Yoga teacher training

Lots of snuggles and downtime over here: 

Me and livi22

Even though I hate when Livi is sick, the cuddles and downtime have been amazing. After a frantic week last week, some forced relaxation is much-appreciated, especially when I get to spend it relaxing with noodle. Usually she rarely sits still, but we’ve been camped on the couch watching movies and reading books. Not a bad place to be <3 (Also, did you know you can stream Frozen on Amazon?!)

During nap time over the past week, I’ve spent a ton of time researching places in San Diego. I’ve been watching Zillow like a hawk and was the miraculous first caller when a house we love popped up (!!!!). Fingers crossed that it works out! In between the necessities of scoping out the Pilot’s commute time along with shopping, restaurants, juice spots, and gyms/studios where I might want to apply, I’ve also been scouring the yoga options. 


One of my absolute favorite parts about being in a new place is to check out all of the fun and new-to-me fitness classes. The base gym can be hit or miss -does anyone know what it’s like on Coronado??- but I can almost always find something that I love. I’ve always tried to be an active member of the yoga community where we’d lived (minus Valdosta, whose yoga community was in our guest bedroom with a space heater) and am so excited to check out some new studios in SD. There’s also a TODDLER YOGA STUDIO. I got a Groupon a couple of weeks ago and can’t wait to practice with my favorite little yogini.

Baby yoga

I’ve also been exploring yoga teacher training options. Even though I’m not sure if I’d want to teach, I think it would be an awesome way to depend my personal practice, meet some new people and become a part of the yoga community.

I was really excited when Ali sent me an email to describe her yoga teacher training experience. A little info about Ali: she’s Registered Holistic Nutritionist, Trained Life Coach, Reiki Master, Yoga teacher and author of The Perception Diet.

Here’s what she had to say:

Hello! My name is Ali, and I am so pumped that to get to talk to you today! Gina has been such a huge inspiration for me, and I am so grateful to her for allowing me the space to share with you today.

As you may or may not know, both Gina and I are both huge fans of yoga. I have personally been practicing for almost 10 years and I can say that it has transformed my life in so many ways that it is difficult to count! One of the greatest blessings that yoga has given me was actually through my yoga teacher training. I know that Gina is seriously looking into doing her training, so I wanted to write about my experience to encourage her, and to encourage you to dive in and go for it if it is something you are thinking of doing.

I did my teacher training in Edmonton Alberta Canada with a company called YogaWorks. Their training is a mixture of Ashtanga Yoga practices and Iyengar Yoga practices, focusing on proper alignment in combination with flow. I was expecting to come out of my training with a certificate and a deeper confidence in leading others through asana (posture) practice, but what I actually got was so much more than that.

1. My training deepened my asana practice: As I suspected, I learned new asanas during my teacher training, which was really fun and exciting. What I did not expect was to get so much hands on personalized feedback on my asana, with new tips and techniques for deepening and working in the postures I already knew. I learned so much about my own body and how it is set up that I can say with confidence I can achieve postures now after my training that I never would have been able to accomplish before. I also learned how to ease into postures, how to honor where I am at today, and how to progress in a safe and steady way.

2. It opened my eyes to areas of yoga I previously had little to no knowledge of: I was aware of yoga asana, as most people are when they take on a training. What my training opened my eyes too was the deep philosophical roots of yoga, the teachings of the Yoga Sutras, a deeper and richer understanding of anatomy, breath work and meditation practices. Sitting in circle discussing the meanings of various sutras, learning how to augment my breath to create more calm or more energy, and being asked to take time to sit in meditation have forever changed my life. I am a more centered, balanced and well rounded yoga teacher and practitioner because of these new areas of study introduced to me through my training. Learning how deep and rich the practice of yoga really is set me on a trajectory I am still on to this day!

