Month: February 2014

200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training Testimonials, Hear What Our Graduates Are Saying!


Video Review Disucssion

Video Review Discussion

Practice Teaching

Practice Teaching

Still undecided about Yoga by Degrees 200 Hour Teacher Training Program wondering  if it will be right for you?  Listen to what a few of our recent graduates have  to say word for word:

“The 200 hour Teacher Certification Program at Yoga by Degrees is phenomenal. I cannot recommend it highly enough…Led by YBD Managers, Meghan Rhode & Samantha Raphael, the training went above & beyond my expectations. Meghan & Sam (along with Loreta & other talented mentors from previous training), skillfully and intuitively led us through a journey that not only taught us the skills & philosophy of yoga, but they also provided a safe, nurturing environment for learning.  The wisdom and experience they both bring to the training is a gold mine, and their presentation/teaching style is so engaging, interesting and intelligent. In addition, it was just a fun place to be and learn… They take their yoga very seriously and are extremely professional & knowledgable, but also made me feel so at ease with their grounded personalities and wonderful sense of humor : )  

In addition to the amazing training I received, another unexpected bonus was the amazing friendships I developed with the other trainees. The high caliber of people YBD attracts to this program adds a whole other layer of “wonderful” to the experience. You log a LOT of hours with your fellow trainees, in such an intimate setting… And I can honestly say it was a joy and blessing to spend so much time with such an inspiring group, & I truly feel I’ve made some lifelong friendships, rooted in integrity and a love for yoga. 

It was a pleasure and gift to go through this teacher training at YBD.  Not only do I feel confident that I gained all the skills needed to teach yoga, but Meghan, Sam & Loreta provided a unique, safe, creative,  nurturing environment which gently & consistently encouraged me to grow & blossom, Their passion for yoga, coupled with their wisdom and natural gifts for teaching, make this program a life changing experience!  It is with 100% confidence and enthusiasm that I highly recommend YBD Teacher Training!”  – Lisa Whittingham Brennan, Yoga by Degrees Teacher Training Graduate / Winter 2014


“Yoga By Degrees’ 200 hour teacher training program was so much fun! I was surprised too see how much there truly is to learn about yoga- postures, philosophy, history, anatomy, Sanskrit, class structure, and more. The biggest take away for me however, was what I learned about myself and my journey along the way. I would recommend this program to anyone who is passionate about teaching, and also for someone looking to enhance their practice tenfold. Best of luck, yogi!”-  Kristin Ehlers Yoga by Degrees Teacher Training Graduate/Winter 2014


“In our training both of you mentioned that it would be a good idea to start teaching at local community centers.  I applied, auditioned and was fortunate enough to get on the schedule for LaGrange Park (for the summer)!  Thanks again to both of you.  This has been one of the best experiences I have ever had. ” 
– Ali Zygmunt , Yoga by Degrees Teacher Training Graduate / Winter 2014

Spring / Summer 2014 Starts March 4th!  Click here for more info. or call any of our YBD locations or stop by for today!



Cultivating Self-Discipline


Some yoga postures like headstand can take years of practicing with the aid of tapas and patience.

February can be a good time to check in with your self-discipline.  New Year resolutions are hard to stick with when life continues with its ebbs and flows. The snow seems to be endless and maybe you’ve taken some steps back in your progress towards a goal. If you can learn to appreciate even those extra challenges, you can come back to your intention for the day or month or year. Tapas, or self-discipline, is the third niyama, or moral observance, outlined in yogic philosophy. Tapas is the fire that burns within us that is needed as fuel to achieve difficult goals. To cultivate tapas, you must foster self-control, mindfulness, focus, and integrity to stay balanced and calm in every situation.  If we can learn to cultivate more self-discipline, we can find balance and be on our path towards peace.

Even if it is dark and cold outside, there is always some silver lining. Without the trials and practice towards a goal, the achievement wouldn’t be as sweet. It is an easy example to work on self-discipline when practicing yoga. Some days on your mat can be physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually fulfilling and you can find peace and calm with relative ease. Other days you have to dig deep for the motivation to continue. Those are the days where the most growth, patience, and perseverance can be found. Where in your life can you find more austerity? In a society where we multitask and fill our schedules to the limit, can you be disciplined to do one thing at a time? Try letting go of distractions and excuses to be mindful and focused towards your intention. Becoming aware of your own weaknesses is the first step in accepting and working through them.

When you work diligently, tirelessly towards a goal, you are practicing ant medicine, a Cherokee philosophy based on patience and perseverance. Ants are tiny but mighty creatures that can carry 30 times their own weight, which is like a 150-pound person carrying a bulldozer on their back that weighs 19,500 pounds. They trust the natural law that if they put in this hard work now, then the reward is just over the horizon.  We can learn from these resolute ants that you can never give up on yourself or a difficult yoga pose or only practice half-heartedly. 

So if you are cultivating self-discipline to create a lifestyle change, practice ant medicine and come back to your intention when things get challenging.  Use tapas to reduce doubt, discouragement, and negativity. By igniting your internal fire, you can burn up impurities and transform your actions. Try cultivating tapas not only on your yoga mat but also while doing the dishes, eating a meal, and being kind to others. Any task worth doing is worth doing well.

Meet our YBD Teacher of the Month: Jill

jill teacher of the month
Meet Jill, our inspiring (and always smiling :))  Yoga by Degrees Teacher of the Month! Whether you love vinyasa, sculpt or restorative, you can enjoy Jill’s amazing energy and flow in all three of our locations!  To check out Jill’s class schedule, visit our website: .
When and how did you come to yoga?
I had 4 small children and was looking for some quiet time for myself.  I had read about the benefits of yoga and thought I’d give it a try.  I walked out of my first class feeling wonderful, it was just what I was looking for.  I have been practicing since!
Why did you start teaching yoga?
After practicing for 10 years I  decided to take teacher training to enhance my knowledge and practice, never intending on teaching.  Halfway thru the training, I knew I wanted to teach to share all this information and my love of yoga with others.
What is your favorite pose?
I always have a new favorite pose.  If there is a pose I don’t like I pratice it it until it becomes a favorite, but if I would have to pick one it would be malasana.  I love hip openers and this pose is great for hips, sacrum, digestion and even your core.
Who inspires your teaching?
Students and fellow teachers.  The excitement of learning and sharing with each other I feel while teaching or taking a class is very inspirational.
What tips do you have for beginners?
Let go of negativity and expectations and accept where your practice is today.  Mostly have fun!
Any quotes you find inspiring?
“Its ok to fail because without failure we would never have success.”