Testimonials

  • Name: Catherine Young
    Occupation: Dancer/Choreographer
    Where are you from? Dublin, via San Francisco

    • Q1: What was your experience of yoga before the VFY training?

      Astanga Yoga. I took regular weekly classes mostly in SF at studios there and at my gym. Relied on class for practice vs cultivating self practice. Due to the lack of good classes where I live, I have had to develop a self practice, which at times is isolating.

      Have been exposed to yoga all my life as my father has had an unwavering daily practice for over 35 years.

    • Q2: Did you have any limited expectations of the training?

      Having lived and studied yoga in California, I was looking for training that was very specific to my studies and background so far. On researching the background behind VFY and its teachers, it seemed that VFY’s approach and philosophy was offering exactly what I was looking for.

      So my main expectation of the training was that it would be delivered in a similar manner to American styled courses in terms of the level of professionalism, organization, preparedness, depth of knowledge on the part of the teachers, precision of physicality in their demonstration showing they had already embodied the work, quality of teaching/communication and overall ability to motivate and inspire students, which is always a given if the teacher has a genuine love of their subject, which VFY teachers do. My expectations of the course were high.

      I typically have high expectations as a person and as a dancer, with limited time and resources, I wanted to make sure I chose a course that had a high likelihood of delivering or exceeding my expectations. VFY not only did that but the knowledge and learnings went far deeper than the physical practice of yoga and have had a deep impact on how I now approach life.

    • Q3: What was your experience of the course?

      Incredibly positive. Like most things in life, you go in with your set of expectations of what you want to learn or what you ‘think’ you need to learn and then you come out the other end learning exactly what you needed to, but not what you thought you did.if that makes any sense?

      Initially I knew I needed my ‘bit of paper’ in order to practice as a teacher so that was my initial motivation to doing a teacher training course but I came away with so much more. As a dancer, I wanted to choose a course that really focused on the style of yoga that I have connected with and that would push me to continue to improve myself. So the course for me literally was a living practice as how to fully engage in yoga, use it in my daily life beyond the mat, deal with my resistances and understand the ‘why’ behind things.

      One of the huge assets or benefits I found of VFY’s teaching was how to apply yogic philosophy both on the mat and off. Another reason I wanted to do the course was to study more about yoga philosophy and rather than lengthy lectures on the subject, VFY took these teachings and incorporated them physically into the practice making the learning far stronger that just ‘reading’ about it. I feel the philosophy has a much higher chance of sticking now.

      I could go on about the experience, but in brief:

      excellently delivered teaching on the physical practice of yoga and its inherent philosophy

      well taught technique that has me very confident that I am teaching yoga safely and am comfortable knowing how to modify exercises to suit any student that shows up to my class

      a much stronger understanding of how the philosophy relates to the physical practice and how they are not separate studies but one.

      a very personal journey that has given me strong tools to deal with anything life throws at me, a sense of being able to maintain calm through madness, a ‘real’ way of looking at things.

      A way of understanding yourself. This was the first time I had practiced yoga being guided to look at how I practice and how I see my personality traits and flaws coming into the practice. Was very enlightening and I learned a lot about myself.

    • Q4: What three things did you really appreciate?

      Excellent organization and preparedness. I think this really set the course up to succeed, thoroughly planned out workshops in succession, great hand outs, useful homework. Great attention to detail and good time keeping. I have little time for chaos and poor planning and winging it so really appreciated the structure to it all which set us up to succeed.

      2. The circles at the beginning and end of the weekends which really allowed us all to connect as people. This built intense trust and wonderful relationships within the group which really allowed us practice in a supportive environment. The weekends became a real retreat and haven, an escape from the outside world – but in a way they were the ‘real’ world as we all felt intensely present, alive and aware during the weekends.

      3. The quality and precision of teaching, again attention to detail, the corrections, the sound explanations of why we were doing things the way we were. There was no doubt that the teachers were well experienced and knew exactly what they were teaching. I appreciated the breaking down of postures to give us that fundamental understanding of things so we could build them back up again. Having studied movement and the body a lot through dance with many teachers, I feel very comfortable I have received correct teaching and can apply this to both my yoga and dancing.

    • Q5: Would you recommend the course to a fellow yoga student?