Yoga  1 of 1 4

3. It created a community for me to be a part of, and I am still connected with a few of my fellow trainees 4 years later: It is easy to go to a yoga studio, slip in just before class starts, do your practice, and quickly exit the studio after class without saying two words to anyone. And there is certainly a time and a place for this, I understand the need to make yoga time β€œyour” time. But there is something really magical about a group of people coming together week after week to study and practice yoga. The bonds and connections I made with those in my training are very special, and even those that I no longer speak with still hold a sacred space in my heart. The yoga community is really rich and beautiful and doing a teacher training submerges you right in the middle of it. It also provided me the opportunity to talk to and connect with people I would never have connected with otherwise. You will cherish the connections made in your training forever, I promise πŸ™‚

4. It gave me confidence, not only in teaching, but in myself: This was a huge one for me. Being β€œforced” to stand up in front of my peers and teach was rattling at first, but as I progressed through my training it became easier and easier. Finding your center in front of a group of people is really a special skill, and one that can be carried over into life in general. The confidence I found within myself to stand up and speak has leaked over into my life and given me more confidence to speak my truth all the time. I am so grateful for this.

5. It helped my to re-connect with my body in a way that transformed how I ate, slept, and nourished myself: Lastly, my teacher training helped me to re-set some negative patterns I had with regards to how I felt about and thought about my body. Learning more about the anatomy of my body gave me a deeper and richer appreciation for the amazing gift that my body is. 2.5 hour practices with an enfaces on long holds gave me the space and time to really dig into those more uncomfortable thoughts and feelings and come through them to the other side. Learning about the concept of Ahimsa or non-harming transformed the way I thought about eating and exercising. In short, my teacher training taught me to treat my body as the precious vehicle that it is.

So, I hope I have inspired you to take on your training if it is something you are thinking about. Even if you never plan to teach, your training will enrich your practice and your life in more ways that you can possibly imagine. Go for it!

Yoga mats

Lastly, I will be co-leading a 7 week Perception Diet tele-course with at the end of March. If you would like to connect with me personally and with others who are learning to love their bodies, email me at for more info on the course.

Thank you so much to Ali for sharing her experience!

Friends who have completed yoga teacher training: any tips or insights to share?

What part of your local fitness community do you feel the most connected? Have you met any close friends or a significant other at a fitness studio?! (<– I love these kind of stories!)

Hope you enjoy the rest of your day <3



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  1. Liz on March 6, 2014 at 5:33 pm

    Such a great guest post – and great timing. I’ve been thinking about yoga teacher training for awhile, but had just started actually browsing online for options earlier this morning. I guess this is a sign I should go for it! Thanks Ali & Gina!

  2. Meg @ A Dash of Meg on March 6, 2014 at 5:34 pm

    my heart MELTED when I first saw that pic of you and Livi <3 oh i hope she feels better soon! I remember lying on the couch with my Mommy when I was sick at Livi's age <3 she'll remember that forever Gina. We always watched Jungle Book πŸ™‚ That was my favourite πŸ˜‰ I'd watch it 3 times a day πŸ˜‰

    Sending you good luck wishes on the house <3 <3 <3 <3

    • Fitnessista on March 6, 2014 at 7:02 pm

      thank you, lovely!! xo

  3. Katie on March 6, 2014 at 5:40 pm

    I love this post! I have actually met a lot of people through my gym, and even beyond that, it has become a wonderful way to see my mom, sister, and friends more often than I normally would with our busy lives! I think going to the gym (and in my case, attending the classes at my gym) it not only motivating, it is a great way to socialize and meet people. In my opinion, regardless of whether you decide to teach, it will be a great way to find this type of community in San Diego! πŸ™‚

  4. Susan on March 6, 2014 at 5:41 pm

    I almost signed up for Yoga Teacher training this past January but we’re expecting baby #2 this summer, so it’s delayed until next winter (hopefully!).

    Some library branches in SD offer free toddler yoga & story time, but I’d love to find out about a toddler yoga studio! Do you mind sharing?

