Macy C.

Kripalu Yoga Teacher Training was exactly what I needed during the biggest transition of my life.

I started yoga in college, but I didn’t get serious about my practice until I moved to New York City to pursue a career in acting. I used yoga to stay grounded in the intense, high-energy environment. My parents did yoga teacher training together and started a business in 2013, teaching in substance recovery centers, dementia centers, elderly facilities, and community centers.

This past January, my dad received a very bad cancer diagnosis, and he passed away just two and a half months later. My dad was my best friend. I was lost—I didn’t even know how to still process the diagnosis, let alone the loss and how 2018 was transpiring. A deep desire for healing others stayed in the forefront of my mind, and I knew my purpose was to help my mom with their business and its expansion. Yoga teacher training seemed like the next step and, with no goodbyes, I quickly left New York. I wanted to go the fast route for training by finding an intensive program, and Kripalu just felt like the right place.

Our instructors were Larissa Hall Carlson and Kari Harendorf, and they were both so passionate about their areas of study and specialization. Growing up, I struggled with test-taking because much of the material did not interest me. With Kripalu Yoga Teacher Training, I realized that the material you’re being taught is what makes the difference. With yoga, I knew it was going to directly benefit my life, as well as others’ lives and the new path that I was about to take.

There were moments during the training when I felt very emotional, when my loss hit me in an even deeper way. But I had the tools to get through it—my breath, relaxing my body, quieting my mind, opening my heart, and just being present. I wasn’t sure how much I would want to share with my classmates, but I told them about my dad a week in, and by two weeks, they all felt like family. We developed an indescribable bond being together for 13 hours a day for a month. Before that, I was living in New York City and working 90-plus hours a week, isolating myself and never slowing down. It was a complete breath of clean, fresh air to spend my training in such a healing and serene environment. I was so fortunate to be surrounded by like-minded individuals with incredibly big hearts and return back to community. It was the first time I felt joy since my dad passed.

The first week I was home after graduation, I taught two yoga classes—I just threw myself right into it and my mom really needed the help. Walking into each class, I felt so capable and prepared, ready to teach guided by my heart, and able to feel the energy in the room and adjust for the students and what they needed that day. I felt so confident about teaching right away, and that’s all down to the training I received.

I feel so passionate about spreading peace, kindness, and love, and creating positive change through the practices of yoga and meditation—particularly for people who don’t have the ability or the means to go out and find it on their own. Along with the populations my parents were already teaching, I want to reach out to schools and prisons.

Kripalu Yoga Teacher Training was exactly what I needed during the biggest transition of my life—the greatest thing I could have asked for. Not only did I find a new way to support humanity, I found healing, community, and friends for life.

—Macy C., Mount Laurel, New Jersey