Independent Project for YTT

So, I have been pretty MIA for the last month because, well, the holidays are just insane, and I was working hard to complete my yoga teacher training requirements. For my yoga class, we were asked to come up with an independent project of our “yoga off the mat” as a way to show others how yoga is a lifestyle and goes beyond the basic asana practice. I wanted to share my project with you all. I hope you enjoy it!

Independent Project

Yoga: Remembering my Passions

I am so blessed by this experience of Yoga Teacher Training through Inner Vision Yoga. I have grown so much through every aspect of the yoga techniques we learned, becoming the person I have always wanted to be and remembering my passions. The practice of asanas, meditations, breath awareness, and living the Yamas and Niyamas has enlightened my sense of who I am and what inspires me. When this project was first explained to us back in August, I was quite excited about starting a blog. I got one set up and started posting right away. However, the more I learned about yoga in class, the less I felt like I knew about yoga and strayed away from posting about yoga on my blog. I then decided to focus my Independent project on the amazing rebirth of some old passions that have grown (practically overnight) through the course of our training.

I grew up in a very creative, crafty home. My mother is basically queen of all things crafty and was gifted with three daughters, eager to learn and help. She taught me how to put together my first doll blanket around the age of six, how to scrapbook not much after that, and was my Zentangle teacher later in life. I love being creative. It is such a powerful outlet for me. However, my mom moved out of my father’s home just prior to starting high school. Obviously, priorities naturally change in high school and college, but I feel I stopped caring about being creative out of a deep hurting I felt for my mom “leaving us”. I have now healed from that pain and the last few years I began re-cultivating my desire to create. Then, I enrolled in this teacher training program and “BOOM!” My creativity is going crazy. It is like a pinball going off in my head. There are so many ideas, so many! It’s now impossible to keep up.

Out of this chaotic creativity madness, something amazing happened! I got to thinking about a great idea to focus my creative passions on. And even better, it involved spending time with my younger sister, Sierra. I shared my ideas with her and on November 30th, we had it all figured out. We were opening a business and we even had a brand name: Inspired by Sisters. Within a week, we had designed a logo, printed business cards, and started our facebook page. On the 13th of December, we had our first booth at an event, making just over $250 selling our custom canvases, stocking stuffers, homemade body products and more. Such a blessing to share something like this with my sister. We plan to start an etsy site soon and continue our business. For the final yoga project, I made a custom yoga-inspired ornament for all my classmates and handmade mugs for the teachers to see a little bit of our work. Check out our facebook page to see more of what we are up to!


Another area of my life that has re-opened since the start of class is my love for music. I grew up in a Southern Baptist church and my mom worked there, so I mean it when I say I grew up in the church. I was there nearly every day in the summers and participated in every play, singing group, small group, etc. throughout my childhood. My favorite thing I got to participate in was the adult choir. It was such a thrill to come together with 30+ voices, harmonizing and praising together. Talk about some powerful emotions! Sunday mornings were all about the music for me and I felt so connected to everything when I sang with that group. Unfortunately, I turned away from the church just before my mom left home. I had a lot of anger at the church and although I still participated in the youth group throughout high school, I never felt connected again. I forgot how much it meant to me.

This past year has been a rough one for me and I found myself back inside a kind-hearted, fun church. The sermons were good, but it was the music that moved me the most. I can honestly say that one simple song got me through one of the hardest struggles of my life and it was a church song! Being so anti-religion for years, that was such a shocker for me. However, the song spoke to me, it met a hunger I had deep inside of me and held my hand when I needed it. Another great reminder of this love for music practically hit me in the face the evening of our chanting class with Michelle. I had found another group of voices to harmonize with, to be moved with, to connect our energy together in ways which brought half of us to tears. It was beautiful! That night, I went home so energized and excited about music again. I immediately called my best friend, Kevin, who plays guitar and sings. I asked him to help me perform that song that pulled me out of the dark, so I can share it with my yoga class. He agreed! The last day of yoga class, we performed this song, and to my utmost joy, half of the class joined us in song. Even better, some were moved to tears, just as I had been the first time I heard it! (The song is called Oceans by Hillsong United)

Check out the video of our performance here. (I apologize for the poor quality)

My Independent project was so personal to me and I am so grateful to have been able to share it with an empathetic, encouraging group. I hope I continue to inspire others through my passions and grow in them as I expand my yoga practice.

My awesome yogi group on the last day of class
My awesome yogi group on the last day of class

Thanks for letting me share! I am so excited to be graduated from training. The future is right in front of me and I’m ready to dive right in!

Love y’all, Taryn xoxo

Journal: Joint Freeing Series

“Each morning comes with renewed hope, another chance and a great opportunity to do better than we did yesterday.” – Mufti Ismail Menk

Good morning beautiful people!

For my YTT class, I was asked to watch a youtube video of the joint freeing series done in a chair. The joint freeing series was designed to reach every joint in the body, allowing the stiffness to melt away, and lets the body prepare for a longer (and more comfortable) meditation. I found this journal particularly fun, so I wanted to share it all with you:

Joint Freeing Series         12/3/2014    6:20 am

I woke up this morning eager to do the joint freeing series because I was quite stiff this morning and did not want to get out of the warmth of my bed. when I finally got up, I washed my face, made some tea, and sat down to watch the suggested video:

Prior to starting the lesson, I was feeling rather achy from a restless night (my dog had me awake a number of times throughout the night) and my body was a little cold, adding to the stiffness. I was grateful the series would be practiced in a chair, for if I was to get on the ground this morning, I would savasana past the time I need to leave for work.

The practice started with my chilly toes and immediately I began to feel warmth in my feet (Thank heavens, I had thought). As the practice moved into the ankles and knees, there was a little bit of creaking here and there, but not too bad. The backs of my legs felt rather tight in the first leg movement, but felt a little warmed up after the three rounds of the knee movement. Then, the practice followed into my hips. Good morning! My hips were popping and making all sorts of grumpy sounds this morning, but the movement felt like I was breaking free of those grumpy noises and shining some light in there (now I know why it is called joint “freeing” series).

Yes! Now we are moving into the spine, twisting up, up and away. This is my favorite movement in the morning because I immediately feel taller and composed. The shoulders were rather grumpy this morning too, popping in all sorts of directions, but I felt like the shoulder blades sat closer together and with more ease after the movements. What surprised me the most was the tightness in back of my thoracic spine. as I arched the back and lifted the chest into “cow” pose, everything felt swell. Then, as I rounded into “cat” pose, I felt an overwhelming tightness in the top of my back, between my shoulder blade and was very eager to return to cow. After the three rounds, it felt a little less tight.

After the complete series, I definitely feel more awake and I am surprised at how comfortable I feel sitting here at the computer to write up my journal. Typically, sitting down at the computer is my least favorite part of the morning because I feel pretty achy. I feel like it is easier to hold my head up, as if it miraculously become lighter and my lengthened spine is actually able to stand up tall, ready for the chaos of the day.

Good morning Joint Freeing Series! Thank you for getting my body awake this morning and for shining light on the grumpy gremlins that found a place to rest over night in my stiff joints. They have been evicted!

xoxo Taryn