    Also, Hapa Yoga in the Grantville area offers childcare! πŸ˜‰

    • Fitnessista on March 6, 2014 at 7:01 pm

      it’s called “if i was a little bird.” let me know if you get to check out a class!
      i’m excited that they have toddler storytime there, too. we go weekly here in tucson and love it
      thanks for the heads up about hapa yoga, too!!

      • Susan on March 7, 2014 at 6:14 pm

        Thank you so much for sharing! I will definitely check it out, even though we’re a bit further north, I’m sure it’s worth the drive! πŸ˜€

  5. Nichole on March 6, 2014 at 5:51 pm

    I met one of my very close friends in spin class! We used to always cycle next to each other and one day decided to start chatting and it just blossomed from there! We’ve been friends now for almost three years and still cycle next to each other every Monday and Wednesday night πŸ™‚

    • Fitnessista on March 6, 2014 at 7:00 pm

      that is so fun!!

  6. Debbi on March 6, 2014 at 6:42 pm

    Hi Gina, are you talking about the Navy base on Coronado? My daughter is stationed there, I wasn’t aware of an AF base there.


    • Fitnessista on March 6, 2014 at 7:00 pm

      yes! there is no air force base

      • Debbi on March 6, 2014 at 7:06 pm

        Cool beans, she is in Special Warfare at NAB.

  7. jodie on March 6, 2014 at 6:46 pm

    Love the pic of you and Livi, hope she starts feel 100 percent soon. Absolutely love her down dog.:)

    Hoping you get the place you want in SD. Have a great evening. Oh. which manchego cheese do you buy?

    • Fitnessista on March 6, 2014 at 6:59 pm

      thank you!
      i got the manchego from coscto last time, but also love the types at trader joes. i feel like i buy something different every time

      • jodie on March 6, 2014 at 7:35 pm

        thanks going to costco tomorrow.

  8. Katie on March 6, 2014 at 7:22 pm

    I am currently 6 months into my 9 month teacher training and all I can say is, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?? πŸ™‚

    I agree with every point Ali made and then some. πŸ™‚ It has been life changing for me and if I never end up teaching a class once I graduate, I will leave the teacher training program knowing that I’m a better person because of everything I learned and from the wonderful people I met.


    Go for it!!!!!! You won’t regret it. πŸ™‚

  9. Amy on March 6, 2014 at 7:25 pm

    I’m a native San Diegan and can’t wait to read about your adventures here after you move! I’m not super involved in the yoga community, but I have taken classes at numerous places in the area (though more North County, which is probably not where you’re looking if your husband will be in Coronado) – so even though I’m just a random blog lurker, feel free to reach out if you have any San Diego questions! πŸ™‚

  10. Angie on March 6, 2014 at 7:26 pm

    There’s a great yoga studio in University Heights called Nature’s Whisper. They have a bunch of prenatal and mama & baby classes, they also offer teacher training. They have a great vibe, for moms in particular (and a dads too!) I didn’t do much prenatal yoga at that studio, but I went to the mom and baby classes a lot right after I had my little one…it was great for my postpartum mind and body, and I think my baby girl liked it too. πŸ™‚

    Good luck!!

  11. RachelG on March 6, 2014 at 7:39 pm

    I did my 200-hour yoga teacher training last year and I LOVED it. The one complaint about my training I have is that it didn’t focus enough on anatomy. We just watched a DVD, and while it was great, for me (and a lot of the people in my training) it wasn’t enough. When you are looking for yoga teacher trainings I’d recommend asking how much focus on anatomy there will be. I think it’s very important, especially when you are going to adjust your students while they are holding poses.

