My New Wellness Endeavor: Teaching Yoga | Advice on Preparing for Yoga Teacher Training

Hi Friends!

If you thought you loved fitness Tuesdays before, just wait for what’s to come! This summer I will be training with Baptiste Yoga in Cambridge, Mass. to train for yoga teacher certification. I just read that sentence over twice – and I’m still asking myself “is this really real?”

And, yet, it’s been on my mind for just about ever.

I was first introduced to the Baptiste method of yoga back in 2009 after I moved to the big city (Cambridge, Mass.), to start my engineering career. Back then, I was intimidated by the entire experience (the Baptiste method is the most physical practice I’ve ever tried: hot vinyasa power yoga).

After my first class in 2009, I left feeling discouraged by the experience. The heat and the physicality of the practice made it difficult to get into a rhythm. I spent half of the class laying down on my mat, partially in awe, and partially grossed out by everyone around me. The sweaty, slightly smelly, hot and humid room felt more like some version of exactly where I didn’t want to be.

“This just isn’t for me”, I thought.

But the more I tried other methods at the other local studios, the more I realized that, while intimidating, Baptiste was the only yoga method that felt like the right kind of challenge my body needed. So I came back to it, several times, without ever committing more than a 10-class pass over months.

And then I decided to do 30 days of hot yoga for my 30th birthday. And everything changed.

Fast forward to today, and I’m ecstatic to be joining the Baptiste community. I’m thrilled to be giving myself – and, let’s be honest, those around me – the opportunity to personally grow and change and strengthen (body and mind) through a well organized, experienced, enlightening method of practice.

And I’m also incredibly intimidated.

You see, part of the physicality and the heat and the intensity of this method, is the demand it places on your body. I want to be ready. I want to get the most of this experience. And, to be honest, I don’t want to be the “worst.”

I know, I know: it’s yoga. There is no worst. There is no best. There is only you and your practice. But you know what I mean – you don’t want to stand out, or hold the class back, or lessen your experience through lack of preparation.

advice to help in preparing for yoga teacher training

To gain more perspective on the experience (and prevent over-training), I contacted a friend who is a Bikram instructor. He gave me a lot of GREAT advice, helped me shift my perspective and get in a much more productive mindset. And I’m going to share two of those pieces of advice today.

1. Just Breathe.

2. Training is about teaching, not showing off.

And that second piece of advice has rung in the back of my mind since he said it. I know, in my heart of hearts, that I will be a fantastic teacher. And knowing that makes the rest of the preparation, and my approach to practice, much clearer. Without knowing exactly what to expect, I do know this: I can do this. And it’s going to be awesome.


So, with that, expect lots more yoga talk and preparation from me. I can’t wait to share my experience, the best and the worst of it, here in this space.

*Also, if you are a teacher, or if you are preparing for training, please share some feedback on your experience below. I love words of encouragement and advice. And I could use it! *








Julie Love Gagen

After unexplained illness, with no diagnosis, forced me to take medical leave of absence in college, I chose yoga as a path towards healing. For me, it was a gentle way for me to get back into my body. And the experience, and practice, gave me the confidence I needed to believe I could heal. It worked. And it’s been magic ever since. In 2012, I chose to do a personal wellness challenge – 30 days of Hot Power Yoga – in celebration of my 30th birthday. The studio I picked was Baptiste Yoga in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The studio which, just a few years later, would be the inspiration and the setting for my RYT 200-hr Yoga Teacher training. The style of yoga I teach is a little different from what you’ve seen before. In my class, we focus on strengthening your core, elongating your spine, and finding the ideal position for each body, regardless of what it looks like.