“Be Brave. Be Weird. Be Unequivocally You.”
Charlotte received her RYT 200 through Konalani Yoga Ashram, Hawaii in 2012.
As a self-proclaimed "non-athlete" who shied away from sports and gym class, I was surprised to find myself so drawn to yoga after my first lass. I was eighteen, awkward, and highly uncoordinated, but yoga offered me two valuable gifts --- permission to have a sense of gracefulness, and permission to forgive myself when I momentarily lose that grace; permission to be balanced and to fall. But school, friends, and life got in the way. After a very inconsistent home practice throughout college, I stopped doing yoga altogether during my early twenties. I lost my way, felt directionless. I would have denied it at the time, but I was falling into a deep state of depression. I was still getting up every day, going to work, paying my bills, but without a sense of purpose, I was simply going through the motions. I was surviving instead of living, and I felt incredibly alone.
Then little by little I found my way. I found a studio, rediscovered my practice, and although neither one was close to perfect, they felt like home to me. So after over a year of regular studio practice, I began to research teacher trainings and was drawn to a month-long immersion at an ashram in Hawaii. With the support and encouragement of friends, I took the plunge, got accepted into the training, and headed to Konalni Yoga Ashram in February of 2012. Training was intense, eye-opening, and a definite reality check that teaching would be much more challenging than I had originally thought. It is unsurprising, then, that I struggled so much as a new teacher back in Atlanta.
I put teaching on an indefinite hold and became a deeply committed student. My practice was stronger and more well-rounded than ever, and I also discovered and tapped into the lively and colorful acro yoga scene in town. But something was still missing.
And like clockwork, the invitation to teach at a brand-new, not-yet-open Thunderbolt seemed to fall into my lap. My ego, the small and scared version of myself, wanted to badly to say "No." But my true, curious self said "Just try." All I had to do was try. So I did, and I felt new, green, unsure. Then I remember something a teacher said to me right before I left for training -- "You don't learn to be a teacher during your training, you learn to become a teacher by teaching." So I kept going. And my quiet voice got louder, my nerves got smaller, and I started to actually feel like a teacher. And I never looked back. I gave "Yes" a shot, I said "More please" to new opportunities, to more classes.
Now I am starting a new chapter, opening the door to teaching full-time. I am trying to keep my eyes open, my mind receptive. I am finding and honoring my boundaries. I am looking for balance, on my mat and off. I want to be fully for my studio and my students when I am working, and fully for my loving boyfriend Luke and our two wonderful, sweet dachshunds, Olive and Blinkin, when I am at home. I am striving to improve, to never stop learning, but also to stay immersed in each moment, to be right where I am (even if I mess up!)
I hope to always have the heart and soul of a student. I like to make life more colorful and adventurous, for myself and for those around me. I want to share my gifts with the world and help others do the same.
And I don't know where this journey will take me next, but I am certainly loving the ride...almost as much as I love puppies!!
Follow Charlotte on Instagram
Spotify: Charlotte Lottie Kilbourn
Yoga Alliance RYT 86950