Barbara Courtille – Helping Yoga Teachers become successful Yoga Professionals

I am proud to present to you this episode called Helping Yoga Teachers become successful Yoga Professionals with Barbara Courtille. Barbara has been practicing Yoga for 25 years. It is her longest and greatest love. Barbara said, “Making Yoga my professional career is the best thing I have done.” If you know that this is the life you want to create for yourself, she can help you to make it happen. Check out this episode to hear tips that Barbara shares to help yogis level up.

​Visit Barbara on her website here: https://www.barbaracourtille.com
Follow here on Instagram here: @Barbara_courtille_yoga

You can listen to the full episode for free here.

Todd McLaughlin

Welcome to Native Yoga Toddcast, I’m so happy to have you here. Today, I have the chance to bring Barbara Courtille onto the show. Barbara is located in Sydney, Australia. She was kind enough to coordinate her schedule so the times could work where we could be on the other side of the world and join up here for a conversation. Please check her out at Barbaracourtile.com. Also on our Instagram page, @Barbara_courtille_yoga. And on that note, why wait any longer? Let’s get to it. 

I’m so excited to have Barbara Courtille here today with me, Barbara, how are things going for you?

Barbara Courtille

Great, I’m really happy to be talking to you on the other side of the world, Todd, thanks for having me.

Todd McLaughlin

I know, I love the fact that we can communicate like this through a platform like zoom, and the spoken word of the podcast and that it’s really an easy way to actually go about communicating. I love it. It’s kind of amazing, isn’t it?

Barbara Courtille

Yeah. And I’m a big fan of podcasts. I listen to yours amongst many others, as my learning and keeping motivated and just finding out what people are thinking all around the world and connecting to other yoga teachers who are you know, my favorite people, basically?

Todd McLaughlin

I hear you! Can you give me a little bit of your background and relation to how you first fell in love with yoga?

Barbara Courtille

Yeah, I started back in the 80s. In the late 80s. When I was you know, in my early 20. I had a boyfriend who was a yogi. And I was more of an artsy kid. You know, I was into art. I always wanted to be an artist. And I did that for many years. But his thing was yoga and meditation. He traveled to India and he used to do Iyengar yoga and headstands and kriyas and all sorts of weird stuff to me back then. Yeah. And he’s the one who took me to my first yoga class, which was an Iyengar class. And that was not actually a great experience. Because my first class I was expected to do handstands and all sorts of things that my body was not happy to do. So I can remember the teacher who was an older woman, well, older, probably younger than me now, but at the time, she seemed to kind of shame me. You know, in the Iyengar way that they do. She would just say “get up, you can do this.” So it wasn’t a great experience, that first yoga class. So it’s kind of a miracle that I’m still doing yoga all these years later. And it’s basically my whole life. 

Todd McLaughlin

That’s amazing. Was that in Sydney? You’re living in Sydney currently? Where did you grow up?

Barbara Courtille

My early years, I grew up in Paris till I was 10. And then I came to Sydney. So I’ve lived in Sydney, most of my life.

Todd McLaughlin

Nice. Was that first class in Sydney?

Was that first practice session that you had with your boyfriend and Iyengar teacher in Australia, or was that somewhere else?

Barbara Courtille

No, totally in Sydney. Yes. 

Todd McLaughlin 

Gotcha. And then from there, if you were not enamored, and you walked away from that sounds like maybe you saying, “What in the world was that?” What then was your next step? Or how long was it before you had another yoga practice experience?

Barbara Courtille

I think after that I did some meditation. And that didn’t gel with me as well. It was very strict Buddhist meditation. So I didn’t have a great start to yoga, but for some reason, I think I ended up in some what were then called Hatha classes. Back then you used to do them like in church halls or at you know, the community center or whatever it was available. It wasn’t like the fancy yoga studios like your studio. There was none of that stuff back then. And it was very much in people’s lounge rooms and all that. So I think I probably found some much more mellow, lovely kind of teachers that weren’t gonna ask me to do anything nasty like turn upside down. It took me many years before I could do a proper handstand with all the proper, you know, structure that you need for that.

Yeah. 

Todd McLaughlin

Do you have a teacher that you can say that you credit your learning to or from? Or have you just learned from a whole bunch of different teachers along the way?

Barbara Courtille

I’ve learned from a whole bunch of teachers along the way. Yeah, I’ve never been a lineage kind of teacher either. I’ve explored different lineages. I think it’s just in my nature to try different things and find my own way. 

So I’ve done a lot of Hatha Yoga, then I went back to the Iyengar yoga, believe it or not. Then I was into Jivamukti Yoga for a long time. And then I was more into vinyasa. Then I was into Yin.  I was also doing sound healing. So I’ve done all this stuff, restorative yoga, and I just keep going and changing and learning as much as I can and incorporating what what resonates with me.

Todd McLaughlin

Wonderful. What does a practice session look like for you today?

Barbara Courtille

So this morning, I did some yoga in bed. 

