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Nursing Major Sarah Yankowski Completes Yoga Teacher Training

(4.3.17) By Jaclyn Arens – “Going through teacher training has truly helped me take the dive even further into a deep passion I already have.”

Sarah Yankowski

Sarah Yankowski

Sarah Yankowski is a senior nursing major who has recently completed a certified yoga teacher-training program on top of her senior nursing schedule. The certification was a 200-hour training course through Be Yoga Studio in downtown Sioux City.

The training course ran from November to April and was one to two weekends a month. Every weekend of training was broken into Yamas and Nivamas (yoga’s ethical guidelines laid out in the first two limbs of Patanjali’s eightfold path). Each weekend had an anatomical focus and a style highlight.

Sarah expands on what she gained from the training, “I’ve learned more about the early development of poses, sanskrit, subtle body, energy work, and so much more than I could have ever anticipated! And now I am trained to use my body and voice in a way that is welcoming and compassionate to help share this love with others.”

Her immediate teaching plans include instructing a few different series sessions at Be Yoga Studio. A series is centered on a theme, and people pay a flat rate for all the classes. She is most interested in doing a five-week series about the different elements.

Sarah was introduced to her mat in 2011 and has been an avid believer in the benefits of yoga ever since.

“I came to it (yoga) for physical reasons because I wanted a workout, but I stayed for the spiritually and mental health aspects,” she said.

The mental health benefits are one of the main reasons that Sarah strives to share yoga with others. “I used to have panic attacks and was very anxiety prone, but now I know how to meet the anxiety and control it.”

Sarah first went to a yoga studio in Colorado with four girlfriends. They all enjoyed it, so they continued together every week. Now they all continue to practice yoga in their respective towns, and they strive to introduce more people to the practice.

Sarah says, “Bringing people to yoga has a tree branch effect. Usually you just need to invite someone to go to yoga once, and after that they bring more people, just like how a tree continues branching out.”

Yoga is not a gender specific practice. Sarah believes that everyone could benefit from yoga, especially athletic guys.

She states, “Yoga is helpful for athletes because it helps them with areas that modern sports don’t focus on. It increases flexibility and strength, which helps prevent injury.”

Josh Doering, a student athlete at Morningside, attributes his yoga practice entirely to Sarah.

He says, “Sarah is the entire reason I have given yoga a try. After her encouragement and support, I started my own practice and found the benefits of increased flexibility, mindfulness, and stress relief. I now try to incorporate yoga into my weekly routine, and I know she will make a great teacher who will change the lives of many.”