      Absolutely. The course was a wonderful experience/ journey, physically, mentally and emotionally, delivered in a very safe structured and thoughtful way. I would recommend it to anyone interested in learning more about not only yoga, but them selves. The course really showed me how to make yoga my own and allowed me connect on a personal level to the practice. Although it is wonderful to continue to take classes and workshops with others, it really helped show me how to build and sustain a personal practice on my own.
  • Name: Diane Howley
    Age: 49
    Occupation:Part time accounts assistant and part time yoga teacher
    Where are you from? Co. Cork

    • Q1: What was your experience of yoga before the VFY training?

      I had practiced yoga for over 20 years and had some teaching experience
    • Q2: Did you have any limited expectations of the training?

      Not really I came into the training with a very open mind and looking to work mostly on my personal practice.
    • Q3: What was your experience of the course?

      The course has really developed my practice and has also increased my confidence as a teacher.

      I feel I have learned more about and practiced more yoga over the past 10 months than in the previous 10 years.

    • Q4: What three things did you really appreciate?

      The bond and support created within the group, this was enabled by David from the first weekend onwards.

      The professionalism of the course.

      The diversity of the areas covered from the strong basics to somatics, meditation, pregnancy yoga etc.

    • Q5: Would you recommend the course to a fellow yoga student?

      Definitely! .
  • Name: Francesca Giusti
    Age: 36
    Occupation:Travel Consultant
    Where are you from? Tuscany, Italy

    • Q1: What was your experience of yoga before the VFY training?

      I had been practicing mainly Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga since 1999. This is my second teacher training having done a 200 hours Introduction to Teacher Training in 2004 with Yoga Arts (Byron Bay).
    • Q2: Did you have any limited expectations of the training?

      I expected a very practical training with many postures to master, with props and modifications. Apart from this I didn’t want to expect too much because I like to experience different teaching styles and, if I like them, I take as much as I can from them. I expected to learn a lot, and this really happened!
    • Q3: What was your experience of the course?

      My experience of the course changed from the first week end, or, better said, from the first class with David. I felt very exposed and vulnerable in my weak points, which I thought were my strength points: my hyper mobility and my flexibility. My ego was challenged in many different ways: I was not aware of certain parts of my body, I wanted to practice the way I was used to just because this was the “tradition”, I sometimes felt I was ignored at class, I occasionally refused to challenge myself and so on.

      But I never thought I wasn’t learning. I have always felt I was taking something in , and this is the best thing of all. I was learning something that I could use both in my practice and in my teaching. I learned different points of view, I improved my vocabulary and the importance of using the right words.

      I found David’s teaching method very effective, but, especially at the beginning, quite hard and strict. I was struggling to find a bit of softness and some space for “letting go” rather than “doing”. It was hard, but, like all good disciplines, I could see that this was done on purpose and it had to clash against my ego.

      Things improved a lot. I found the Somatic Education excellent, and will probably do more study on that direction. I am very glad I did this training, because it showed me a profound and intelligent way of practicing. starting from the ground! Something very simple, and yet completely new for me.

      To sum it up, I found the training extremely useful and an invaluable tool to improve my way of practicing and teaching

    • Q4: What three things did you really appreciate?

      I really appreciated the work from the “foundations”, learning to bring integrity to the practice and to respect the structure of the body.

      I appreciated the terminology and the use of appropriated and specific language when teaching. I though that was excellent, it takes very long time and experience to develop such a richness of language and specific instructions.

      I appreciated the work I was made to do to modify some of my previous ways of practicing to bring me to a safer more aware practice.

    • Q5: Would you recommend the course to a fellow yoga student?

      I would recommend it to any serious practitioner, no matter which style of yoga they are practicing. I would, and will, recommend it to anybody who would see themselves as potential teachers and also to anybody who is only interested in deepening their own practice.

      I would definitely recommended to many people who are already teaching as well, to help them to bring awareness in the basic principles that are sometimes forgotten.

  • Name: Jane Kellaghan
    Age: 38
    Occupation: Dance Choreographer & Teacher
    Where are you from? Carrigaline, Co. Cork

    • Q1: What was your experience of yoga before the VFY training?

      I had done Yoga on and off over a number of years, having completed the training, I realize now is the difference between what I thought was yoga and what yoga really is.  I have always felt very drawn to Yoga and always intended to study it at this level to deepen my practice, knowledge & spirituality.
    • Q2: Did you have any limited expectations of the training?

      I had the expectation of obtaining the skills to become a yoga teacher, I expected the course to be good but not as good as it really is. It is fantastic. David asked for a lot, and physically I really enjoyed that he had those expectations of us. He covered all that he could, in the limited time frame; I didn’t think we would cover as much as we did.
    • Q3: What was your experience of the course?

