The Journey to Become a Yoga Teacher –An Interview with Anna Laurita
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The journey to become a yoga teacher is different for every instructor. Sometimes it takes you through only one studio in which you learn to master all the necessary knowledge from one experienced teacher; other times, the path is defined by several tutors in various places who mold the teaching style with different perspectives; and in some other occasions, the journey takes you all over the world before you find the right atmosphere to transmit your passion for yoga in a class.
The latter is the case for Anna Laurita, who over the past 25 years has lived in 7 countries in Asia, Latin America and the USA. Meeting new people, exploring new places and cultivating her own yoga teaching style. Until 10 years ago when she settled in the city of Puerto Vallarta, a charming location in the Pacific Shore of Mexico that captivated Anna’s senses and checked all the boxes to be home of her yoga school: Davannayoga.
Today, she shares with BookYogaTeacherTraining.com some tips to aspiring yoga teachers, based on her journey and the experiences that have shaped her way to own one of the most recognized yoga studios in Puerto Vallarta.
How has traveling the world helped you to become a better yoga teacher?
Traveling has helped me to appreciate different body types and respect different yoga practices. Teaching around the world has helped me to learn to adapt the practice to the individual. Travel teaches patience and tolerance as well as compassion, all good characteristics for a yoga teacher.
What have you learned from the countries you’ve lived in?
That people, practices, food, the way of living and the styles of yoga are different, but we all want the same thing: liberation from that which binds us. Yoga is a tool for liberation. Yoga shines the light on where we’re stuck and gives us the methods to be open and free.
What country has defined more your teaching style?
China and India.
What’s so special about Puerto Vallarta that you decided to make it your home?
We looked for a new home after living in China, Brazil, Mexico City, Hong Kong, Colombia and Merida with a list of criteria, as this was going to be somewhere we would stay for a good long time (going on 10 years now). Our move had to have: a good climate for opening a yoga school, safety and security, healthy air, healthy food options and an appreciation of healthy lifestyle in general, a great school for our children (now teens), and good healthcare. Puerto Vallarta fits all of this criteria and it’s easy to be here. It’s a great place to raise a family and to practice yoga. The heat facilitates a beautiful practice that naturally burns away impurities.
Outside yoga, what’s your favorite thing to do in Puerto Vallarta?
Hiking, paddle boarding, walking my dog Pasha and playing in the waterfalls with my family!
What’s the best advice you can give to someone who wants to become a yoga teacher?
Sign up for a teacher training with a lineage that you resonate with, take the course, learn everything you can and then teach. Continue teaching for 3-5 years as frequently as you can (5-10 classes per week if you can) before you go on for advanced training. Teaching is the best teacher, it gives you grace and fluidity in moving your students through transitions and trains your eye to see as a teacher - you start to really notice your students. Nothing else can do that - no amount of training.
How long do you think someone should practice before becoming a yoga teacher?
It is difficult to say. Two years is a good time although I’ve trained teachers who have been gymnasts or dancers who did not have that length of practice-time but they knew their bodies and how movement happens and they are some of my most confident teachers.
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