Testimonials

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“I can’t thank you enough for the amazing journey through teacher training. I have done yoga for over 20 years without finding the mind body connection that is often promised with yoga. I searched every style and studio available in San Diego looking for the perfect teacher, perfect style, and perfect class. Nothing filled the void that I was searching for. Your teacher training exposed me to so many aspects of yoga that I would never have gained from my regular yoga classes. The exposure of music, breathing, and the yogi lifestyle was more than I could have expected. You taught me the true meaning of blessings and gratitude. You taught me how to teach yoga, but more than that you transformed me into a yoga teacher. Since completing my teaching training, every yoga class that I attend has new meaning. Every teacher I meet is an inspiration. As I close each class with “Namaste” I truly acknowledge my inner light and the inner light of everyone in the class. I have found the stillness inside of me that brings me happiness and peace. Thanks so much for opening the door on this amazing journey. I now know for sure that I am heading in the right direction.” BH-2013
“When I attended the first meeting of teacher training I was full of anticipation without really knowing what to expect.  Our instructors, Alison and Stephanie gave us an overview, a notebook which would eventually become full of information as well as homework, and a statement that this course could create a shift in our core being.  I realized that teacher training was going to require a commitment of time and energy just by paging through the books I had purchased, but the idea that this could deeply effect all the other aspects of my life was exciting while being difficult to believe. A personal yoga practice had been part of my life for 10 years, but I had reached a place where I wanted to go deeper.  To better understand why this amazing thing called yoga had become so important to my well-being.   It was at this juncture that I learned that Lotus 7 Yoga, the studio where I had been practicing for the last seven years, was going to host the Akasha Teacher Training program.  Coincidences are not a part of my belief system so I began to think seriously about taking the training.  Still, I am somewhat cautious by nature and decided to take a class led by Alison.  There is a quote:  “that when the student is ready the teacher will appear” and when I met Alison I knew I had met the person that could guide me in this next phase of my journey.  Later, when I met Stephanie, it only confirmed in my mind that teacher training with these knowledgeable, spiritual, and supportive women was the right decision for me. My fellow students and I were diverse in age, backgrounds, and life experience.  Yet, we all became friends celebrating and encouraging one another.  Although we each have busy lives, I truly hope that we will be able to stay in touch.  For thirty years I was a Registered nurse specializing in labor and delivery.  Outside of nursing I pursued interests in spirituality, holistic health, fitness, and nutrition.   The curriculum of the program is broken down in such a way that it is not overwhelming and, in fact, becomes part of you almost without your being aware that it is taking root.  What is that joke about eating an elephant?  To my amazement I began to truly feel as if everything I had done leading up to teacher training suddenly coalesced into a kind of symmetry that was meant to bring me here.  So much of the bits and pieces of information I have accumulated over the years seemed to align and make so much more sense.  The program helped me to understand how yoga is incredibly deeper than the Western idea of poses.  This was a concept I had come to believe through my personal practice, without really knowing why.  My heart had been opened and, truly, a shift had occurred in my being.  It was as if I had just been lacking the piece that would connect all the dots.  Clearly there is so much more to learn and study, but now I have a foundation upon which to build.  After  completing the training, I knew that even if I didn’t go on to teach, I had been given the knowledge to practice yoga with all it’s spiritual, mental, and physical benefits for the rest of my life.  That being said…it wasn’t two weeks after graduation when I received a call from my friend and owner of Lotus 7 yoga explaining one of her instructors was unable to teach a class scheduled to start in 45 minutes. Her other instructors were unavailable and she felt I could do it if I were willing (One of the assignments for training was to teach classes to people outside of our class and she had graciously agreed to be one of my volunteers).  The preparation I had received through Akasha Teacher Training allowed me to say yes, and with some kind words of support from Alison, I went on to teach a class with confidence.
It has been my experience that most of us recognize pivotal moments in our lives only through the lens of hindsight.  Moments where a line can clearly be drawn that separates who were we were from the forever altered who we become.  Whether subtle or dramatic, once this change has occurred we can never go back.  Akasha Teacher Training was such a moment for me.   It was subtle, but at the same time so dynamic that I became aware of it even as it was happening.  For this I have an enormous heartfelt gratitude for the Universe, even more specifically, for Stephanie and Alison.”

Namaste my friends, Karen Y.

