“Yoga has helped me on that journey of discovering who I really am, outside all the labels. I have realized my truest nature is to mother, as I nurture my students and beautiful yoga community, I find myself feeling at home with myself again.”
If you’ve been with The Kaivalya Yoga Method for a while, you may have already felt prepared for the virtual world. As the first online yoga teacher training, holding space online has been light work for Alanna Kaivalya, Ph.D. , and for the team at TKYM.
Over the last nine months, my relationship with and expectations of online connection has evolved. If you’re anything like me, you may have asked yourself questions like, “how will we be able to connect with one another and teach through our screens?” “what about the energy in the room?” “will we lose connection altogether?” And yet, here we are. Through my own experience teaching online and with the help of the community here at TKYM, I’ve felt more connected to myself and to others than ever before.
Speaking of connection, I’ve been able to connect with members of our community in a much better way through our online campus on the Might Networks platform. And it was here that I was able to connect with Trish LeClair, a graduate of the 300 hour Online Yoga Teacher Training. Trish has been active around the campus, sharing amazing photos of her beautifully curated yoga spaces, encouraging others on their posts, and posting resources for others to continue to uplevel their practice. I was immediately drawn to the energy of her posts, and could honestly feel the positivity permeated from her words. That’s connection. I knew instantly that I wanted Trish to be the first Alumni spotlight on the blog.
I’m so grateful for the generosity that she shared in each response. TKYM community, I present Trish–get to know her!
Please introduce yourself to the TKYM community (include where you’re from, where you live, and anything else you want us to know about you).
My name is Trish LeClair and I live in Atlantic Canada! I have three grown children (my youngest is 17 now!) and I have always considered them “my everything.” As they started to get a little older and didn’t need me as much, I started to wonder who else I was, besides a mother. Yoga has helped me on that journey of discovering who I really am, outside all the labels. I have realized my truest nature is to mother, as I nurture my students and beautiful yoga community I find myself feeling at home with myself again.
What are your yoga teacher goals? Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I have been teaching yoga for 6 years now. I decided that to teach yoga and truly offer everything to my yoga community, I would need to be 100% dedicated to my practice and to my teaching. It truly is a dream come true. When I started teaching all I wanted was a small community of women who were dedicated to their practice but wanted more, women who wanted to dive deeper and wanted deeper connections with each other. Over the past 3 years, I can say that I have found that. I teach in a sacred space dedicated to yoga in my home affectionately called The Happy Lemon Yoga Shala. I have a beautiful community of women who are dedicated to their practice and to learning more and to connecting to each other, my heart sings with joy in this most special community!
Restorative Yoga Class Set Up at the Shala
The Happy Lemon Yoga Shala
I have spent a lot of time thinking about what I want and where I see myself in 5 years over this time of the pandemic. I hope to continue to teach and share the yoga journey with my beautiful community both in the yoga Shala and online. I have started to offer some zoom classes to my girls and they are learning to love our time virtually (almost as much as in-person). I pride myself on spoiling my students with essential oils, smudging, and crystals. As we share our yoga experience, so many of them felt things were missing when we met virtually. We have spent time getting everyone set up with what they need to create their own sacred space and when we are forced into a situation when we can only meet online, we see it more as sharing our private spaces with one another than what we are missing by not being physically present together.
One of my adult children is living halfway across Canada now so I am working towards getting my yoga teaching both online and in-studio so I can take a month off three times a year to go where he is. During the time away I hope to continue my classes online with my “yoga community” plus offer special sessions in astrology, chakra healing, and restorative yoga. I also hope to be able to guest teach in yoga studios when I visit my son. I am also hoping to be able to explore western Canada and possibly Brazil and Thailand where I could also guest teach in local studios when visiting.
How did you discover TKYM and what made you decide to join?
At the beginning of the summer, I started walking in my neighborhood and listening to audiobooks every day as a distraction from our lockdown due to the pandemic. I had wanted to complete my 300hr teacher training for the past couple of years and thought maybe this may be the time. After doing a little research I found TKYM and started to explore what the 300hr training entailed. I was very drawn to the content and when I noticed the required books and saw that The Myths of Asanas was one of them and that Alanna was not only the author but TKYM was her course, I was very excited! I already owned her book and read it a few years ago. I dug it out and felt like this was a sign! I went for my walk and was contemplating whether this was indeed the right course for me, I asked the universe for a sign…. and as I was listening to Deepak Chopra’s audiobook Sychrodestiny he was talking about the importance of myth, during that particular chapter I realized that I was being told that Alanna’s course was exactly the right direction! I got home and registered right away! I have to say I loved every minute of it!!
