by Alyson Showell LaPorta
The vital work of Inner Strength could not be accomplished without the dedication of our instructors, so we’re going to be featuring some of our talented team in the Instructor Spotlight. Get to know the faces and people who give so much to move this work forward. For April, I’d like to introduce you to Haylee Warner.
How did you first hear about Inner Strength?
I was working at the Healing Arts Collective managing their social media accounts. I was referred to Amy, who was looking for some help and when I researched Inner Strength, I knew I wanted to do their training and eventually teach for them. The Inner Strength mission is something I really feel confident and passionate about.
How long have you been teaching with Inner Strength?
I have been teaching with them for 1 year!
What made you want to become an Inner Strength teacher?
I had been teaching trauma sensitive yoga for a few years, mostly all with adults. Teens have always been a sweet spot for me and I was looking for a way I could use my skill sets to reach them in a positive way. I had taught dance to teens before, but being in a mindfulness/philosopher/morality mentor place feels more impactful and a better fit for where I am in my life. The few adults I had in my life who helped push my thinking and believed in me made a huge imprint, in a positive way. I hope I can be that adult in a teen’s life.
Describe some of your related professional experience and how it helps you as an Inner Strength Instructor.
I studied art for many years and it helped me recontextualize a lot of information and experiences. I think that way of thinking really helps me teach the teens the cultural development aspects of the Inner Strength curriculum. Being a trauma sensitive yoga instructor has prepared me for so many situations in life; and especially classroom situations. Having experience holding space for people to show up exactly as they are and allowing them to participate wherever they feel able is massive. It helps ease the stress of a class, leaves space for the students to open up as they feel ready and allows them to have agency to learn the information and decipher it how they need to.
What is the most rewarding thing about the program for you?
Honestly, the curriculum that focuses on evolutionary development of the brain and large scale culture shifts is a game changer. You need the first half which teaches foundational mindfulness practices to get there, but when I get a chance to go deeper with the students about the cultural development of our world then I get to see them dream up new possibilities to combat the issues of our world. That is what gives me hope.
What changes have you seen in students who have taken the training?
I have seen them become more respectful and thoughtful of themselves and others. I have seen them gain more confidence and ease of being – at least within my classroom.
What advice would you give to others who are interested in this path?
I would suggest becoming very consistent in their own meditation first. That is what helped me really focus and become ready.