Yoga Teacher Training Recap: Pranayama & Chakras + Handstands & NYC!

Time. It seems that there is never enough of it nowadays – between traveling, adjusting to a new job schedule, yoga teacher training, workshops.. I am struggling to find time to get my runs in, create my yoga classes, practice guitar, see friends/family, volunteer, get in my own yoga practice, etc…

BUT – I love it all! And this past weekend, I completed class 5 of 6 for my 200 hour Yoga teacher training… which means there is only1 more class until I have my 200 hour certification in my hands! All of this studying, hours of reading, weekend workshops – all adding up to my end goal! Another item to check off the bucket list for this year 🙂

Below is a recap of the 5th weekend of training!

Module 5: Take Students to their Edge and Help them Find Their Greatness (10 hours)

  • 8-9:20 am: heated yoga class
  • learned about Pranayama & different types of yogic breathing (lions breath, ujjayi, baya/antara kumbhaka)
  • learned about bandhas
  • learned about Ayurveda & the Doshas
  • paired up & taught half a class, getting feedback from another other teacher trainee
  • Coloring/meditation exercise & learned about the different chakras
  • Taught first 15-20 minutes of yoga class at end of day

So, we basically learned a lot of stuff to integrate into our classes, inspire students + practiced teaching. 10 hours of learning is a LOT to take in at once, even when it is interesting. I loved learning about pranayama, as breath is the one thing I need to learn to be more comfortable with when teaching my classes. I don’t really consider myself super yogi-ey…. meaning, I am not sure if I buy into all the chakra/medicine stuff – which is totally fine. My classes are more of a workout, with a focus on body awareness and prepping for advanced poses like inversions. However, I am still learning, and whatever I find interesting I will always add to my classes. I always want my students to have the best experience – they do all of the work, I cannot even take any credit for their greatness – but, I want to teach in a way that people understand & get them to think a little deeper. So always evolving, growing, and having fun at the same time 🙂


And a few quick updates –

  • Putting on a workshop as part of my training – basically the “rough draft”, where I will be getting evaluated. It is this Friday – called “Journey to Handstand” – and I will be teaching the basics and foundation to work up to handstands! I have an outline and have practiced on a few friends, so I think I am ready.. still nervous, but ready!

Nina Elise Yoga HAndstand

  • Next trip: NYC!!! I found out Tamara Levinson-Campos was coming to NY for a workshop in December, and I have been dying to take a class from her! She is amazingly crazy and awesome and fun – check her out here! I’ll be visiting a few friends while there (yoga class + Sunday brunch = best combination ever) and exploring the city a bit for 3 days.

So with that all being said… what are your thoughts on what makes a yoga class so special or great? Would you take a workshop on how to handstand? And for everyone in NYC – any recommendations on where to go, what to do? Or even better – I’d love to meet up while I am in town! 

Yoga Teacher Training Recap: Creating a Workshop

This past weekend, I took class # 2 of 6 for the last half of my 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training. As a recap, below is a summary of what my homework was, and what I did to prepare for the second training class:

  • Create a theme-based class (I created a (pretty tough) class on balancing)
  • Complete yoga vision board **Complete!
  • Begin a daily mantra/meditation practice **I decided to start with 5 minutes a day, alternating between using the mantra “I am” and just sitting in silence. I had to journal about how it affected my life, if at all.
  • Complete online module **Completed. I took a survery to find out what type of learner I am – and I am about equal parts of visual (40%), auditory (30%), and hands on (30%).

This weekend, I spent 8 hours learning how to Educate – Create Workshops that Wow. Below is a recap of what went on in those 8 hours:

  • Taught part of the theme based yoga class I created from my last homework assignment (Balance)
  • Learned how to market a  workshop (design flyers, cost, details, etc)
  • Chose a theme for my workshop
  • Began research on my workshop

+ 2 Hours of Workshop Presentation & 8 Hours of Attending Other Trainee Workshops (for a total of 18 hours)

Homework due at next module in October:

  • Put together a workshop – pick a theme, research it, put together an outline & a marketing outline. I will be creating a “Journey to Handstand” workshop… who in Columbus wants to learn how to handstand?? 🙂
  • In addition to the daily meditation practice, write down 3 things I am grateful for – so start a daily gratitude journal

Overall, the whole class went really quick! I really love all of the girls in the training with me, they are all amazing people and yoga teachers. It makes sitting all day learning a lot easier 🙂

I’m off to Europe in a few hours.. If you want to follow my adventures, add me on snapchat – my username is neens06!


