By Wendy Reese
I resisted doing my advanced yoga teacher training. I have always said that yoga chose me, not the other way around. While I have received many compliments over the years about my teaching style, I have struggled to embrace being a yoga teacher for 13 years. Life has a funny way to redirecting us to our purpose regardless of how strongly we resist.
The call to step up and pursue my advanced certification was about as subtle as running into a brick wall. I don’t know if I will ever forget sitting on a beach with a friend, discussing A Course In Miracles, looking up at a hawk soaring overhead when I heard it. I wish I could remember what my friend was saying at the time, but I can’t. What I do remember vividly was knowing I had to do this certification.
I began to research 300 hour YTT’s. In Vermont there are at least 4 that I could find and, of course, Kripalu was nearby. All were a significant financial investment. A few were also such a long drive that housing would be required.
Since moving to Vermont 2 years ago, my business has struggled. Money has been tight. I had to find an alternative to actually follow through with this calling. A friend told me about a grant called VSAC through the State of Vermont for non-degree courses that would improve employability. Applicants may receive this grant for up to two enrollment terms per financial aid year (July 1-June 30) and a total of six terms of Non-Degree grants in a lifetime.
The institution must be eligible and approved. A few of the YTT’s were, however, Soma Institute was not. I reached out to Liz and asked her about it. I applied for the grant. VSAC provided enrollment papers for Liz. Both of us were accepted- she for the school and myself for a grant! 2/3 of my tuition was covered. I still had to pay for books and the remaining tuition, but that was far more feasible than the full burden of tuition.
This is a brilliant way for Vermont residents interested in doing a yoga teacher training to be able to afford it. For more information, visit: www.vsac.org/