Is Yoga Teacher Training Really Worth It?

Today we connect with 200 and 300 hour Garden Graduate Kremi Arabadjieva to learn about her journey to Yoga Garden SF and beyond. She shares a bit about why she chose teacher training at Yoga Garden SF, and how it changed her perception of life. 

Why Yoga Garden SF?

Perhaps Yoga Garden SF chose me, not the other way around. I first heard about the studio through a good yogi friend, and during my month-long fun-employment, I decided to dive full into my yoga practice. I always passed by the studio on my commute home, and there was a certain magical, glowing energy that would seep through the trees. I signed up for the unlimited intro membership and took a class a day for that month period. In that time and space, I tried out as many teachers as I could and was blown away by the diversity and individuality found in every class and teaching style.

Read more about Kremi’s journey here.

Why Teacher Training?

I found yoga and meditation in a tumultuous time when my soul needed healing most. Three years into my practice, I experienced what I can only describe as my first mystical, tangible brush with spirituality and oneness. It was something I had no vocabulary to understand at the time; now I know that it was the beginning of the end in how I would perceive the world. When I initially moved to San Francisco, I had a few incredible yoga and meditation mentors who pushed me to start sharing my perspective and guiding meditation sits. This fulfilled a very deep part of me, seeing people show up for themselves and creating a container for them to do that. I would say every decision I’ve made has slowly nudged me towards teacher training.

What surprised you about Yoga School?

There is no destination, there is only patience, learning and surrender. Yoga is not a linear practice, it is a practice of life that happens at all times. Sure, you can learn certain perspectives on anatomy, safety, philosophy, etc, but truth is all schools of yoga seem to have a different view on most of these things. There are some areas of overlap, but Yoga School really presented me with a tasting menu to see what resonates and what doesn’t for my own practice.

Any challenges? And how did you overcome them?

So many, haha. I mean in a way going through this journey is the most extensive self-study experiment, one that asks you to face your shadows, limitations, and self limiting beliefs. It’s not rainbows and butterflies, and it can be a wild roller coaster at times. One big challenge was going through a phase of feeling like I needed to fit into that yogi stereotype of being happy, perfect, active and positive all the time. Certain assumptions can be made, but going through the program you realize the gravity of being authentic, genuine and true. It all boils down to loving yourself for everything you are, shadow and all; and when you teach from that perspective, people pick up on that authenticity and wholehearted living.

How did what you learned in training relate to your “non-yoga” life?

It feels hard to answer this question because I no longer consider my “yoga life” to be just my asana practice. I’d propose that for me, it feels more true to view life as my yoga practice. And so with this perspective, it’s all one to me. Every moment, every interaction, every situation is what I most need in this space and at this time (the yoga practice is remembering and trusting that). After training, I’ve found it easier to surrender to that which I cannot change, to the simple truth that things happens for us and not to us. My perception of life is what has shifted, and that’s something I aim to cultivate on and off the mat.

What were some of your big takeaways from your training?

BALANCE! In all of life. Most obviously, balance out an active day by doing a restorative grounding practice or activity that reinforces slowing down. This goes hand in hand with choosing how to intentionally exert your energy.

We have an innate ability to heal ourselves emotionally, physically and mentally to a certain extent. So much of it is about listening, truly listening; the intuitive voice speaks softly in everyday waking life, and also through our dreams on a subconscious level.

Patience. If you go into training knowing nothing about inversions, you probably won’t miraculously become a professional in a month. It is a practice that takes many years to grow and refine… funny how that’s very similar to all of life 😉

Everything is energy.

How did your experience prepare you for what you are doing now?

It has prepared me for all parts of life; from my career, which is rooted in people and assimilating wellness into company culture, to my art, behind and in front of the camera, to my ability to show up with presence in the ordinary moments. I say this with the emphasis that all of these things are a practice, and there’s a lot of self-love in that realization. My path also led me to meet my business partner, Elease. Together, we created what is now Passion Project SF, a health and wellness company looking to take the business out of the industry and make it accessible to more students. We are partnering with a diversity of healers and looking to offer yoga, meditation, breath work sessions, etc.  

Tell us about Passion Project- the inspiration and vision.

Passion Project SF is a playground where movement, wellness, and art go to mix and mingle. A sanctuary where creation is encouraged to flourish for the betterment of the community and love for collaboration. For the student, it is a safe space to practice connecting mind, body and spirit. A sacred stomping ground to explore consciousness. Movement, wellness, and art are for EVERYONE, and we thrive off of this inclusivity.

For the teacher, it is a blank canvas to explore complete creative freedom. The experiences offered are unique and we celebrate that. We welcome it and give instructors the tools to grow their practice. To touch the lives of others while dancing to their own individual beat.

For the Passion Project SF team, it is quite literally a passion project with the goal of taking the business out of health and wellness, making it accessible to all that want to be part of it.

Words of wisdom for someone curious about Teacher Training?

If you’re curious, you will get there regardless of timeline, of that I am sure. There will be a moment in which the desire to know your true Self will become completely magnetic, and every part of your life will open up to lead you towards the same Yogic path. Take the leap when you notice that natural unfolding, it’s a beautiful journey.