CONTRIBUTED BY KRISTIN LITTLE
I found my journey to yoga while looking for relief from anxiety and panic. I was not fully sold on the idea that yoga would help (but deep down I felt like it could be the answer). I had practiced yoga for about a year before moving to Okinawa, however, after our move and the subsequent culture shock, my panic and agoraphobia came back and hit me hard. I could not go into the commissary, BX, or go off base, even with help. Standing in line anywhere was pure torture and I would bail, even if I was the next person up. My anxiety was like a secret, you would have never known just looking at me, but inside I was living a nightmare. I finally decided to give yoga another try, and sought out the help of Rebecca Cohen at the Risner Gym on Kadena. She taught me some simple breathing exercises that I used one specific day in line at the post office. It worked. I stayed in line and got my packages like a champ!
I was sold on yoga as a tool to help my anxiety, so I decided not just to practice it, but to learn it. Rebecca was advertising her teacher training at one of the worst times in my life, and something kept telling me to do it. I was worried about the cost and the amount of time I was going to put into this program: $2150 for three days a week for three months at the Risner Gym on Kadena. But if you are considering becoming a certified yoga instructor while on Okinawa, this is the program for you!
Everyone has different reasons for practicing yoga, and mine was very personal. I was so nervous, but Rebecca creates a learning environment that allows you to feel comfortable and share your experiences with your fellow yogi’s. I never felt judged or ashamed. My personal story is what fueled my desire to soak up every bit of information I could from Rebecca, Rewa (her adjunct yoga instructor), and my classmates.
The course is broken up into two parts. The first part is learning the basic concepts of yoga, how to practice, how to meditate, and a lot of other useful and fun tools. You spend 1-3 hours practicing (don’t fear this part, you truly begin to love 90 mins) asana, chanting, and meditation. Another 1-3 hours of the day is lecture time. The second part of the course is when it gets fun! By this point, you have begun your transformation and are ready to start practicing with your classmates with hands on adjustments, and one-on-one teaching. Upon completion of this life changing course, you will be 200 hour Yoga Alliance certified.
To read the complete run down of the course, you can visit Rebecca’s personal page at: http://www.rebeccacohenyoga.com and click on the 200 hour teacher training link.
I share my personal story with you, because I know I am not alone. Throughout this journey, I found myself wishing someone had pointed me in the direction of yoga many years ago. It is true when said, “These things come to you when you need them most”. Even if you are not sure you are ready to become a teacher, I highly recommend you take a class with Rebecca at the Risner. Yoga hasn’t cured me from anxiety, but it has changed my thought process and brought me back to a life I missed so much.
Every yogi in my class has a different story to tell, and her experience is different from my own, but I am confident that they would all agree, Rebecca Cohen’s Teacher Training will be life changing for you! I completed the course with a desire to help others like me; to make sure people did not suffer from anxiety and to show them how yoga can change their lives.
Directions: The Risner Gym is located on Kadena Air Base just off Douglas Road (the main road that runs from Gate 1 to Gate 3).
Cost: $2150, plus books. Amazon will ship all of the books you need! Rebecca and the Risner Gym will work a payment program with you if you are unable to pay the full amount up front. Remember that your certification is for your lifetime, so this is a one-time investment into your future.