it's exciting to think about everything I get to experience that I would have otherwise never even known was out there.
I’ll be breaking down the various aspects of living aboard in the coming months, from the freedom it brings to challenges that come along with it. For now it's back to the project list :) Stay tuned!
I've been wanting to go to Cuba for a very long time and it's finally happening! I'm so very excited to be teaming up with an awesome friend, Xenia Guido of Pura Vida Yoga, to put on this retreat.
We'll be spending time in Old Havana soaking up the culture and art, relaxing on the white sand beaches of Varadero, and exploring El Nicho waterfalls outside of Cienfuegos. With daily yoga and salsa dancing, this is going to be an experience you don't want to miss!
Mark your calendar to save the dates: March 24 - April 1, 2017.
Full details and registration available soon. Spaces are limited. Comment or email me to be the first to get the info email :)
It's been a week since I hit the road, leaving sunny San Diego for a month-long, roundabout trip to South Florida. It's been the perfect way to unwind from the stress of the last few years, see some of the most incredible and iconic parts of the United States, and reset my intentions and goals.
So far I've learned (or been reminded of) the following:
- A week goes by very quickly. I'm already a little sad that a month will be here before I know it, and I'm definitely working on savoring each moment.
- Camping in temperatures below 40 degrees is mildly insane. Once your fingers and toes are numb it's hard to warm up again. Hot showers help (thank you, Housekeeping Camp).
- Sitting too long can flare up your sensitive low back. I'm stretching whenever I can, taking yoga classes along the way, and making sure I'm not sitting with one leg up (which also happens to be my favorite way to sit).
- Don't spend too much time on your phone reading maps or researching the next destination. You might miss an entire town with one quick look down. I'm sorry I missed you, Peach Springs, Arizona (aka Cars' Radiator Springs).
- And speaking of maps, Google Maps is smart, but it's worth spending extra time off-roading or taking the scenic route if you really want to see the sights. And if you're driving past the Hoover Dam, DON'T follow Google Maps because you won't see anything!
- San Diego has spoiled me, especially when it comes to yoga, pilates, and coffee. Who knew it'd be so hard to find a good class and a place to grab some coffee and do a little work? I'm not against Starbucks, but I'd rather support local businesses. And I just can't understand studios that only offer one or two classes per day at really random times (yes, like I said, I've been spoiled).
Three more weeks to go! I'm posting photos along the way via Instagram & Facebook, and have some super fun stops coming up, including community classes in Santa Fe and Taos next week. Stay tuned :)
If you've been wanting to do a yoga teacher training but can't can't quite make the numbers work with your budget (we get it!), now's your chance to follow your dreams with our Yoga Teacher Training Scholarship Writing & Video Contest.
We're giving away at least one spot in each training we do in the Caribbean (read the fine print here), and can't wait to read or watch why you should be the one to join us.
All you have to do is submit your entry fee and send us your written or video submission. Tell us your story: what sets you apart, what you'll get from a yoga teacher training, how you'll give back, or anything else you'd like us to know.
Share with friends! The more submissions we receive, the more scholarships we can award. Email with any questions.
It's hard to come up with a better idea of a dream job than a yoga instructor. Yoga instructors help people to realize their physical and mental strength, which is an incredible experience.
Many yoga lovers sign up for teacher training to chase their dream of becoming an instructor and sharing their passion with others. Some yogis sign up just to deepen their understanding of yoga and enhance their practice. Regardless of why you signed up, these tips will help make sure that your yoga teacher training is one of the best experiences of your career!
Going to a yoga school will be enough to become certified and begin a career, but being ready for the challenges of a course lets you delve deeper into the art. You can prepare by watching yoga videos before training in order to understand the dynamics of the training process, or to get a leg up (literally!) on new routines.
In the 21st century, who you know is often more important than what you know. The training process shouldn't just be about learning new things but about meeting new people. A retreat or training initiative lets you get to know other yogis from around the country and maybe a few who are close to home. Make friends, trade stories, discover new routines and trade tips. You may even find another instructor to go into business with.
Reject the Normal
How many job training functions allow you to discover your life's passion while on a boat or at a resort? There's a reason why we got our name, and it's not because we put trainees in a crowded room to stare at a PowerPoint slide. Yoga teacher training should be as dynamic and vibrant as yoga itself, which is why trainees have the opportunity to break out of the usual and embrace the fantastic.
You spend so much time in yoga focusing on inhaling and exhaling that a funny joke might throw you completely out of your breathing rhythm. That's not a bad thing! Research shows that laughter offers many of the same health benefits as yoga itself, including lowering blood pressure and boosting mood. Take the time to laugh and make others laugh during training so that you can incorporate humor into your own classes.
It's one thing to go to a yoga school and learn how to push yourself to new heights, but training is made even more amazing when you get the opportunity to do it in one of the most beautiful spots around. A yoga retreat is perfect for those who are new to the occupation as well as those who have been practicing all their life. Not only can you hone your skills, but you will meet new people in an inclusive atmosphere with everyone committed to improvement, support and success.
Why bother training with the ordinary? Our yoga school offers everything you need to launch a career and have the most fun possible doing it. Check out the upcoming travel schedule and future retreats to become a yoga master and enjoy every second of it.
I had the pleasure and honor of recording a Dreamchasers podcast with Lucas Barra a couple of weeks ago.
Lucas and I have known each other for a few years, and he’s seen me grow from a new yoga teacher about to quit her day job, into a business owner launching another venture in a brand new place. He was fresh out of college when we first met, and now he’s living his dream by helping others chase theirs. Pretty awesome.
We talked for a good 45 minutes about my journey and process of finding balance, learning to say no, crying in the shower, and the general rollercoaster of life. For all the juicy bits, listen here.
While your own dreams may be way different than my own, the universal chase of the dream is something most everyone can relate to. Lucas has different guests every week, so stay tuned!
SchoolofDreams.co and iTunes.
Wahoo, Floating Yoga School is hitting the road this April/May! We'll be driving across the Southern United States visiting some great spots and taking time to slow down, explore nature, lead free yoga classes, build community, and film for our YouTube channel.
Below is the current plan. I'm calling it the "Yoga Road Trip."
If you live in one of these cities I'd loooove to meet up!
- Sedona, AZ - Friday, April 29th
- Tucson, AZ - Sunday, May 1st
- Santa Fe, NM - Thursday, May 5th
- Taos, NM - Saturday, May 7th
- Austin, TX - Tuesday & Wednesday, May 10-11th
- New Orleans, LA - Friday, May 13th
- Savannah, GA - Tuesday, May 17th
- Orlando, FL - Thursday, May 19th
- Homestead, FL - Saturday, May 21st
- Key West, FL - Tuesday, May 24th
- Miami, FL - Thursday, May 26th
Send me your favorite yoga studios, parks, restaurants, or "must-dos" so I don't miss anything!
Helen's Adventures as a Traveling Yogi
Follow my adventures on social media!