VEToga - Teacher Training 2016

A New Journey

By: Nicole Marshall

I am going to preface this by saying this was the most auspicious thing I’ve ever done in my life. But it was also terrifying. You should know though that these people will change your life forever. They will leave footprints on your heart that will be with you in every step.

VEToga - Teacher Training 2016


I had no idea that this 11-day journey I was about to embark on would not only awaken my heart but my spirit as well. It all started in December of 2015 when I first heard about VETOGA I loved the vision and direction that founder Justin Blazejewski had and wanted to be a part of it… who didn’t? There are some things you know that you are meant to do in life. This for me was one of them. Teaching yoga was always something I saw myself doing but financially seemed out of reach. However, Justin aimed to create a program that for veterans would take care of all those obstacles; for us he seemed to be our living Ganesha. So I applied to be a part of the first ever training class in April 2016. Let the waiting game begin. There were so many veterans that applied to be a part of the program that I thought it was a long shot. You know like shooting a target from 400 meters… in the dark… blindfolded. At the time I found myself on the side of pessimism because if your always disappointed then you get really excited at surprises. It took this training for me to realize that we deserve the good things in spite of pessimism and yes we deserve the good things too.

In late September I found out that I had in fact been chosen to attend what would be an amazing yoga teacher training experience. I flew into DC on November 10 and for a few hours go to take in the atmosphere of a new city. I met my host Bethany for lunch at GCDC Grilled Cheese Bar and it was delicious. It’s not a super important detail but who doesn’t love food? After she went back to work I meandered around; it would be my last night out for a while. I escaped into the halls of the Lincoln Memorial and felt so blessed that at that moment I was right where I was supposed to be and less than 12 hours later I would wake up to a new possibility. I found myself in a place where I would be able to help veterans and in doing so I could find tools to help myself as well. Selflessness isn’t that the best gift you can obtain.

Part II coming in early 2017

Pictured from left to right: Viveka Om, Sita Om, Yogi Hanuman, Melody Abella and Yogini Kali Gabrielle