Ruthilicious On-the-Spot: The Yogi in-the-making

Behind every passionate Yogi is a great Yoga Teacher. #ruthilicioushindsight

I'm fairly new to yoga practice. And just like every beginner yogi, I have a beginning. A remarkable beginning.

Whatever led me to where I am now, it's been a long journey and it would not be possible without the help of the people who are part and parcel of that journey. With that being said, I would like to announce that I'm going to give tributes to some influential people who made #ruthiliciousfitnessjourney remarkable.

A special blog post presenting a Yoga Teacher or Fitness Instructor who made a great impact in my fitness journey will be featured every now and then to highlight their story to serve as inspirations to my readers and followers who are on the same journey. I hope that those who are not yet in the journey or thinking of taking the journey will be motivated to finally take the first step to make life-changing choices.

This special blog post will feature and highlight one person at a time. This is my way of acknowledging important personalities who made a difference in my fitness journey and who served as inspirations to me and to their students.

Well, right now I'm in the process of sending the questionnaires and invites to them so I will just feature myself first since I have the prerogative to do so. LOL

I hope you don't mind.



Name: Ruthi
Certification: 200 HR Online Yoga Teacher Training Course (ongoing, will be certified in August 2019)
Yoga School: Yoga Goddess Academy
Name of Yoga Studio: I don't have a yoga studio (just yet) and I'm planning to offer private classes when I get certified.

When was the first time you fell in love with Yoga? How did it happen and what was your inspiration for the practice?

First of all, I am more of a runner than a Yogi (well, I used to). I fell in love with running in 2011. I signed up and ran my very first 5K race on impulse. But unlike anything I did on impulse, it was my cousin Joey who has something to do with my decision to take my first down dog on the mat. She talked me into it and encouraged me to do Yoga because she loves how she feels every time she's on the mat. She wanted me to feel the same.

It took me a while though to heed her advice because I also love how it feels when I am running. But eventually, I started googling "yoga studio near" me on impulse, of course. And lo and behold, there is one that is only 3 miles away from my house. So I checked it out. On Foot. I literally ran to the yoga studio in my two tiny feet to check out the studio. I was already out on my early morning run anyway so I decided to take a different route and mapquest led me to the parking lot of Sun Salutations Yoga and Wellness Center. That was where I met my soon-to-be Yoga Teacher, a good friend, my biggest motivator and one of my fitness inspirations - Nichole Tracy.

And that was where I first fell in love with yoga. It was in 2014.

Please describe your Yoga Journey: How did it change your life and how it impacted your lifestyle?

My yoga journey is accidental and intentional at the same time. I don't know if that is even possible but for me, it felt that way from the very start.

The first time I went down on the mat was with intention. And the first time I went on the mat was a discovery of my inner being that I didn't know I had. It was challenging at first especially that flexibility is my issue for the longest time. However, my experience on the mat may not be something extraordinary but it was really an eye-opener on how my body responded to the practice. It was amazing. I felt energized and relaxed after that first yoga class. Not to mention that my first savasana got me hooked.

And the rest is history.

Yoga changed my life slowly and dramatically. I practiced yoga once a week for the first 2 years and when I got too busy at work, I decided to practice yoga at home through YouTube. And from then on I found myself practicing yoga every single night because it felt so good and it helps me relax and get a good night sleep. And on the weekends I would practice yoga in my backyard and that made me look forward to practicing yoga more.

Aside from yoga practice at home I eventually tried other kinds of yoga. I tried aerial yoga which I love so much. It helped me realize that taking advantage of gravity in yoga practice gives me great benefits to my flexibility and strength. And when my yoga teacher Nichole got certified to teach SUP Yoga, I was her first student. As expected, she got me faced one of my greatest fear - being out in the body of water. She was incredible to make me try the stand-up paddleboard and taught me to maneuver the SUP in 15 minutes like a pro and didn't fall off the water. Next thing I know I bought my own inflatable standup paddleboard so I can practice SUP Yoga on my own.

Then the unthinkable happened. Early this year, I won a 200 HR Online YTT Course from the Yoga Goddess Academy and next thing I know I am now practice-teaching yoga classes as part of the curriculum. I didn't even dream to be a Yoga Teacher but now I am teaching yoga for real to real humans. Soon I will get certified as Yoga Teacher and I'm still pinching myself.

My life changed from being a couch potato to a yoga practitioner to a soon-to-be yoga teacher in a matter of over 5 years.

What 3 words describe you as a Yoga Teacher and what word or words describe your teaching style?

I am not a Yoga teacher, teacher "just yet". However, I am 4 weeks close to getting certified as a Yoga Teacher at the Yoga Goddess Academy. Though I am already practice-teaching yoga classes online and to real yoga students as part of the requirements for the YTT course. So I guess you can consider me as a Yoga Teacher per se.

So, as a soon-to-be Yoga Teacher (ehemm, clearing my throat here), the 3 words that describe me and as what my students told about me after taking my "practice-teach" yoga classes is that - I am fun, passionate, and engaging. They're their words, not mine... just sayin'.

