Yoga Teacher Training

Teacher Training Faculty: Lauren Kraemer

Emily Lorius Instructor Contribution, SMY Staff, Teacher Education, Yoga teacher training Leave a Comment

SMY Yoga Teacher Training

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Faculty Feature

Lauren Kraemer, RYT500

A lifelong love affair with classical ballet eventually led me to modern dance and somatic movement techniques while studying dance in college. Bit by bit, I began to move away from overly-structured ways of moving (and thinking), and stepped into the process of understanding movement (and life) for all it has to offer. I dove into a world that encompassed much more than just the physical - these new ways of moving allowed me to tap into different layers beyond just the body. I was wildly fascinated by somatic movement, or the science of embodiment. Somatic  practices gave me the opportunity to learn through the body, not just about the body. They led me to change my habits, learn how to self-regulate, and ultimately, get to know myself on a deeper level. I studied more and more, and eventually, these evidence-based approaches gave me the opportunity to work with underserved children and people with Parkinson's & Alzheimer's, and to travel to Indonesia to work on a cultural somatics project in which I studied the way the Indonesian people moved (in life, work, and in their traditional dances). These experiences, in combination with searching for answers to chronic pain and illness, led me to yoga.
I graduated with a degree in dance and somatic movement, and immediately joined a yoga training, partially because I wanted to teach, and partially because I was suffering from life-long autoimmune diseases that western medicine couldn't assist with. Throughout my dance and yoga journey, I found healing through intentional and intelligent movement, learning how to self-regulate and breathe, and by embracing and tending to all the different layers of being (or in Sanskrit, Koshas). This is what I wanted to bring to yoga classes, but unfortunately, most yoga was not being taught in this way.
As I stepped into teaching yoga, I noticed a big disconnect between the teachings of yoga and the ways yoga was being taught. With my knowledge of the effects of movement on the brain and nervous system, popular sequences and trends in yoga classes were mind-boggling to me, as many of them were doing the opposite of the intention of yoga. It seemed as though these popular trends were pulling us further outside of ourselves rather than bringing us in. It dawned on me several years later that this disconnect was not necessarily intentional; it was simply because many yoga teachers are not educated in the science of movement. It became my mission to bridge this gap by bringing somatics into yoga spaces so that our movement classes could be aligned with our intentions and the overall offerings of yoga.
Now, with thousands of hours of teaching experience under my belt, my teaching philosophy and methodology include many evidence-based movement techniques that tone the brain and nervous system for optimal functioning. I utilize these methods with the intention of creating classes that allow each individual practitioner to experience the fullness of who they are - beyond just the mind and who they think they are. If these practices have taught me anything, it's that we can surprise ourselves everyday, that we can break old habits and curate new ones, that we can befriend the mind and soften the heart, and that we re-wire pain and outdated ideas of ourselves, others, and the world around us. This is what I aim to teach - through intentional movement and ancient teachings.

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