Todd McLaughlin

Nice. 

Barbara Courtille

And then I got up and did a bit of asana practice, very simple. Plugging into the body noticing where our whole tension, which for me is generally in the upper body, so I do a lot of work on the upper body, opening the chest, opening the heart, I work a lot on the chakra system and the energy body. So I do some meditation to tune in some chanting to feel where the energy is flowing, where it might be stagnant, where it might be overflowing. And it’s from that observation that then direct my practice. So it will look different every day. But there are some things that tend to always be there, like the throat chakra is a bit of a weakness for me. I just had a little bit of manuka honey and did a bit of throat exercises before talking to you because it’s always a little bit weak. That part for me, yeah, the upper body, a lot of upper body, I’m quite strong in my lower body. I’m quite grounded, as by nature spend a lot of time in nature. I like to meditate in nature every day, if I can. If the weather’s good, so I’m lucky I live near some nature, Bush, we call it here in Australia. And so I’ll go and find a rock and I’ll do a bit of meditation. And that’s, that’s really my most nurturing practice meditation.

Todd McLaughlin

That’s cool. I noticed that you have a couple pictures or pictures of you practicing on a rock is that the rock that you’re talking about?

Barbara Courtille

That rock is called Swamis rock. It’s not where I live, but it’s where I go on retreat. So two or three or four times a year, if I’m lucky, I’ll go to the ashram which is not far from where I live. Maybe an hour away in nature. And that’s a particular rock where a swami here in Australia has been practicing for many, many years. So it’s got a lot of great energy.

Todd McLaughlin

Nice. Do I noticed that you are a yoga coach and mentor, when did that role come into play for you?

Barbara Courtille

I think it probably came into play fully when COVID came along. And when a lot of teachers suddenly had to become or realize that they were business owners, and that they had to find their own community, their own tribe and take charge of their own business or their own passion. Yeah, without relying on studios, or whatever they were relying on before that time. So that’s when a lot of yoga teachers, as you know, you know, kind of had a little bit of a pivot into becoming more business minded because they had to. Yes. So there was a lot of demand when COVID came along, when everyone was having, you know,

Todd McLaughlin

Yeah, that was pretty intense. Very intense. Wasn’t it? Amazing that now we can like talk like it’s past tense?

Barbara Courtille

Yeah, no, it’s great.

It’s really great to find wisdom. We survived on a lot of different levels. 

Todd McLaughlin

I agree.

Barbara Courtille

I actually think yoga teachers did exceptionally well if we can put them all in a group because obviously, we’re all different within that group. And as a tribe, I think they, from what I’ve observed, did really well in terms of like pivoting and changing, keeping their spirits up and keeping the spirits of all the people around them up? You know, it was It wasn’t an easy task. So congratulations to all the yoga teachers out there.

You can listen to the full episode for free here: https://nativeyogacenter.buzzsprout.com

Thanks for reading this blog post from this YouTube video. Check out: 👇
Native Yoga Teacher Training – In Studio and Livestream – for info delivered to your email click this link here: https://info.nativeyogacenter.com/native-yoga-teacher-training-2023/

https://info.nativeyogacenter.com/native-yoga-teacher-training-2023/

New Student Livestream Special ~ Try 2 Weeks of Free Unlimited Livestream Yoga Classes  at Native Yoga Center. Sign into the classes you would like to take and you will receive an email 30 minutes prior to join on Zoom. The class is recorded and uploaded to nativeyogaonline.com ~ Click Here to join.

New Student FREE 30 Minute Yoga Meet & Greet ~ Are you new to Native Yoga Center and have questions that you would like us to address? Whether you are coming to In Studio, Livestream or Online Recorded Classes we offer a one time complimentary 30 minute zoom meeting to answer any questions you may have. Schedule a time that is convenient for you. Click Here

Native Yoga website: nativeyogacenter.com
Online Yoga Class Library: nativeyogaonline.com
Thai Massage info: palmbeachthaimassage.com
Native Yoga Blog: toddasanayoga.com
Instagram: @nativeyoga
YouTube channel: Native Yoga Center

Listen to the podcast here on our Podcast website: Native Yoga Toddcast

Please email special requests and feedback to info@nativeyogacenter.com

Sifu Rubia ~ Prana & Qi – Two Paths to One Destination

I am happy to share this discussion I had with Tai Chi & Qi Gong teacher, Sufi Rubia. Rubia teaches a unique form of Tai Chi and we have the chance to share idea about the connections between the ancient practice of Qi Gong and Yoga. During this conversation she shares how she infuses Tai Chi movement into her daily living.

Visit Sifu Rubia on her website www.taichiwellness.online
Use the promo code FREEQI for a 100% discount on her Short Qi Gong Course.
You can follow her on Instagram at @weiwutaichi

You can listen to the full episode for free here.