“I am a mother or 3 children. I am what you call “a stay home mom”, although I’m rarely home, always running around. The last 16 years of my life have been devoted to my children and husband. I love my life! Although, I knew it was time to do something for myself. I’ve been practicing yoga for the last 5 years. I started when my youngest child was in kindergarten. I was hooked immediately. It was like no other exercise I had done before. It brought everything together – my mind, body and spirit. It was what I was searching for.
After practicing yoga for 5 years I knew I wanted more. I heard Lotus 7 Yoga – Akasha Yoga were offering a RYT 200 teacher training. I was very interested and grabbed one of the flyers. Nervous about the commitment, I spoke to my husband and children. I needed to make sure everyone was on board. My family was so supportive and excited for me.
I have to say, I love Stepanie and Alison! They made our RYT 200 teacher training so interesting and fun. I looked forward to our weekends together. I quickly got to know and become friends with all the other students. By the end of our training, I considered us a “yoga family”. We were always there to support each other, just like a family.
It’s bittersweet that our training is over. I’m sad I don’t get to see my new friends as often, but I am excited and ready to teach!
If you have a passion for yoga and want to take your practice to the next level, just do it! You’ll be so glad you did.” Elise-2013

“Akasha Yoga 200 hour Teacher Training has been for me the most incredibly growing and transformational experience.

If you are looking for a training that provides you with all the tools that you need to become a great yoga teacher (starting from the very day of graduation!), do not look any further.

The training at Akasha Yoga, with the great mentorship of Stephanie Pafford, will definitively prepare you for a career as a yoga instructor. The funny thing is that when me and the other girls started the training, we did not really have in mind to become teachers, we just wanted to deepen our understanding of yoga, in all its facets. But in the end, each and every one of us really felt confident in teaching a yoga class.

Being capable of teaching yoga is however only a collateral effect of this training, because in reality during this time you will witness an incredible transformation of your emotional habits and you will become  a much more confident person in all the spheres of your life.

You will learn about yoga philosophy, the chakras, the koshas, the anatomy of the poses and much more… a completely new world  will be unfolded in front of you  by Stephanie and the other incredible  instructors with  grace, knowledge and unconditional love.

Every weekend has been also more fun and exciting than the previous one,  in a crescendo that  has left me at the end with a feeling of longing for another training..

The people that you meet at the training are really meant to be part of your life journey. They are really meant to be there with you, at that exact moment in time, and you will create a incredible bond with them (this is what has happened to us in this training, and what  has been happening all the time, in all the previous trainings!).

Thank you Stephanie for your unconditional love,  your support  in all the difficult moments, for putting up with my at times doubtful attitude and for always believing in me. As I have told you many times, you are really the most amazing Teacher!”

Marcella F.

“It was many years I thought I would like to deepen my yoga practice and maybe do a teacher training program so I can practice on my own. So many years were I though, NO, I’m not good enough, I don’t have time, I do not have the physical condition and my back hurts.
But one day someone told me it’s a journey that will change your life! Then someone else made me understand it’s not a question of which crazy poses I can do, but rather of finding my true self. An other one made me feel I deserve it. And I understood that I just had to allow myself! I met all these people among the wonderful community of Akasha Yoga. They made me dare, and the magi happened!
Imagine a young woman suffering of chronic back pain since teenager hood! Gone! In less than 4 month! I would nether have believed it if I would not have experienced it!
Imagine someone who nether has time. Imagine someone slowed down by its doubt. Imagine a control freak living in a word of NO because of fear. GONE! GONE! GONE!
This training was so full of love and compassion that I really got in touch with myself like never before. Akasha not only offers a training generating competent and operational teacher, it also worth’s a therapy on the physical, emotional, energetic and spiritual level. I experienced and witnessed it around me. Thank you.” Sandrine C.

“When I heard about the yoga teacher training was going to start in Akasha, I felt something on my chest but immediately said “No, I can’t. I don’t have much experience doing yoga. I’m not that flexible. I’m from Argentina –Spanish speaker – and it’s going to be difficult for me the language. I can’t leave my baby boy at home for long time, etc, etc, etc.” But I kept feeling that sensation on my chest that was telling me “Go for it”… and, with the support of my lovely husband, I did without regrets.

This training has changed my life. In a beautiful/charming/like-home environment – Akasha – I’ve not only learned the soul of Yoga (asanas, pranayamas, etc), this training also gave me the tools to learn how to breathe, to open my heart and show my feelings “Feeling is healing!”, to stay in a calmness state, to feel and share love from my heart, to be more patient, to be a better listener, to have compassion for myself and others and to be UNCONDITIONAL LOVE.

Hatha means Sun and Moon, the perfect balance; and let me tell you these teachers are Hatha! They are unbelievably amazing teachers: they have so much experience, they love to teach and share, they respect your beliefs, and are willing to give you all the tools to become the best yoga teacher in the world. They are now part of my life forever as well as my classmates, OMG! I’m pretty sure in another life they all were my siblings. Love them with all my heart.

So, do not let your fears/questions/doubts stop you to begin this journey! This training in Akasha will definitely change your life forever.

LOVE YOU – STEPH AND ALISON – WITH ALL MY HEART!”-Jimena C.

