Recently I attended Stephanie Keach’s The Art of Teaching Vinyasa Flow Yoga five day intensive workshop at the Savannah Yoga Center in Savannah Georgia. The program is a vinyasa flow yoga immersion and teacher training certification program. The Savannah Yoga Center is a beautiful upstairs yoga studio near downtown Savannah (perfect walking distance to a great little whole foods market, Brighter Day). Imagine, five days of incredible yoga broken up by long sunny lunches in Savannah’s most fabulous park. These kind of weeks can make for a rough re-entry into reality, but well worth the pain.
I attended the workshop in November and I suppose it has taken me this long just to process the events. Workshops of this nature draw us out of our “normal” shell so quickly, alter our very fabric, and send us back out and on our way. Following an event like this it can take many quiet moments and sometimes weeks or months to assimilate all that you learned.
Stephanie is indeed the Mother of Southern yoga which is pretty good for a California girl. I mean this both figuratively and litteraly. Stephanie brought vinyasa yoga to the South long before the community had really gained any traction. In fact she is partially responsible for the incredible, dynamic community we all enjoy today as many current studio owners are her students and devotees. Figuratively, it is almost impossible to make it through one of Stephanie’s workshops without calling her Mama at least once. I have seen trainees in their sixties call her Mama (and mean it). She is nurturing love but she demands a fairly high level of toughness of her students. Emotional release in one of Stephanie’s classes is not uncommon. Everytime I take one of her classes I hear someone say, “I can’t believe I started crying, I’ve never cried at a yoga class before.” Stephanie has a way of getting in quick and figuring out where you’re bound up.
Stephanie describes the five day intensive as the greatest hits of her 230 hour teacher certification program. It is an incredible whirlwind of anatomy, asana, sequencing, chanting, pranayama, meditation, nutrition, ancient text and tradition. It is without question one of the most meaningful and valuable trainings I have ever attended, which is why they often sell out. If it were possible I would have everyone in the world know Stephanie Keach.
In addition to traveling and teaching many workshops and teacher trainings, Stephanie is the founder of the Asheville Yoga Center in Asheville North Carolina where she teaches several classes each week. A workshop with Stephanie is a high priority bucket list item for all southern yogis. You may just be changed forever.