3 Words that describe me as a Yoga Teacher:

FUN: They think that I'm a fun teacher. My students always enjoy my class maybe because we easily have good camaraderie. I also enjoy yoga and teaching it makes me happy so having fun is always the outcome.

PASSIONATE: They believe I'm passionate about my work as a Yoga Teacher because I do love what I am doing. I don't know if they can sense it but I do enjoy teaching yoga and I prepare well for every class I taught. 

ENGAGING: Whenever I prepare for my class, I think of how I would like to feel at the end of the class. I want my students to feel good after the class and I want my students to feel good themselves. I want to make them comfortable since that was the first thing I felt when I first had my first yoga class and that's what made me stick with it.


RELAXED and FEEL-GOOD:  Right now, I still have not taught yoga in a real yoga studio as a typical yoga teacher would. My classes are mostly a small group of close friends and co-workers who agreed to be my guinea pigs students for my YTT homework which I taught after school hours in the classroom at the school where I work. However, I take their words to describe my teaching style since they are genuinely saying that they love how I teach yoga. They say that it relaxes them and they feel good after the practice. 

And because of these, once I get YTT certified, I plan to focus on Restorative, Nidra and Chair Yoga styles. I would like to help older clients especially those with mobility problems so they can claim their life back. I feel that that kind of yoga classes will help my aging clients who have health issues.

What advice would you give your new yoga student who is struggling with letting go and ego?

My students are mostly beginners just like me. They are mostly new to yoga and kinda shy though they can be easily motivated.

Being a new Yoga Teacher, I feel that my students can relate to my level and body type as beginners. This is working to my advantage so to speak. Given the situation, we both feel comfortable and relaxed in a certain way.

So for them to be able to get deep into the practice, I make them feel confident in doing poses that are appropriate to their fitness level. I also encourage them to express themselves where they are comfortable. I also incorporate modifications for hard poses for them to feel that it's ok if they are not flexible.

What advice will you give your yoga students who are thinking of taking Yoga Teacher Training Course?

Again, I'm still a YTT Trainee but if I knew students who are dedicated in their practice and got the passion for it, I would tell them to look into teaching yoga just like what Nichole did to me. I would encourage them to give YTT a chance or do research so they would know if it is for them.

Here's the thing. I didn't know I want to be a Yoga Teacher first and foremost. It wasn't in my bucket list, to be honest with you. I wasn't interested in being a teacher but what I was interested in was to be able to know if I am doing the poses correctly and safely. Since I started practicing at home it was my main concern because I want to know how to do the poses accurately and cautiously to avoid injuries.

But before that Nichole (my yoga teacher) already fed the thought into my brain. I didn't know why she told me to take a YTT one time but I was guessing she probably saw my passion for the practice which I wasn't even aware of. And she was very happy and proud of me when I told her that I'm already taking YTT.

How many years have you been teaching Yoga and what are the challenges you encountered along the way?

I'm new to yoga. I just started taking 200 Hours Online Yoga Teacher Training Course early this year. Though I'm 4 weeks close to finishing the course and get certified as a Yoga Teacher, I already encountered some challenges because with the YTT course we were given homework that requires us to teach yoga to real humans already. And for me the main challenge is confidence. I'm struggling with a lot on cueing because of my accent. I'm not confident enough to verbalize my thoughts.

But being with the Yoga Goddess Academy, I am blessed to be mentored by Crystal Gray, the founder of YGA as well as my co-trainees. They are all very supportive of me. They are very understanding, patient and motivating. I am so grateful to be a part of this amazing tribe of goddesses.

Is Yoga your only workout or you also do other workouts aside from yoga? If YES, what is it? Can you give a brief description of your other workout?

As I mentioned earlier, I run. I run a lot. And I love running. I used to run 2 races a month but since I got busy at work and other stuff, I just run when I can and join just 2 races a year (my favorite ones).

Aside from running, I love hiking and riding bikes too. Every now and then, I would also do Belly Dancing when I'm in the mood.

But yoga is my regular routine. I do yoga every morning to get the energy I need to start my day. In most days I also do yoga before bed to relax me and have a good night sleep.

Lastly, what do you want your student to take away with them from your Yoga Class?

If there is anything I want my students to take away with them from my class, it is peace and self-love.

When I was a beginner, those were the 2 important things I didn't know I needed. I wasn't aware that I didn't love myself enough to be at peace in my own skin and with my own reality. My self-esteem was rock bottom and my fear of all the things that don't actually matter was ginormous. I didn't even know that I wasn't breathing like breathing-breathing.

Yoga changed my life drastically and in time, I was able to accept who I am and who I was not.

I was able to believe that I am enough.

Eventually, I learn to love myself and connect to my inner being. And now I am living my reality the way it should be.

And these are the takeaways that I want my students to bring with them when they roll out of the mat so they can be happy and be at peace with who they are. To let go of all the things what no longer serving them and live their own reality.

THIS Yogi/Fitness Instructor On-the-Spot blog segment is a special blog post featuring a Special Guest Yogi/Fitness Instructor highlighting his/her fitness journey.

It is Ruthilicious' hope and dream that this blog post will serve as inspirations to others to make life-changing choices and become the persons they truly are.

This post is NOT PAID and I did not get any compensation from the person featured here.