      My experience of the course was incredible, it is brilliant. I do believe one has to be self-motivated and do a lot of home practice to really benefit from this training. It is very tough and you will be pushed physically to new limits. It is brilliantly and intelligently taught with great emphasis placed on body awareness & alignment in all postures. It has been an extremely inspirational year. 
    • Q4: What three things did you really appreciate?

      • How my body/mind/spirit has started to yearn for yoga as part of my life
      • How my heart is open to be more accepting and loving of all
      • I really appreciate having done this training with David, he is a wonderful teacher.
    • Q5: Would you recommend the course to a fellow yoga student?

      I would highly recommend this course to anyone who is serious about yoga it’s absolutely a tremendous experience. It is not for the faint hearted its hard work and a big commitment but with such rewarding return. It’s a course you do only when you are ready to be challenged and get serious about yoga.
  • Name: Emma Crean
    Age: 38
    Occupation: Visual artist/ Painter
    Where are you from? Dublin

    • Q1: What was your experience of yoga before the VFY training?

      Attending yoga classes regularly in Dublin and whenever I was out of the country. This has been the case for several years. I also had a sporadic home practice. But found myself yearning to follow up more about yoga and how to keep myself interested in my own practice.
    • Q2: Did you have any limited expectations of the training?

      My expectations of the course were to that it would be like a series of intensive workshops. I thought it might solve some of what I thought were physical limitations from past injuries. Maybe I would become a teacher.
    • Q3: What was your experience of the course?

      My experience of the course shall continue to unfold more as time goes by. But it has been an interesting learning time of letting go. Letting go of past held beliefs of self. Gaining patience with the effort of practice. Sometimes it was difficult to undo what may have been a habit of a lifetime. But it was interesting to find what ones body pattern or stamp has been. The knowledge of the WHY and that change is possible with a daily effort became obvious.

      I was not sure to begin with how much or if I could teach. Having learnt so much about how bodies behave, the changes that can happen decided it for me. The course really gives you the confidence to know you have the skills to impart knowledge and share what you love

    • Q4: What three things did you really appreciate?

      Really appreciated the detailed personal attention of the teachers on how a posture was created. The full breakdown of asanas into their component parts has been unforgettable as I can hear that “shoulder mantra” every time I begin in Tadasana! I have since realized that I will share this in my classes.

      I loved the SOMATICS introduction from the beginning and have shared them with many people. They are part of my daily routine.

      Although it seemed a load at times, the homework following the weekends was invaluable. I really love the books on the reading list. The anatomy and philosophy reading in particular gave a real basis for all our effort. Off the mat now has become just as important as “doing” yoga on it.

    • Q5: Would you recommend the course to a fellow yoga student?

      Absolutely. To give oneself the chance of learning at this level with genuine people is not to be missed. Each month to know that there is a gathering of similar thinking people understanding and supporting each other shares the effort. There is never a sense of competition and the only ego to deal with is your own.
  • Name:Mary O Donnell
    Age: 70
    Occupation: Housewife

    • Q1: What was your experience of yoga before the VFY training?

      Before the VFY training I attended 3 – 4 yoga classes per week. I had also attended weekend workshops & had traveled to Greece for a week long workshop.
    • Q2: Did you have any limited expectations of the training?

      My main expectation from the course was to gain the confidence to become a good yoga teacher, the course provided that & a lot more.
    • Q3: What was your experience of the course?

      I found the course very intense. The written homework & the practice took up a lot of time, but I enjoyed it & got a lot out of it. I would do the course again.

      I was not sure to begin with how much or if I could teach. Having learnt so much about how bodies behave, the changes that can happen decided it for me. The course really gives you the confidence to know you have the skills to impart knowledge and share what you love

    • Q4: What three things did you really appreciate?

      I appreciated the research I had to do, especially the book “Light on Yoga” and lots of other books I bought. The monthly workshops were great. When doing Asanas I really think about what I am doing, I do them with more care & attention. And of course all the support & help from Dave was invaluable. And lastly the people I met on the course were brilliant. Everyone supported & helped each other. I hope we remain friends & keep in touch.
    • Q5: Would you recommend the course to a fellow yoga student?

      I would have no hesitation in recommending the course to anyone. It makes you so aware of how careful you have to be when teaching yoga. You then bring that awareness into your own practice. It was a wonderful course.