    If anyone has any questions about yoga teacher trainings I’m happy to answer them here. <3

  12. Maria on March 6, 2014 at 7:48 pm

    I got my 200 hr yoga teacher training in Austin, TX. I think I am the only one out the the 12 that attended, that did teach before and continued teaching after, which to me just seems like a lot of money for me (a student at the time) to pay for a sort of fun yoga camp experience. Looking back, spending all that money was a bit of a waste seeing that I still only get paid $20 (if that) a class, (or the same as YogaFIT certified teachers get, which is like $200, not $3000+) even in a big city like Dallas, where there are boatloads of teachers waiting for a spot to open up in a studio.
    I was Hatha Certified, even though I practice and teach Ashtanga, and honestly I felt like it did not deepen my practice that much, it ended up being much more spiritual than I was looking for. I was really wanting to get into the asanas and kinesiology. I unfortunately felt like we did not even go over all the basic asanas, we had a lot of people who just wanted attention and wanted to share every feeling. This sounds bad, but paying thousands of dollars and coming out of it feeling short changed, isn’t great. I think it was the school, the branch of yoga, and the fellow students.
    But if you can find one that does give you everything then its totally worth it, but it is hard to cram everything you’d like to know in a few weeks. Honestly if you practice regularly some reading or a private session or even a seminar you can learn what you need to teach, and since you already are a teacher its even easier for you to know “how to” teach, and you can figure it out.
    It’s taken me a few years to realize I wish I hadn’t gone, or been more choosy with my school.

  13. Kim on March 6, 2014 at 9:19 pm

    Hi Gina. Will your husband be working at NASNI? If so, I work there, and can tell you the base gym is not very good. There is a small gym with a mix of mismatched equipment and minimal fitness classes (I can email you the schedule if you want). There is a large converted warehouse with basketball courts and such but also not great. there is a brand new huge fitness center currently under construction but they just broke ground on the site so it will be a while until its ready.

    There are two yoga studios I frequent that are about 10-15 minutes away from Coronado (assuming no traffic on the bridge). The little yoga studio down town and ginseng in south park. both are amazing!! and both offer teacher training.

    Be happy to provide any other San Diego info you might need πŸ™‚

  14. kayla on March 6, 2014 at 9:19 pm

    Yoga teacher training is something I definitely want to do in the future… whether or not I end up teaching yoga in the future. I imagine it’s an amazing self discovery experience as well.

  15. Karissa on March 6, 2014 at 9:19 pm

    So sorry Livi isn’t feeling well!! πŸ™ I hope she feels better ASAP! But I’m glad that you’re getting awesome time and snuggles. πŸ™‚ Congrats on the house lead yay!

  16. Lauren @ The Bikini Experiment on March 6, 2014 at 9:33 pm

    I am not sure I would want to teach yoga either but would love to have this experience at some point down the road.

  17. Taylee @ twist me fit on March 6, 2014 at 10:41 pm

    I can’t get over the pic of Liv doing yoga. Too precious!

  18. Caryn on March 6, 2014 at 10:53 pm

    The gym on base in Coronado is fantastic – everything is fantastic to be honest with you – you can get Mahi Mahi tacos in the NEX, so that should give you an idea of what you’re working with!

  19. Laura B @ FitMamaLove on March 6, 2014 at 11:49 pm

    What a great post for those who are looking into yoga teacher training! When I was researching Pilates teacher training options, I found it all very complicated and posts like these were super helpful.

  20. Jamie on March 6, 2014 at 11:50 pm

    I’m just so excited that you’re fam is moving to San Diego, my hometown and where we absolutely LOVE to live! Coronado is just gorgeous, but I’m unfamiliar with yoga studios there. I’m a fan of Yoga Six as well as Core Power, which I’ve heard has a fabulous teacher training program that I’ve always entertained doing. Wishing you the best of luck with that house!

  21. Pua on March 7, 2014 at 1:22 am

    First – I just adore the picture of you and your daughter. What a beautiful little girl!

    Second – Thank you for this. I’ve been toying with the idea of yoga, but I’ve always been more of a cardio/strength workout class type of girl. I didn’t even think about the community aspect of it, which, especially now that I’m pregnant, really appeals to me. I need more women in my life, especially those who take health seriously. Thank you!

  22. Sarah F on March 7, 2014 at 3:53 am

    I love this post (and crazy that Ali is from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada- I use to live there!).

