Terra Gold on Yoga Teacher Training
What initially brought you to the practice of yoga?
I was born into yoga and healing traditions at Findhorn Community in Scotland. As a young girl, I remember watching a Tibetan Buddhist yogi doing asana practices, and I was immediately intrigued and began copying him.
Yoga is a beautiful, vast tradition with so much diversity and wisdom, and it’s constantly evolving. My first deeply personal experience of Yoga began at age 12, when I was introduced to Tantra. I was intoxicated by the joy, openness, and love that the practices invoked. That experience inspired me on a lifelong journey to learn as much as I could about Yoga.
Who or what inspired you to sign up for your first teacher-training program?
At age 22, I was asked to fill in for a Yoga teacher friend of mine at a studio, and I remember thinking, “I better make sure I know what I’m doing.” So I went and found a teacher-training program and jumped right in.
What is something that has changed about your yoga practice?
Years later, I was driving home after a long day of teaching Yoga, when suddenly a driver ran through a red light and crashed directly into my driver’s side door. My car was completely destroyed, and I was immediately rushed to the hospital.
The accident left me with damage to my low back, which forced me to dramatically change the way I practiced and taught.
I was on a quest to heal myself and help others heal. I became licensed in Chinese medicine and acupuncture and have continued studying yogic therapies and other healing modalities since then.
What inspired you to teach and to co-create a teacher-training program?
When it comes to Yoga and the healing sciences, I’ve always been an insatiable student, trying to learn from as many masterful teachers as I can. When the opportunity to design a 200-hour teacher-training program came to fellow instructor Eden Goldman and me, we decided to offer a training that focused on the spirit of Yoga highlighting different lenses, philosophies, and practices.
Now in its ninth year, Yoga and the Healing Sciences — held at Loyola Marymount University — brings together students from across Los Angeles. I continue to direct the fall program, and Eden directs the spring program.
What do you feel is unique about the Yoga and the Healing Sciences program?
The eclectic, immersive nature of Yoga and the Healing Sciences provides our students with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to learn directly from master teachers who cover a wide variety of subject areas. For example, students learn from teachers like Larry Payne, PhD and Mark Whitwell, who learned directly from Tirumalai Krishnamacharya and his son, T.K.V. Desikachar. Students learn about Kundalini Yoga and sound from Guru Singh, who was Yogi Bhajan’s personal driver and is a masterful recording artist in his own right. They learn Power Yoga from Bryan Kest, who established the Power Yoga style. More than 20 master teachers in total come in to share information and insights about their teachers and the traditions they’ve dedicated their lives to.
Rather than making a program that’s simplified and watered down, we’ve offered one in which the traditions are richly shared. The program also offers students an opportunity to develop their own personal understanding and connection to Yoga, and to determine their unique direction within the field.
What do you learn from being part of the program?
In my early years of taking teacher trainings, I didn’t come across a program that encouraged a great diversity of perspectives and a deep scholastic/historical context for Yoga. The trainings were generally taught through the lens of one particular teacher and tradition, by mainly one or two lead teachers. Especially within the context of a 200-hour level program, I believe students benefit most from receiving a vast overview from numerous teachers that carry the essence of their teachers. I hope to continue to honor the lineages of teachers who’ve come before us through this method of training, and to help students form a strong foundation from which to carry these teachings forward.
The next program begins August 4, 2018, and there are still spaces available. For more information please visit: http://www.terrawellness.com/yoga-and-the-healing-sciences