I can’t believe I am actually writing this, but I am officially a certified yoga instructor! I graduated a 200-Hour Yoga Teacher Training program today with this incredible group of people pictured above.
“Graduating” this training program feels like coming full circle. When I first moved to D.C. three years ago, I was in a really difficult place in my life. I had just gotten out of a terrible relationship (after being cheated on), I lost a job (although it was one that I never really liked to begin with), I was moving to a brand new city to start a new job, and was living on my own for the first time in my life.
The apartment I moved into was located in NoMa, an up-and-coming area in D.C. Just by chance, there was a little yoga studio opening up on my block called Yoga NoMa, so I signed up.
I didn’t realize it at the time, but it was my practice at Yoga NoMa that got me through this difficult time. The founder of that studio, Julia Romano, was one of the regular instructors. At first, I thought Julia’s style was a little too hippy-dippy for me. We did our Vinyasas and backbends—once in awhile, maybe she’d throw in a headstand—but Julia didn’t care much for the advanced stuff. She cared about what was happening within.
If you can’t tell from my Instagram page, I clearly have an infatuation with handstands. I just love going upside-down! But handstands weren’t going to get me through this difficult time in my life. Julia’s wisdom—and that of the other instructors at Yoga NoMa (shout out Rob Belifus!)—was what would, and what ultimately did.
Flash forward two and a half years later, and I’m happy to say that I’m happy as a clam. My career is growing, I met my wonderful boyfriend Luke, we bought a dog, and moved into an apartment together in Navy Yard, our favorite neighborhood in D.C.
When Luke and I moved in together, one of the first things I had to do was find a new yoga studio. Enter: Chris Parkison. Or Chris “P,” as he calls himself. Chris is the group program manager at Vida’s Yards location, and one of the most knowledgeable yoga instructors I’ve ever met.
For years, I had wanted to become certified yoga instructor. But for one reason or another, it never felt right. Then, last fall as fate will have it, Chris told me he was starting a Yoga Teacher Training Program…with Julia.
To be clear, I didn’t know Julia and Chris knew each other, let alone that they knew each other well enough to lead a 200-Hour Yoga Teacher Training program together. So obviously, I hopped on board. From there, the rest is history.
Chris and Julia are two of the most talented yoga instructors in all of D.C., and I feel so lucky and grateful to have learned from them. While I’m excited to finally be able to call myself a yoga instructor and share this practice with others, I can’t help but feel a bit sad that this journey has come to an end.
Chris, Julia, and my all fellow YTT-200 trainees have had an incredible impact on my life, and my weekends won’t be the same without them. And while Chris and Julia left us with no shortage of material to build on, there’s a magic that happened when we all came together as one that can’t ever be replicated or replaced. So thank you to Chris, Julia, and the rest of our class for making this experience such a magical one. It really was life-changing, and I can’t imagine going through it with anyone else.