    I completed my yoga teacher training in July in Costa Rica, and I absolutely agree with everything that’s being said. YTT definitely changed me, in ways I didn’t notice until afterwards. It allowed me to be more honest with what I wanted- which ironically enough, made me realise I didn’t want to open my own yoga studio but instead continue on my path in the corporate world.

    While I may never teach yoga in a professional capacity, my own practice has been deepened hugely by attending the course. Plus, with a move to Europe, I’ve managed to continue practicing regularly, even if it’s just in my living room right now.

    I think anything that involves investing in yourself is a great thing, and YTT is exactly that- an investment πŸ™‚

  23. Livi on March 7, 2014 at 7:47 am

    I love having a gym right on my campus! It makes working out with friends lots of fun!

  24. Cara's Healthy Cravings on March 7, 2014 at 8:33 am

    I recently joined a new gym and I really try to make an effort to immerse myself in the community of the gym, so I don’t just go there each day and do my own thing in robotic fashion. I have been trying out lots of classes and getting to know some of the staff, which is key.

    Yoga teacher training is always on my mind, as well as fitness instructing. I think both would be a good challenge for me. We will see!

  25. Lisa on March 7, 2014 at 9:00 am

    Lots of gorgeous gyms in downtown SD (so close to Coronado). The Little Yoga Studio is adorable (Cortez Hill). We also used to do really fun beach bootcamps! I miss working out in San Diego. Good luck with everything!

  26. Nikki on March 7, 2014 at 9:17 am

    I really like yoga but I can’t justify choosing yoga over a cardio exercise and weight lifting because of the much lower calorie burn.

    • Fitnessista on March 7, 2014 at 11:22 am

      i used to feel the same way, but finally realized how much it benefits me to alternate workout and cardio intensities. when you work your body to the max, day after day, it doesn’t have time or the ability to repair and rebuild. so now, i’ll usually follow a really challenging day with yoga and love it πŸ™‚

  27. Kim on March 7, 2014 at 9:39 am

    Thank you for this post! I am in a very similar situation. I moved out of state to North Carolina 9 months ago and while I love my day job and everything about this area, it has been difficult for me to meet people and feel that sense of community. I’ve had a steady yoga practice for almost 5 years and I love what it has done for my body but more importantly, my mind. I want to deepen my practice and share what I learn with others so last month, I signed up for Yoga Teacher Training through Lifetime Fitness. Unfortunately, the spring session I signed up for had to get postponed to fall so my teacher training will be delayed a few months. Nonetheless, I am so excited and inspired by this post.

    Follow my journey here:

  28. Haley @Cupcakes and Sunshine on March 7, 2014 at 10:07 am

    Oh wow, teaching yoga would be so great! I’ve been watching yoga youtube videos every morning and evening. They are great for those times when you can’t leave the house to take a class!

  29. FitBritt@MyOwnBalance on March 7, 2014 at 10:31 am

    I am dying over the toddler yoga. So cute! I have never done yoga teacher training but I heard it is very challenging (in a good way).

  30. Gisela on March 7, 2014 at 11:32 am


    I did my 200 hrs training 6 years ago in Miami, FL and I’m still in contact with the other girls. It really is an amazing experience and I totally recommend it.

    I will definitely NOT recommend the Yoga teacher trainings that are only one weekend long and they provide a certificate at the end. There is no way that anybody can teach a good yoga class after just one weekend. Don’t waste your money with those certificates. On the other hand, workshops just for the sake of learning are always good.

    • Fitnessista on March 7, 2014 at 4:43 pm

      i think those are more for continuing education. if or when i go for it, it will definitely be a 200 hour program

  31. Tia on March 7, 2014 at 12:25 pm

    You can stream Frozen on Amazon??? I thought I had to wait for the March 18th blu-ray release!

    I’m dying to watch it this weekend. Thanks!

  32. Tracy on March 7, 2014 at 12:42 pm

    This post came at a great time for me as I have been considering yoga teacher training for the last year or so. I’m on the same page as you, Gina. I don’t think I really want to teach, but I’d love to soak up as much yoga history and info as possible and deepen my practice. I think you should really consider teaching though! You’re already so good at leading and inspiring! Go for it!!