What TKYM course(s) have you taken, and what was your experience?
I took the 300hr certification and as soon as I finished I got registered for YA 500hr with the Yoga Alliance and the Canadian Yoga Alliance as well. I felt a deep sense of pride! I reached out to my original 200hr yoga teacher trainer as I couldn’t wait to share the news with everyone. I felt so proud of myself for my commitment to my studies and completing all the videos required, even when it wasn’t always easy. When I finished and got my certification I felt a little lost, like something was missing. I started to explore the other courses and decided I would like to take both the astrology and chakra certifications. I opted to go for astrology first as I figure it will take me years to fully comprehend all of the content, even after I get certified I know I will need to continue to learn for a long time. Then today…. I was so excited to see that I WON the Chakra Therapeutics course!!! I am beyond thrilled !! The online community has been so supportive throughout the entire course and the mentors have been so helpful! I know it’s a big adjustment for the community as we change from Facebook but I take time every day to try to check in and connect in some way.
What has been the biggest lesson you’ve learned as a spiritual leader and as a person?
Learning to be present was so difficult for me in the beginning and once I was able to master staying in the moment my life truly changed. We don’t have to have it all figured out right away. Just find joy in all the little things, one day at a time, that’s what creates a lifetime of joy and happiness. And gratitude, I show gratitude for everything and everyone important to me daily. Living in a space of gratitude will conquer fear and anxiety and bring about that deep sense of love that creates joy.
“We don’t have to have it all figured out right away. Just find joy in all the little things, one day at a time, that’s what creates a lifetime of joy and happiness.”
What portion of the program has been most beneficial to you as a yoga teacher/ yoga business?
That is a tough question. Digging deep into the spiritual texts was very beneficial to me as a teacher for sure, giving me a deeper understanding that I can share through my teaching. The online community has been a big deal for me too, through the disconnection of the pandemic, feeling a part of something so big really helped me feel a sense of connection I was craving.
How has the TKYM online community affirmed or challenged your perspective regarding online teaching?
Online teaching is a huge necessity for us teachers now, doing the videos required during the training really helped me to get comfortable talking to the camera. That helped me a lot. Now I am able to continue to teach my little yogis (3-year-olds) over zoom since I cannot go into the daycare at this time. Before the pandemic I was teaching 100 preschoolers each week through the school year, I miss them so much. One child care centre reached out and asked if I would consider teaching three classes of 3-year-olds together on zoom. So 3 individual classes of 10 children each together, virtually, of course, I said yes! But I was skeptical about what would be lost by connecting this way. The children LOVE it still! I am so grateful! They look forward to each and every class and participate with awareness and joy!!
Trish, how do you practice yoga on and off the mat?
I live my yoga in every single thing I do. My entire living space is created to remind me about how I choose to live, surrounded by plants, crystals, essential oils, a yoga mat in the centre of my bedroom floor so that at any moment I can get in my mat when I need some physical practice. When I walk in nature, I am in a state of gratitude and appreciation, I practice pranayama in bed and in my car when I walk. I live what I teach and I teach what I live.
What advice do you have for someone who is on the fence about enrolling in an online teacher training?
Just do it!!!! Stay focused on spending time every single day to do something. Just like how we live our yoga, we need to make our study a part of our everyday life, not something we HAVE to do, something we can’t wait to do. I am a lifetime student, learning is just part of what I do. When you find something interesting, do more research or read a book on that, take your learning to the next level. Get connected online to other students, post pictures, comments, and see what others are doing and saying, say something too!
Alright, last question… Is there anything else you want to share?
I am grateful for this opportunity to share here. I am so excited about what I have yet to learn and have yet to share with others. And please, always remember that there are people out there who need our loving-kindness and for us to share our yoga with them. Give lovingly and freely. Namaste.