We welcome Guylaine Williams back to YogaHub this Summer to lead our 200hr teacher training intensive July 15th to August 9th.
With over 18 years teaching experience under her belt, Guylaine is now considered a master teacher in her home country, Canada. We asked her a few questions to get a better idea of her own experience with Yoga.
Can you tell us a little bit about your own Yoga journey?
My interest in yoga began in high school at the age of 16. Among my first teachers in meditation and yoga were Shirley MacLaine and Erich Schiffmann. In 1998, I began a dedicated study in Toronto, Ontario. It was there that I fell in love with 8-limbed practice of Ashtanga Yoga under the guidance of teachers Jonathan Austman and Michael Stone.
In 2000, I completed my first of many Yoga Teacher Trainings in Ashtanga Vinyasa and have continued to study with a wide range of international teachers from many lineages and styles. I feel especially fortunate to have studied in depth with the late Michael Stone since 2000.
In 2002, I moved to Halifax, Nova Scotia where I have been teaching ever since.
I continue to study the psychology of yoga, various forms of meditation, ethical precepts, the essence of the eight limbs of yoga, pranayama, trauma-informed yoga, yoga philosophy, somatics education, anatomy and asana.
What brings you all the way from Canada to YogaHub?
Nearly 4 years ago I hiked the Camino de Santiago in Spain and became great friends with a Dubliner. As a result, was lucky enough to be introduced to Ireland. I fell in love with Dublin immediately…whole country actually. (I am of Irish descent.)
Eventually found my way to the YogaHub subbing classes 3 summers ago and have been coming back ever since. I throughly enjoyed being a part of the faculty for 2018’s Summer YTT and am thrilled to be back this year for the entire session.
Everyone at the YogaHub-from staff to students-are wonderful to be around. One way that I experience the truth of Yoga is as community and it’s a great one to be welcomed in to.
Aside from that, just being in Dublin and near the mountains and lakes is a blessing. I love the hike from Bray to the Greystones, Lough Dan, the Wicklow mountains and the Irish Sea.
Mostly, I have found a community there of friends and yoga students that I love and am thrilled to reconnect with.
Yoga to me means intimacy; that is, the interconnectedness of us all!
What can our trainees expect to learn on our 200hr teacher training this Summer?
My main commitment to the students interested in taking the 200hr teacher training is to facilitate a deeper connection to their own practice and provide inquiries and practices that increase a deeper knowing of the many facets of the physical practice of Yoga and Yoga beyond the mat. As well, helping them to develop their own ‘toolbox’ to eventually offer those tools to their own students’ practice and awareness. This is done through a thorough study of all facets of the tradition of Yoga. (Those 8-limbs!)
All the while. I will lead with integrity, enthusiasm, warmth and humour with the hope that the students will feel as though anything is possible with the right amount of practice and patience.
I am fully aware that students come to trainings with backgrounds in a multiplicity of traditions, methods, and styles of Yoga practice. In the context of this teacher training, the teachings become resources that can rise to serve the moment when needed.
The focus of the postures will not be on acquiring an ideal form (as this impedes the process of developing the skills to learn to listen to the body when it “speaks”) but rather focus on a healthy (and individualistic) pose. The body tells us what is happening at all levels of embodiment, that is, physically, energetically, emotionally, mentally and even spiritually and what might be necessary for restoring balance.
To be a great teacher, one needs to learn to that within themselves so to guide others to.
What aspects do you enjoy teaching most on a teacher training?
Witnessing the trainees evolve! I love celebrating their achievements and growth with them. It is such an honour to be able to be a part of that.
It is what I have always loved and been most enthusiastic about as a teacher for this long. It’s outside of me yet I am a part of the whole.
What are your three favourite things about Yoga?
The poses taught me how to sit.
The breath taught me how to move.
The practice taught me how to live…in love.