Scan this to find me on snapchat!

Until next time!


Post-Yoga Teacher Training: First Ever Yoga Class!

Hi all!

As some of you may already know, I landed my first teaching job at Melt Hot Fitness here in Columbus. I have been going to this studio for almost the past year, mainly taking the yoga bosu ball classes (I swear by this class and credit it to drastically improving my handstands! Holy shoulder workout!). There are also barre classes, workout classes, and spinning classes, all taken in 85-99 degree heat. Let me tell you – you sweat. A lot. And if you are looking for an amazing workout, this is the place to go. MHF is expanding the classes, adding in Budokon and fast-paced heated yoga classes to the schedule.

Lucky for me, I was able to snag the Sunday morning yoga class – exciting, but also super terrifying! You see, ever since I got back from my yoga teacher training, I felt a little bit lost. A sense of feeling of, what’s next? I practiced teaching friends and family yoga classes at my apartment, but never an entire class to more than 2 people. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go the route of private yoga lessons, or begin auditioning at studios to teach. Insert: MHF. It only made sense to teach at this studio, since I practice there about once a week already. And normally, when you vibe with a studio, that’s the place you should be!

Nina Elise Yoga

While I was taught a very specific power yoga flow in my training, I am now actually creating my own classes now, catering to what feels right to me and putting together my own flows. Don’t get me wrong – I use what I learned as a base, and it is extremely handy in falling back on when putting together my classes. However, being able to teach my own class has taught me to be more creative and to think outside of the box. It’s so incredibly different and a bit scary, but I already feel like I have been able to grow in my own practice by trusting myself to create powerful and unique classes.

Unfortunately, when you start teaching, there is always that awkward phase – uncertainty, nervousness, lack of confidence, fear of messing up, etc. Until you really begin to teach classes, there are a lot of emotions that come up. For me, I know that I can always fall back on my basic yoga sequence learned at my training in case I forget in the middle of a class. However, I am terrified of speaking in front of people. And when I say people. I mean 5 or more people. So, showing up to my first ever yoga class on Sunday, I stood in front of 35+ people, all ready for me to start leading them in class. So. to say the least, I was a bit nervous. This is nothing I have ever done before. I’ve given speeches, presentations, etc in college. But never to this many people, and never for longer than 15 minutes.

I think my biggest fear is the dharma talk at the beginning. I feel like I have a lot of things to say, but I never know how to say it right, or at least on the spot. And this is one thing that I know will come with time – learning to speak from my heart. It’s easy for me to sit down when emotions come up and write a quick blurb or a poem, but never on the fly, and never, ever while standing wide-eyed in front of a crowd of people. Fortunately, I was able to say a few quick words at the beginning of class – nothing life changing, nothing super deep – but I did it. It was intimidating and scary… but And I know when something scares me, it is something that I need to do. It’s always an opportunity for growth – and if I never face a fear – I will continue to let it fester in me, (the thought that I CREATED, and is really nothing to even be afraid of!!) filling my mind with unnecessary anxiety and stressing me out.

This has been a huge step for me – facing a fear – and even though I still have my concerns and residual fears about teaching again, I know it is slowly fading away. I already feel a sense of confidence replacing that old doubt, erasing worries that now seem so silly.

So for all you yoga teachers out there – how did YOU feel teaching your first class? What were your biggest fears? And how long did it take for you to feel comfortable teaching a class?

If you have reached the end of this loooong blog post, thank you. Thank you for reading, thank you for taking the time out of your day, and thank you for caring. Life can be a long, scary ride, but I love that there are people out there (AKA YOU!) that genuinely care. This journey has been a bit of a roller coaster, and I am so incredibly grateful to be able to share this with even just 1 person!

Lots of love,


Nina Elise Yoga 2

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