Shared Thoughts

We all have things in our life that we are hoping to transform.  Maybe it’s our relationship to our family, our body, money or our career.  Maybe we have suffered a loss or a life change that has left us without words and hope, wondering how to move forward in life.  Perhaps we “have it all” on the outside but feel empty on the inside. Perhaps we have made (or are hoping to make) a change in our lives and would like to be part of a community of like-minded folks that will support our growth and change.  Maybe we are already on a path of transformation and would like to deepen our experience.

We live in a time of intense emotion.  
Powerful displays of love are seen alongside powerful displays of selfishness and greed. Our society is riddled with addiction, self-soothing and disconnection.  
There’s the wise saying that “you can’t help others until you help yourself”.  

This world needs people who are brave enough to recognize their darkness so that they are able to step fully into their light.

Ashaya Yoga is “learning how to say “yes” to life and abide in the truth that everything in life is for your awakening. AY builds strength, balance, flexibility, and heals chronic pain. More than a “yoga workout”, it supports the harmony and interconnection of body, mind, heart, and spirit, that makes you strong, confident, peaceful, openhearted, and ready to engage with life wholeheartedly. Off the mat, it inspires the best version of you and develops your capacity to meet life’s challenges with poise and grace.”

The embrace of our True Self is the lifeblood of Yoga.  That’s where the magic is.  We get to that space through movement, through our breath, through sensing what we are holding emotionally and physically, paying attention to how we interact with ourselves and the world around us.  Getting quiet with our thoughts and finding out what is TRULY driving the bus. 

That is when you begin the movement of stepping fully into your light. 

That is when you start to change not only your life, but you begin to impact others.

The world needs more of your Light.

In 2014, following the completion of my doctorate and a particularly stressful time in my career, I started looking into where I might pursue the next level of my yoga training.

So, first off, you are probably thinking:

“Kristi, WHY would you want to take a teacher training in the midst of a stressful time?!  Studying yoga should be reserved for when you are super Zen, look great in yoga pants, eat only organic vegan, and never, EVER swear”

You know, never.

Yoga teacher training (YTT) should be thought of as a yoga immersion program. 

  • A retreat from the day-to-day. 
  • A time to focus on yourself physically, mentally and spiritually.
  • A time to connect with like-minded folks and dig deeper into what life is all about (and let go of what it ISN’T about).

In each of the programs where I have studied, the class was approximately 50% teachers (or teachers-to-be) and 50% folks who were looking to go deeper into their understanding of themselves and the world around them. 

Not only do you learn yoga poses and how to make them work for your unique body, a solid yoga teacher training will also take you deep into the yogic texts, philosophies, codes of living such as non-stealing, non-harm, mindfulness – in other words: be honest, don’t gossip, think before you speak, etc.

My experience has been that each yoga training offers something different and there is real value in studying with folks that are highly regarded.  For the most part, they have earned that recognition! 

Enter Todd Norian…

When I was looking for a 300 hour YTT, one of my teachers, Suzie Hurley, recommended that I study with Ashaya Yoga’s Todd Norian.  Todd was very gracious and entertained a number of my questions as I contemplated traveling to Kripalu in Massachusetts to complete his 300 hr YTT (200 hr YTT + 300 hr YTT = 500 hr Registered Yoga Teacher). 

While I was eager to dive deeper into my studies with a master teacher, having two small children and a full-time job was just not lending to 1-2 weeks away in MA every few months. So, I chose a program closer to home through University of Maryland Medical School’s Center for Integrative Medicine (which was also fantastic!).  In the meantime, I had a chance to take a weekend workshop with Todd in Baltimore and made a mental note that I wanted to study with him again, sooner-than-later.

Fast-forward 2 years. I opened Coastal Retreat and contacted Todd.  I wanted to study with him and I wanted others in our community to have the same amazing opportunity! We discussed Coastal Retreat hosting an Ashaya Yoga 200 hr YTT, agreed upon dates and started planning!!

(By the way, it’s very normal for teachers to take multiple 200 & 300 hr teacher trainings – consider yourself fortunate if you are able to study with teachers who have taken their continuing education seriously.  It makes a big difference! We have several current teachers who are joining us for Todd’s training, no doubt making them even-more stellar teachers!)

So, all of that is to say – this is how we ended up where we are today, just two months until we officially kick off Ashaya Yoga’s 200 HR YTT on the Eastern Shore! 

If you follow yoga teacher trainings, you’ll know that this is an incredible opportunity locally.  Travel to DC, Baltimore and beyond is normally required to train with national/international-level teachers.  I encourage anyone that has been looking for a deeper connection with themselves and others, with the possibility of teaching if they feel called to action, to consider joining us this September.  We will be training in 4 separate modules over 9 months, right here in Easton.  It’s an incredible opportunity that shouldn’t be missed and I can personally attest that we have a GREAT group of folks coming together to study with Todd.  We offer payment plans and have a limited number of scholarship opportunities.  Please feel free to send me an email if I can answer any questions (

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