Anna Koehler

Foundations Program Graduate
C-IAYT Candidate
Yoga Therapist, Yoga Teacher
Location: Little Rock, Arkansas

Breathing Deeply has given me the tangible resource to shift from pain to purpose, and make a dream a reality. After a personal life-saving experience as a yoga therapy client, I felt an almost immediate newfound responsibility to share it with others. I couldn’t imagine doing anything else, and the pull became so strong I could not ignore it. I made the leap with Breathing Deeply while still in college, embarking on a journey that few understood. I boldly, and at times, terrifyingly, went forward with the felt sense that all discomfort was equipping me. During the program, the nerves shifted to purpose. I couldn’t take notes fast enough, and my passion for the work and education continued to grow more than I could imagine possible. I now go forward with confidence and deep assurance that the program has provided a diverse toolbox for healing, and helping others help themselves.

Prior to starting my yoga therapy education with Breathing Deeply, my mental health had reached crisis level with no hope in sight. I needed more than a pill. I had the felt experience of how powerful the mind can manifest as extreme illness and dis-ease. Losing everything required something to rebuild me from the inside out.

Yoga therapy was the essential missing piece and catalyst for healing my body, mind, and spirit. Everything I learned on my mat came to serve me in every area of my life. Every moment I could meet discomfort head-on prepared me for the next difficult one. Having a toolbox within myself came to far surpass what a prescription alone could do for me.

I wanted to become a yoga therapist to be able to offer and share the “different” approach that was life-saving for me. I knew I couldn’t have been the only one who needed a different “Rx” and was ready to use my experience for the greater good. I begin an unwavering mission to promote yoga therapy to anyone who was willing to listen.

I created a spreadsheet with every yoga therapy school in the country, and what it would take for me to make this happen. Breathing Deeply checked every single box for me. From that moment, I made every decision around supporting this goal. The flexibility of Breathing Deeply’s advanced program modules is the only way this could be made possible. What was once fear to not take a traditional career path, shifted to excitement and honor to be on the front end of this continually emerging field. The greater attention to yoga as a healing modality along with the research provided in the program gives me hope for yoga therapy filling a “missing gap” in healthcare and the exciting growth to come.

The most valuable part of the program for me was that Breathing Deeply was not a school or model to “memorize”. Instead, the program built, piece by piece, a solid foundation and working framework to be able to offer something to anyone who walked in the doors.

I have been very grateful for the deep attention to specific dis-ease states, conditions, and disorders. I knew I would receive information on how to adapt yoga therapy to fit the individual. I did not know the extensive guidance and support for specifics would give me the assurance of another possible client and/or disorder to work with after each lesson. Brandt’s teaching, guest speakers, and those with the felt experience of conditions gave me an invaluable inside look at what my soon-to-be clients may be experiencing.

I deeply appreciate the ability to have continued mentoring after program completion. The most important learning begins with clients. As an emerging field, it is invaluable to have a community of both your teacher and peers to brainstorm, share, and offer support. This program is not about “checking” things off a list to C-IAYT. This was not a model or school to “memorize”. It simply would not work that way. It is a community with a shared framework and by the time of completion, a genuine understanding of the material to work from.

I would like to share with anyone considering training as a yoga therapist in our school that Breathing Deeply provides an experiential way to have a deep understanding of all material taught. You will not be on a journey of how to share the work, without the importance of first living it. Each technique in your toolbox to share with others, you will first experience.

The yoga therapy process takes a holistic approach that sees the individual as a whole person working with their unique story. Sometimes this is the first time someone truly feels “seen”. We are shown a way “out” of the parts of our lives that seem to hold the most power over us, through going “in”. The impact of the work reaches far beyond the mat and becomes a vehicle that can rewire the way we show up for ourselves, the people around us, and to life.

Thanks to Breathing Deeply, I am implementing yoga therapy where my own yoga journey began, Blue Yoga Nyla, working as a yoga therapist with Stacey Reynolds (my yoga therapist) and as the studio’s Director of Operations.

Info Session

Brandt talks about common questions applicants have about the Breathing Deeply Yoga Therapy Program. Tune in to get the full program details.