thinking about a yoga quest?

breathe deeply... and then teach someone else how to

Every spring, I get the itch. I need adventure – my body craves a departure from my day-to-day. One year, it was Madagascar. The next, Malaysia. This year, the travel bug bit me just as my inner yogi whispered teacher training, and soon I was bidding farewell to my team in Halifax (the Hali-lulus) and boarding a flight to Sydney, Australia.

Thinking about embarking on a yoga quest? Here’s my advice!

Yoga Poses Goddess
A little goddess pose in front of the Opera House – I have landed.

tip #1

Travel with a low-maintenance friend, like my fellow Hali-lulu Jannine. She was crazy enough to join me on this journey (literally and spiritually), and we found the perfect blend of “let’s get out there and do EVERYTHING!” (Jannine) and “let’s read on the rooftop for a few hours in the sunshine” (me). The beautiful balancing act of a great friendship!

Traveling Yoga
The dream team!

tip #2

Talk to strangers! Jannine and I make each other laugh constantly, and by opening that energy to people around us (in the hostel, at the aquarium, at lululemon in Bondi Junction!), we were able to connect with some really incredible people. Open your heart and your mind – everyone’s got an incredible story to share, whether it’s an epic love story or a restaurant recommendation. (And both are worth listening to.)

outdoor yoga
Jannine finding balance with our new best friend and fellow yogini, Kate.

We made our way up the coast to the easternmost point in Australia – the idyllic surf town of Byron Bay, where we’d make our home for the next two months.

yoga on the beach
Live near the ocean and inhale the pure salt air that flows over the water. Byron Bay will do nicely.

tip #3

In all things, practice ahimsa with yourself. Ahimsa means “non-violence” – it means nurturing your body, your mind, and loving the way you are right now. Practicing yoga for hours each day is heavenly, but when that hamstring starts to tweak (and I’m speaking from experience, here!), back off and give it some space. Who needs to get their nose to knee, anyway? It’s your journey, it’s your practice. Don’t force your way to a destination – love yourself for being on the path.

Yoga poses
Practicing every day taught me how to balance dynamic practice with restorative.

tip #4

Play! Doing a yoga teacher training will change your body, your mind, and your understanding of life. But where’s the fun in taking yourself too seriously? Fall out of crow pose. Laugh when you toot during an intense twist. Get upside-down! Your outlook on life is a direct reflection of how much you like yourself. Find the joy in every moment, and you’ll start smiling at yourself in the mirror every morning.

Yoga handstand
Play – it’s okay to fall, as long as you can laugh it off.

tip #5

Do it now. If your inner yogi has been yearning to teach, or even to deepen your practice with a teacher training, why wait?

Stop what you’re doing and LOVE.

If your heart has put the idea into your head, then your path has already been laid out. Take it! Remember the first teacher with whom you really connected? The one who inspired you to take another class, try meditation, or let go of whatever’s holding you back? You could be that person for someone else. How can you resist?

Yoga poses

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This post is very karmic for me at the moment. I always thought I wanted to do Pilates Teacher Training but have yet to sign up for it – something is holding me back and I’m not sure what – this post spoke to me on many levels, thank you

Comment by Emma Malone — September 17, 2010 @ 6:42 am


Comment by Liz — September 17, 2010 @ 7:36 am

Hey Liz,
I loved your post, i’ve only just started yoga this year but i’m in love with it and the idea of doing a teacher training abroad sounds amazing. I’ve been doing some reseach but i’m kind of hesitant as to where to go and which websites to trust? Any recommendations on how to actually make it happen?

Comment by Iriel — September 17, 2010 @ 8:58 am

I giggled so many times during this post Liz. You are a beautiful writer and this post inspired me so much. As much time and energy I devote to my practice, I’ve never thought of doing a destination yoga course or class. Consider my 2011 goal list revised! Thanks for the inspiration, thought .. and candor. :)

Comment by Carolyn — September 17, 2010 @ 10:32 am

Love this !