    • Fitnessista on March 7, 2014 at 4:48 pm

      thank you so much! i really want to do it. i think once we get settled and i get the chance to try out different studios, i’ll find my “home” and be able to make it happen.
      let me know if you decide to do it, too!

  33. Jessica on March 7, 2014 at 1:32 pm

    This is going to sound totally CREEPY but you really are gorgeous and have a beautiful family (fur family, included!). Thanks for sharing parts of your life with all of us! I love the exercise and meal ideas! πŸ™‚

    • Fitnessista on March 7, 2014 at 4:45 pm

      wow, what a sweet compliment – thank you!
      thank you for reading and hope you have a great weekend <3

  34. Ali on March 7, 2014 at 8:00 pm

    Thank you for sharing Gina! <3 If anyone has any questions they can contact me at

    So sorry to hear your little one is sick! But happy to hear about the extra snuggles πŸ™‚

  35. Lori on March 8, 2014 at 1:21 am

    I’m not a commenter. Comments annoy me. Just wanted to say the picture of you and your daughter is very sweet.

    • Fitnessista on March 8, 2014 at 5:38 pm

      thank you so much for commenting to leave such a sweet one πŸ™‚ hope you’re enjoying the weekend!

  36. Jessica Valant on March 8, 2014 at 8:59 pm

    Hi! Thanks for the great website! I especially enjoy your positive attitude and how you express that to all of us!

    I am moving to San Diego from Hawaii with my family in 3 weeks, and recently found out one of my favorite yoga instructors EVER is relocating to Encinitas – Eion Finn of Blissology yoga ( I’ve taken classes from him at Wanderlust and he will just lift your spirits (and give you a great workout πŸ™‚ I don’t know the details but I’m assuming they will keep us up to date on his webpage, so you might want to check it out on your explorations.

    Also, I met my husband at a Pilates class I was teaching 11 years ago…we now have a ten month old daughter πŸ™‚ Go figure…
    Thanks again and good luck on the move! We are in the midst of boxes and selling and shipping and a teething baby so I understand your pain πŸ™‚

    • Fitnessista on March 10, 2014 at 12:55 am

      i’m SO EXCITED that you told me that. i’m a huge fan of eion finn and will definitely make the drive to take some of his classes.

  37. Joy on March 9, 2014 at 8:48 pm

    Thanks for such a great post πŸ™‚ I hope livi is better by now.

    As for friends from a studio? I’ve met all of my best friends at the gym. I joined my studio just under 2 years ago and 5 days ago I had hip surgery and they’ve all been here for me non stop. Cheering me up texting me reminding me that in no time I’ll be back. We are a huge family that loves one another hard. It’s my favorite place

  38. Caitlin on March 10, 2014 at 3:15 pm

    I have found such a community with my fellow yoga teacher trainers. I’m only about 70 hours into my 200 but I am loving it.

  39. Rachelle on March 12, 2014 at 8:30 pm

    There is a great studio in Carmel Valley called Sculpt Fusion Yoga. They offer hot vinyasa (similar to Core Power) and a sculpt fusion class that is amazing. It is high energy sculpting (similar to a body pump class) in a heated studio with great music.
    Also, the Coronado base gym at NAS or NAB are okay. If you are looking to get in cardio or some weights, they have everything you need. NAS has an year round outdoor lap pool too.

  40. Erika on March 15, 2014 at 1:15 pm

    Oh, how sweet a toddler studio. It is so cute.

    I can’t recommend any places to practice as I’m not from your area.

    Yes, I can vouch for some of your experiences when you went for your instructor training. Thanks for sharing your experiences.

  41. Delores Lyon on March 31, 2015 at 1:42 pm

    Thank you for sharing your experiences of yoga teacher training! I think that it is awesome you found a place that helped build friendships for a lifetime. It shows that the place is more than just a teaching facility. It really shows that they care about the people who are trained under their employees.

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