Meet Brit Richmond, musician and recent graduate of Namaspa’s True U 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training (YTT) Program. Brit currently teaches at Namaspa in Bend, as well as offers chair yoga in corporate settings.
Brit — and a couple of others — have generously shared learnings, experiences, and perspectives from YTT for this blog, and throughout this month, you’ll hear more YTT grads’ experiences and voices on our social media pages, as well.
At the heart of Namaspa’s 200-hour YTT is Namaspa’s intent: to assist individuals to enhance their power – the ability to live at their full potential and to realize their life's mission through peaceful action. The training is a journey of transformation and empowerment through:
depth of study and practice;
building confidence and breaking through personal limits;
developing practical skills for creating and holding safe and transformational spaces; teaching yoga asana, pranayama, and meditation; and starting a yoga-related business.
Let’s dive deeper into these aspects of the training – and hear from Brit about her YTT experiences along the way.
Depth of Study and Practice
Within the ancient teachings of the eight limbs of yoga, there is a concept and practice of svadhyaya, or spiritual study. The active cultivation of svadhyaya includes both self-study, as well as study of spiritual texts and teachings. Within the context of the eight limbs of yoga, as well as Namaspa’s YTT, svadhyaya is foundational to living a life of transformation and walking a spiritual path.
From a self-study perspective, the invitation is to become a curious and enthusiastically disciplined explorer of your inner life! To always be asking questions of yourself – questions on a spectrum, from playful to interesting to challenging. And to always be seeking to see more and to know more about what drives you; what kinds of limiting thought-patterns and beliefs you hold; where you feel alive, confident, and powerful; and where your growth edges are. Brit shares that the Namaspa YTT program was “a safe and uplifting container where the invitation was to be completely honest with ourselves and each other, to question our own thought patterns, and release negative beliefs and ideas that held us back.”
From the perspective of studying spiritual texts and teachings, cultivating svadhyaya as a personal and spiritual growth practice is also about becoming a curious and enthusiastically disciplined seeker of perspectives, knowledge, and wisdom that transport us outside of habitual ways of thinking; old ways of seeing ourselves, each other, and the world; and our comfort zones. In the Namaspa YTT, material is taught and covered ranging from the history and philosophy of yoga and Hindu mythology — including the eight limbs of yoga, the yoga sutras, and the Bhagavad Gita — to books by modern authors on anatomy and physiology, finding and following your calling and purpose, and living an extraordinary life. See a full list of YTT required reading here.
Building Confidence & Breaking Through Personal Limits
The unique name of Namaspa’s YTT, True U, comes back again to Namaspa’s intent: to assist individuals to enhance their power – the ability to live at their full potential and to realize their life's mission through peaceful action. Suzie Newcome, Namaspa Yoga Community Founder and one of the YTT lead facilitators, says she is passionate about the True U training because “it is about inviting students of yoga and aspiring yoga teachers on a journey to connecting more deeply with and expressing their inner truth.” She goes on to say: “In asana practice, through coming into physical alignment, we’re aligning with the body’s truth or fullest potential. Alignment with inner truth is the same principle from an energetic and spiritual standpoint.”
This journey toward finding higher and higher, and deeper and deeper, layers and levels of both authentic personal truth, as well as larger, more universal Truth, is inherently transformational – old limiting beliefs about who we thought we were or what we thought we were capable of have to be seen, felt, sourced back to when they took root inside of us (e.g., childhood), and eventually transformed or overcome. This journey isn’t short, and it’s not particularly easy, but it is deeply meaningful and rewarding – and it is deeply inspirational and nourishing to engage in this kind of work with others in community.
The other lead facilitator, Petite Davina, shares: "This is a safe and supportive space in which to explore, discover, learn, and peel away any layers that are holding you back. As you give yourself this time of learning and self-improvement, everyone around you will receive the flow of empowered energy. The support and guidance of a community gathered to listen and learn together is a precious gift."
Brit shares how the transformation she experienced in YTT has rippled out beyond her mat and into her greater life:
“When I began the program, I thought I would learn how to sequence and lead a class through asana, the various postures – which I certainly did! And, throughout the YTT program, I could also feel profound shifts happening in every aspect of my life. I learned how to hold profound healing space for myself and others. I learned to trust myself and my intuition. I developed my voice as a yoga teacher, and also as a partner, friend, co-worker, and artist. My musicianship is a huge part of my life, and I feel that after YTT, my ability to perform and connect with others through music has been enhanced greatly. The pranayama (breathwork) that is a foundation in YTT has helped my singing, and the meditation practice I’ve developed has unlocked levels of creativity I previously didn’t know existed.”
Stay tuned to catch a listen to Brit’s soulful music and powerful voice later this month on our social media pages.
Developing Practical Skills
The inspirational big-picture aspects of YTT are one part of the unfolding, and then there are the practical skills and the very clear and important outcomes of investing time, energy, and monetary resources in a long-term and in-depth training like this. Lead facilitators, Suzie and Petit Davina, are a powerhouse duo with over 35 years combined experience and wisdom teaching yoga and training yoga teachers. Both, in their own ways and through their own journeys, have tremendous breadth and depth of experiences traversing their own inner landscapes, and leading and guiding others in their journeys to do the same. Topics such as creating and holding safe and transformational spaces; teaching yoga asana, pranayama, and meditation; and starting a yoga-related business are learned in YTT not only through the selected readings, group discussion, and time on the mat, but also through Suzie and Petit’s commitment to being role models who deeply embody the principles and practices they share and teach.
Heather Kellner, 2023 YTT graduate, currently teaching at Namaspa and for the Namaspa Foundation shares this about developing practical skills: “The anatomy lessons were very eye-opening for me and completely changed my asana practice. And the thought process and inspiration behind putting a flow together with an enlightening theme will never get old.”
Graduates from Namaspa’s YTT programs leave with the ability to:
teach vinyasa and yin yoga, including developing related skills around breaking down postures, alignment, variations, and sequencing classes;
apply foundational and creative yoga teaching techniques in a variety of small group settings;
evaluate and address bodies physically and emotionally to prevent injuries;
give safe hands-on assists and cue self-assists;
start a yoga-related business.
Namaspa’s next True U YTT begins the weekend of September 29-October 1 and meets one weekend per month through March 2024. Details about the training schedule are on our website. We will also be hosting a free YTT open house on Saturday, August 12, 3:00-5:00pm (register in advance here).
If anything about the upcoming YTT is sparking something inside of you, reach out by emailing us at email@example.com. Space is limited in the training, and the program is already filling up — so don’t wait for the open house!
In the powerful and wise words of recent YTT grad and Lead Studio Coordinator, Maddie Abramson: “To those of you standing on the brink of uncertainty, take the leap! You’ll never know what amazing gifts are waiting for you, until you try.”