Class of Yoga Teachers Graduates from Peaceful Postures

Photo: A class of yoga instructors graduated from a 200-hour program in May from Peaceful Postures Yoga and Wellness in Calais. The class was taught by Samantha Williams of Bold Coast Yoga School. From left to right: Samantha Williams, Teena Dominie, Lisa Tyson-Ennis, Maggie Brown, Ande Mosher, Ericka Marshall, and Megan Lindemanis.

By Lura Jackson

Eastern Washington County has been enriched by a proliferation of yoga instructors as a result of a recently completed 200-hour training that took place in three different locations. Eight students participated in the class, which was led by instructor Samantha Williams, founder of Bold Coast Yoga School. The graduation was held at Peaceful Postures Yoga and Wellness in Calais in May. 

The class, which was held for one weekend a month for nine months between the Cobscook Community Learning Center in Trescott, Downeast Massage in Pembroke, and Peaceful Postures Yoga and Wellness in Calais, provided extensive training for its participants. The curriculum covered the art and science of yoga, the philosophy of different yoga styles, and gave students a robust understanding of anatomy and safety. The styles of yoga included were Vinyasa, Gentle, Restorative, and Yin Yoga. Aside from imparting knowledge and techniques, students were guided to develop their own teaching style. Williams explained that her school is different from others not only for its location in Washington County but in how “we emphasize the importance of authenticity for teachers, and encourage them to find their own unique voice, which empowers them to teach effectively.”

For one student, Ericka Marshall, the training was exactly what she was looking for. “Samantha is incredibly knowledgeable and has the ability to explain things clearly,” she said. “I looked forward to our trainings because I always left with such a feeling of contentment and excitement.” Marshall explained that the participating women developed strong and supportive relationships with each other and with Williams as a result of the comfortable environment fostered during the class. “The teacher training was an incredible experience for me,” she stated.

Completing the 200-hour training rewarded the participants not only with a profound sense of being prepared to teach, it also granted them certification through Yoga Alliance. Once registered with Yoga Alliance, the participants are able to begin teaching themselves. 

Marshall herself is preparing to teach classes immediately at Peaceful Postures in Calais. She will be offering a workshop that provides an introduction to yoga, a brief overview of the variety of styles, basic poses, and education regarding the benefits of yoga and meditation. “This workshop is for individuals who want to try yoga but are hesitant to attend class,” Marshall said, “or for those who may have had previous exposure to yoga but want a better understanding.” The class will be held on June 25th from 10 a.m. to noon at Peaceful Postures. In addition, Marshall will be scheduling morning yoga classes at Peaceful Postures beginning at 6 a.m. on Mondays. “Morning yoga helps to start your day off on a positive note and increase energy!” Other classes will be developed based on community interest and Marshall will also consider private lessons if desired.

For those interested in taking a yoga instructors’ class themselves, Williams is offering a three week summer intensive class as well as another nine month class beginning in September. The summer intensive enables participants to practice for 1-3 hours a day, attend workshops, participate in group activities, attend lectures, guest teacher interviews, and engage in meditation.

While this is the first time that Williams has coordinated a teacher training on her own, she has co-instructed them in the past and has herself completed over 1,000 hours of training, including 300 hours over one month in Costa Rica. Williams is an ACE certified personal trainer, which helps her teach the anatomy and safety aspects of yoga poses. She resides in Whiting and offers regular yoga classes from Machias to Pembroke, in addition to workshops and teacher trainings.

As a skilled yoga instructor trainer, Williams acknowledges that offering her classes in a larger area would be more lucrative. However,  having been raised here, Williams is dedicated to the Washington County area. “I see a real need for wellness that addresses both the mind and body in our area,” she said. “Yoga works in this way, and can help overcome anxiety, addiction, and many other challenges… watching this program help Washington County is very valuable to me.”

Space is available for the upcoming summer intensive teacher training and the nine-month training. To register, visit boldcoastyoga.com. To find out more about Marshall’s workshop and her morning classes, contact Peaceful Postures at 454-1154 or visit www.peacefulposturesyoga.com.