“Akasha’s 200 Hour Teacher training saved my life in a myriad of ways. Through this Teacher Training, Allison and Stephanie brought together a group of women from all over the world and taught us unconditional love and respect for one another, which is why we all left as sisters. Their approach to Yoga from a Bhakti style taught me the spiritual foundation of yoga as the necessary stepping stone onto which the physical practice can manifest its true purpose. Yoga became for me a healing tool for both my body and my self-worth after my almost fatal car accident. Because Stephanie and Allison are themselves shining examples of unconditional love, perseverance, and compassion, it became easier for me to show those same qualities to myself, and then unto others. Because of their in depth teachings on the physical and emotional body, our group of teacher trainees were able to really grasp the importance of the connectedness of the two and how a successful yoga teacher must be dedicated to their own practice as they are teaching others. As Stephanie always said, “You must walk the walk and talk the talk.” Not only were we all able to design and teach a full class before our graduation, but we were given the tools to understand the business behind yoga. Above all, I know that Stephanie and Allison all cared for each of our well-beings in the most genuine and true way. They taught me the gift of giving and all the benefits one can reap once they choose the path of unconditional love for all of nature’s creatures. Patanjali states in the Yoga Sutras that “Such people are called teachers. They know what is there, but they don’t just want to go and experience it themselves, They want to wait and pull as many people over as they have the strength to do.” Through their mentor ship, Stephanie and Allison taught me to be my own teacher. Love you!”-Zoe S.

“The 200 hour yoga teacher training program at Akasha is superb. This training is both broad and deep in its coverage of the important aspects of yoga practice – in depth study of anatomy, alignment and verbal cues for yoga poses, sequencing of yoga poses, pranayama (breathing exercises), meditation, the history and philosophy of yoga, the business of yoga, and of great importance, how to teach an actual yoga class! Bringing it all together is the keen, intelligent, and sincere commitment of the two extraordinary instructors who teach the course. But what really makes Akasha yoga teacher training stand out from the rest (and I did my homework on this one), is the small size of the program. Only 12 students per session. I found that this class size means lots of close and genuine attention from the instructors and allows an incredible bonding among the students, creating the perfect environment for learning and self-exploration through yoga. It also is very beneficial that the program extends over 6-months, providing much opportunity to absorb and practice all that we are experiencing.” – Natasha S

“The Akasha Yoga studio is both a sanctuary and a place of study. The training program is immersive in every sense of the word. Stephanie Pafford and Alison Scola are not only highly skilled and experienced teachers, but they are amazing, warm, open and devoted to the training program and to their students. The small class size and the five month program provide an intimate and focused environment in which to explore the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual aspects of yoga. The training is both satisfyingly didactic and brimful with practical opportunities. You will be welcomed into a special community that is committed to honoring and supporting their members along their path of yoga. And yes, this program will teach you how to teach. I can’t
recommend it enough.” – Ann L.

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“I knew as soon as I looked at the Akasha page that my intuition had lead me home. It has been a long while that I have searched for a center that I could honestly say I felt so empowered by- so embraced by. Signing up for the teacher training was a commitment that I created – but it had to be a place that felt good that had heart and depth, I came so close -so many times to registering in other studios but that voice always said your not there yet..I can say … that if I ever had any doubts about going forward on this path- that the training received from the heart of two very special people and the support from a group of women that I quickly embraced as sisters disolved any doubt and replaced it with a special love and confidence…thank you to all that participated in my experience…” – Karen Y