Comment by vanessa — September 17, 2010 @ 10:40 am

I recently visited Australia in April and fell in love with that place, particularly Byron Bay! Such an amazingingly beautiful place! I have been considering going back for an extended stay on a work visa – there are signs coming from all over – thanks for your wisdom and inspiration!

Comment by Lorean — September 17, 2010 @ 10:52 am

I really liked what you had to say both in terms of ahisma (loving the way you are RIGHT NOW).. and also in terms of not forcing oneself to a destination. I love the notion of just appreciating where you are on the path and enjoying every moment. Your thoughts definitely made an impact on me!! Thanks! :)

Comment by Hillary — September 17, 2010 @ 11:01 am

Thanks for sharing. :)

Comment by Richard — September 17, 2010 @ 11:51 am

My Darling Inspirational Girl,
Reading what you have to say makes me envious that someone so young has so much wisdom and conviction of what is truly important in this life…you are like the brightest star that shines in the early evening night.
I begin my first (truly mine) yoga class this coming Wednesday afterschool. I have committed to leading a group of co-workers through my practice and I wish fervently that I can inspire them to love yoga as I do and do for them what others have done for me…
With your permission I would like to read some of your inspirational words in the hope that it does for them what they do for me……..
Continue doing and writing Liz, you truly have a gift:)

Comment by Jeri Pero-Fraser — September 17, 2010 @ 11:53 am

Iriel, I totally agree with you! I am really looking to deepen my practice and teacher training abroad is a very exciting idea.

Liz, your tips are so awesome! I love the picture of Jannine and Kate, and I absolutely adore the stop sign with the “LOVE” written on it. I’d love to hear from you on more tips and recommendations!

Comment by Debbie — September 17, 2010 @ 12:02 pm

So cute! Love it;) Thanks for sharing.

Comment by Joslyn @ missfitbliss — September 17, 2010 @ 6:48 pm

oh liz, you da best.

Comment by tiffany a. — September 18, 2010 @ 8:07 pm

i love lululemon im soo rich that i have everything you can think of tfrom there
omg sorry my lil siss wrote were so rich
were middle lass lol
i truly do love lululemon is so comfy and even though im in my prteens i do yoga and it help so much and its a lot of fun so thatsnk-you for lettingz me write this
good bye -lululemon <3

Comment by Danielle — September 18, 2010 @ 8:28 pm

I think it’s awesome that you did this! It is only a mere coincidence that I recently decided that the next major step in my life was going to be moving to Australia myself! When that is going to happen I am still deciding but this is absolutely inspiring!

Comment by James — September 19, 2010 @ 10:44 am

Hi everyone!

Thanks so much for all the positive feedback. This journey was so important to me, and I totally encourage you to GO FOR IT if you’re thinking about it. And keep a really honest journal, so you can revisit all the changes that you’ll undergo. Amazing gift to yourself!

Iriel – I had the same question, when I started looking for training programs. I’d say check that they’re OKed by the Yoga Alliance, get in touch with them via email and talk to a real person about the program, and trust your instinct. You’ll find the right one!

Good luck!


Liz J

Comment by Liz! — September 19, 2010 @ 4:23 pm

What a gorgeous post, Liz – both the amazing words and the equally amazing photos! So inspirational.

Comment by Stephanie Bales — September 24, 2010 @ 10:25 am

Especially loved Tip #2!
Often the wisest words come from the seemingly most random encounter…which in hindsight happened at the perfect place, the most marvelous moment :)

Comment by Marie Holm — September 25, 2010 @ 1:34 pm

Hey Liz!

I’m assuming you did your training at Byron Yoga Centre? I took many of their $5/$8 classes while I was living in Byron a year and a half ago and it was so fantastic. One of my five year goals is to do my YTT there (I also have a goal to be living there in three years) so I was really excited reading about your plans to go to Byron Bay for YTT! I’d love to read more about your experience while away.

Jenny-lululemon Victoria

Comment by Jenny de Champlain — September 25, 2010 @ 7:51 pm

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