Garden Grad Kara Kohler Aims for 2020 Olympics!

Today Garden Grad & professional rower Kara Kohler shares her journey to Yoga Garden SF’s 200 Hour Teacher Training program. She talks about why she chose teacher training, what she got out of it, and how it’s helped her reach her professional rowing goals. Kara is on her way to World Rowing Championships in Linz Ottensheim, Austria and hopefully to the 2020 Olympics! 

Why Yoga Garden SF?
I ended up at Yoga Garden SF because after speaking with the owner David Nelson and learning that he also rows, I decided that it was my sign to pick Yoga Garden SF.

Why Teacher Training?
After getting cut from the 2016 Rio Olympic Team I took some time away from rowing and was looking for a new experience. I had practiced yoga on and off throughout my athletic career and decided it was something I wanted to delve deeper into. I was also looking to build some confidence in a skill other than rowing so figured the ability to teach was a good place to start!

What surprised you about Yoga School?
The various personalities of the teachers. It was very relieving to know that you don’t have to be a certain way (i.e. body type/personality) to become a yoga teacher. As long as you are committed to the practice and have a desire to support others in developing their practice you will be capable of teaching yoga.

Any challenges? And how did you overcome them?
I have always been challenged by public speaking. Accepting that I might make mistakes and realizing that just like anything else it takes practice to improve, has helped me to become more comfortable and confident speaking to a group.

How did what you learned in training relate to your “non-yoga” life?
My yoga training gave me new tools that have become very useful in my relationship to rowing. The mental aspect of teacher training has helped me to become a better racer, while the physical practice has helped me to become a stronger athlete with more body awareness.

What were some of your big takeaways from your training?
The best way to improve a skill is to surround yourself by people who are more experienced than you.

How did your experience prepare you for what you are doing now?
It gave me a newfound appreciation of the learning process. There is always going to be something technical or mental to work on!

Tell us about your rowing career- what you have coming up and what you envision for the future.
This year I was selected through a trials process to the women’s single scull (W1X).  This is my second year in this boat class after having spent my previous rowing years racing in team boats. As for international racing this season, I just returned from World Cup 2 in Poznan, Poland where I finished 4th. Next up is the World Rowing Championships in Linz Ottensheim, Austria (August 25-September 1). For those interested in following the racing, viewers can track races on worldrowing.com or watch the final races on the Olympic Channel! The ultimate goal is to be selected to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Team next year and be among those racing for a medal.

Words of wisdom for someone curious about Teacher Training?
Don’t worry about being unprepared. As long as you are capable of showing up to class and engaging with the process you will be ready!