“I think I procrastinated so long on this because I knew I couldn’t possibly put everything I learned into words. I think the best part of the program is that no matter who I was in the past, no matter who I was and no matter what I brought to the circle every week, whether it was grief or despair or exhaustion or anything else that was negative, my fellow students and teachers treated me like someone worthy of love. I don’t think I’ve ever been loved as selflessly as the people in that group did. I think the nature of yoga is a moving or nonmoving meditation, and it is a connection with higher power and true self, and so because all of us were on that journey together, we were able to set aside any judgments we held, about each other but also about ourselves. I stopped hating myself for eating too many calories. I stopped judging myself for procrastination breaks, or bad grades, or cheating on my partners in the past. I stopped hating myself for every bad thing I’ve ever done, and I started listening to myself and my inner teacher, rather than what society tells me should be my moral compass. And when I started listening, I learned and re-learned what I thought I knew was in there. I know about myself that my emotions and my ability to communicate them are my greatest gift. I know already that this is why I am able to connect to patients so well and give them the love they deserve. I don’t judge anyone who sits across from me in a doctor-patient capacity. However, people in healthcare professions often are taught so much about how to care for everyone else and not enough about how to care for ourselves. I was non-judging my patients but judging myself; I was loving my patients and hating myself. But every time I hit the mat over the last six months, my yoga practice deepened and changed and grew. I cried so much during yoga trainings, which I had never allowed to happen before. I cried and cried and listened to myself and loved myself unconditionally for probably the first time since I was two years old. I told myself that my actions are subject to no one’s judgment, and that my actions should be judged by whether they resonate with my true self. And so I began to process lots of things that have happened to me, things that happened years ago and things that happened yesterday and things that I worry about that will happen in the future. I joined the training expecting to learn how to teach poses, but I learned so much about my own needs as a human being and as a physician-in-training. Now, meditation and yoga are not so much a luxury borne of random Groupons, but a necessity of my day that I can do in my own house. I use meditation and yoga as tools to be happy, rather than as a form of physical exercise alone. Stephanie and Alison’s patient guidance and exploratory perspective on inner reflection have taught me how to analyze without judging, simply “noticing what comes up for me today” rather than attaching labels to them such as “you are weak for worrying about your clinic” or “you are weak for feeling sad today.” And when I did this, I began to find joy in my life that I have never found before. I didn’t realize how much I was holding myself back from all the happiness that was inside me, ready and waiting to bubble to the surface. My friendships deepened because I was able to find worth in myself—I was no longer analyzing every interaction I had with people and wondering if I was wasting their time by being around. My family relationships shifted in amazing and life-changing ways because I found my own courage to speak my mind to them and set clear boundaries with those who have hurt me. When I do yoga, I connect so deeply to that child of God that I am, that I cannot hate myself. And this simple idea, non-self-hate, has done everything from made me smile more to given me weapons against my own suicidality and depression.  And doing this yoga training taught me the depth of yoga that gives one this power source, this inner light. Yoga has been a gift in my life for many years, but doing teacher training helped me understand it so well that I can manipulate it. Instead of going to class and reacting (“that was great, I feel so relaxed!”), I can go to class with an intention in mind: “I’m having a real problem with self-love today. My practice is going to be as gentle as possible today, and I’m going to witness thoughts in my head without hating them.” This training has given me tools to handle the rigorous job of being a physician, giving me a place to go—inside—when everything on the outside is chaos that feels uncontrollable. I have learned to surrender things I can’t control to God, and to use yoga as a way to come back to reality from a swirling tornado of anxiety attacks. The teaching aspect of it was very empowering AFTER learning all of this about yoga, because now that I know what yoga can do, I feel so blessed that I can help guide others to the benefits that I’ve gotten. They teach everything from anatomy of the physical body to energetic chakras to much more, and all my students from my classes (friends, family, neighbors) have had such genuine expressions of joy and love after my classes. That Stephanie and Alison taught me how to give that to someone else after just 5 months is incredible. I feel like I can use this for any group of people in need that I come across, particularly other medical students like me when they need some self-care before high-pressure situations in clinic. Thank you for everything.” Kav R

“I cannot express how grateful I am that I took [Akasha’s] 200hour teacher training. The experience has changed my life. I came to learn how to teach yoga poses and to intensify my practice. I have learned that and SOOO much more. I feel totally proud and confident bringing my friends and family to Akasha because of your emphasis on non-judgement and safety on the mat. I have learned to love myself and be grateful for everyone that comes through my path. When I think of your cues I already know to keep my knee aligned over my ankle, instead I hear “I am light, I am love” In Allison’s class I always feel like our light and our love is changing the world when we “OM Shanti Shanti OM”. The biggest thing I have learned from Akasha is that teaching with love and kindness and following the Yoga Sutras, I can change the world in a positive way. I know that I am so much happier than I have ever been and that so is my family because of being part of your wonderful teacher training.”
– Janice S.

“I have been practicing yoga for one and a half years with the original intent to de-stress. I enrolled Akasha 200hrs teacher’s training to deepen my knowledge in yoga with no real intention of teaching. Through this training I rediscovered yoga. Not only have I learned the functions of the asanas and how to get into each pose, but also the philosophy of yoga, and how to translate the peace and joy that I found on the mat into the world. Stephanie and Alison even provided opportunities for all the trainees to learn how teach in front a class and hands-on experience to work with clients. With their dedicated guidance, I am inspired to teach and share yoga with the communities around me.” – Betty H

“The 200 hour teacher training at Akasha Yoga is truly amazing. Stephanie and Alison have created a serene and loving space to explore the endless opportunities within the mind, body and soul. The vibrant energy within the walls of Akasha Yoga is infectious and that was an important facet to me when choosing my teacher training. The training covers a wide variety of subjects; Anatomy, Postures, Poses, Sequencing, Philosophy of Yoga, Business of Yoga, Meditation and much more. The small class size allows for a more in depth training which has provided me with a solid foundation so I can continue to grow as an instructor with full confidence. Yoga is a Lifetime Practice and I’m just getting started! Thank you, Stephanie and Alison for such an amazing journey. I couldn’t imagine taking my training at any other studio.” – Stephanie C.

Akasha Yoga 3211 Holiday Court, #203, La Jolla, CA 92037 | San Diego, UTC | (858) 622-YOGA 9642

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