Shelby Baden is one of the yoga teacher trainees in our Fall 2018 cohort. Read more about her story and why she’s training at M3Yoga.
Where are you from? Roswell, GA
Where do you live? Athens, GA
Favorite place you’ve been? Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
What’s your passion? Wildlife conservation, veterinary medicine and yoga
Favorite pose? Wild Thing (Camatkarasana)
How long have you practiced yoga?
I have been practicing yoga since I was 15 years old, so for about 12 years. However, I feel like yoga has been interwoven throughout my entire life. My dad taught me how to meditate as a young girl, and my family has always been interested in yoga and holistic medicine.
What’s your favorite yoga style?
Personally, I love vinyasa yoga. My favorite time of day is when I roll out my mat in my living room with a playlist that I made and get to spend that hour moving my body. I was also introduced to Kundalini Yoga when I lived in California and I love many aspects of that style of yoga, especially the meditations.
Why did you decide to attend teacher training?
Yoga Teacher Training has been on my “bucket list of life” since I was 18 years old. For some reason or another, there was always an excuse NOT to complete a training. This year, I decided to adopt the “if not now, when?” mentality and jumped head first into this program. It was definitely scary because YTT is a big commitment, and I am already in veterinary school. However, this program has already improved my mental and physical health so much by creating a community outside of academia where I can completely be myself.
Why did you decide to train at the M3Yoga Center?
As soon as I walked into the Tree Room at M3Yoga, it felt like home. The teachers were all warm and welcoming (shout out Sydney Ruben). It felt like a place where I could just let it all go and practice my personal yoga. I love that M3 teaches yoga for EVERY body, without an emphasis on perfect form. We are all different and perfect in our own ways. It was so nice to walk into a studio and be accepted for where I was right in that moment.
What has been your favorite part of the training so far?
I love the community! I have made so many amazing friends and created this space where I can just be myself, no matter where I am emotionally that day. I also love the instructors who have dedicated their time to teach us how to be the best yoga teachers possible.
What’s been the hardest part of the training so far?
Time management, 100%. As an already overextended veterinary student, I sometimes have to put YTT above my veterinary school obligations. I do this because I love yoga and I committed to the program. I also want yoga to be part of my career long-term and I want to make sure that I devote adequate time and energy. It is a delicate balance, but it is possible to be a professional student and complete a YTT. It requires a lot of late nights and sacrifice, but it is so worth it.
What is one thing you wish you knew before the training?
I suppose that I didn’t fully grasp that the 200 hr YTT is just the tip of the iceberg. There is so much more that goes into being a great yoga teacher than just a certification. It takes time, intensive study and countless other trainings. It is not necessarily a “one and done” thing if you want to teach yoga to the best of your ability. It would not have changed my decision to complete the training, but this concept is something that surprised me (in a good way). Just like yoga is a practice, teaching yoga is also a practice. You can always improve, grow and learn as a teacher.
What is your advice to someone considering teacher training?
Make sure you can dedicate your time to the program! Do the readings, complete all of the assignments and be vulnerable. You don’t want to spend money on something you are not 100% invested in because it is not easy. YTT demands long hours, outside activities and constantly stepping outside your comfort zone. It also requires a whole lot of personal growth. If you are not ready, then I encourage you to do whatever you can to get ready. Or ask for help when you need it. YTT cracks you open so you can see the areas you need to work on in your life. If you are dedicated to the process though, I believe it can be one of the most profound experiences.
Thinking about taking a yoga teacher training? Read more about our fundamentals training here.