Todd McLaughlin

Hello, welcome to Native Yoga Toddcast. Today I have a special guest named Sifu Rubia. And she is a Tai Chi & Qi Gong instructor. She also practices yoga. She’s based out of California. I recommend that you check out her website, taichiwellnwess.online. Check out her courses. She has Tai Chi courses, which are amazing, she gave me an opportunity to take her Tai Chi Fundamentals course of which I was able to participate and I enjoy immensely. Tai Chi is an incredible art form. I really think it goes well with yoga. She is also offering for those of you that would like to try a free course with her. There’s a promo code FREEQI. That’s for her course called Short QiGong Course. On that note, let’s go ahead and get started. I hope you enjoy this conversation as much as I did. I’m so delighted to have Sifu Rubia here with me today. Rubia, how are you doing?

Sifu Rubia

Hi, good. Good morning, or it’s afternoon for you. I’m well Todd, how are you?

Todd McLaughlin

I’m doing really well. I’m so excited to have a chance to speak with you. And I feel like I you said you just finished teaching a class. Is that true? Yeah, private class, private class. And you are a Tai Chi and Qi Gong practitioner and teacher?

Sifu Rubia

Correct. 

Todd McLaughlin

Wonderful. Can you help me understand the difference between Tai Chi and Chi Gong?

Sifu Rubia

Oh, well, Tai Chi is the martial expression of your Qigong practice, essentially. So Chi Gong is, for your Yogi listeners, is the equivalent to prana and Gong simply means to work, to cultivate, to toil. So a chi gong practice is just that. So you’re working on your lifeforce, your vital energy, through specific movements. There are many different system. Qigong systems out there that target different things. And so that’s the cultivation of your of your prana. And then the Tai Chi is the martial expression of that cultivation. And that’s a simple way to understand the difference between the two.

Todd McLaughlin

When you say martial expression, meaning the actual physical movements.

Sifu Rubia

Yeah, correct. So Tai Chi is also known as the Grand Ultimate for martial artists. And usually a typical path to your Tai Chi is a kung fu practice. So people evolve into their Tai Chi, but every Tai Chi movement has a martial expression to it. I don’t typically teach martial expressions just because the venue actually requires, often times, requires me to, to teach it more as a meditation, which it also is, so I teach it primarily as a moving meditation.

Todd McLaughlin

Nice. Can you give me some insight into how you got started? And what your first introduction to Tai Chi was?

Sifu Rubia

Sure, sure. The first Tai Chi class I went to I literally went and walked out? 

Todd McLaughlin

Have you felt weirded out by that first? Like, what was it like that? Sorry? What was it that that made you want to walk out like you were frustrated, or you thought it was weird or….

Sifu Rubia

All of that. It was a combination of a few things. And I remember the feeling very vividly. And by then I’d already had maybe a five year yoga practice. So I was familiar with mind body movement. But the Tai Chi just brought it to another level of being really, really present and uncomfortable. And I just, it was uncomfortable. And your ego gets in the way. And you know, like, there are layers to spiritual practice and your spiritual evolution. And that’s where I was at that moment in time. Struggling with with that part of myself, so yeah, I walked out of class. 15 years later, here we are, yes. 

Todd McLaughlin

Can I ask you where that was?

Sifu Rubia

Where was it? I think it was here in California. So I’m not from here. I’m from Canada. And from the East Coast, and the I was visiting or traveling here in California. And the person I was with was actually a teacher. And he brought me to class. And that’s how that started. And then it took me a couple of years after that before taking another class. Just because the experience was…. I was just so weirded out that I never even considered going back. And then the second time, I can’t even say that it’s stuck, but it wasn’t as uncomfortable. And then the third time is when it stuck.

Todd McLaughlin

Nice. What do you think about the third time that made it stick? What was it that caused you to feel that way?

Sifu Rubia

So I don’t know. I think I was in a much different place. I was, you know, a little more seasoned. I transcended my ego a little bit more and I was a little more open and receptive to the practice. So I guess that’s what made the difference. And I see that in people who show up to class. You always have to meet as a teacher, you know, you have to meet people where they are. It has to come from within. The first time I was not forced into a situation. But it wasn’t something I was willingly going into, I think that’s part of the breakdown that happened. So by the third time it was a willingness from me. So I have to answer that question. That’s really the difference.

Todd McLaughlin

What do you think intrigued you about it when you had that switch to where you were going from being pulled into class versus let me seek it out? You already had a yoga practice? So it sounds like you had cultivated a passion for movement and mind body awareness? What was it about tai chi that caused you to want to try it again? Was it that initial kind of pushback that you felt from being uncomfortable in that really focused space? Or do you think there was something about watching the movement and watching people practice that you that got you intrigued you? Can you put your finger on that?

Sifu Rubia

I love how you put that…. it’s actually the latter. So to really observe people doing tai chi, just watching them it’s meditative. So I think yes, that was definitely the pull back. Yeah. In that space. Yeah, I love that you brought that up.

Todd McLaughlin

Oh, that’s cool. Well, it’s funny, because the first time I saw Tai Chi was on a video. And I remember I was with a group of people. And I had a massage teacher that was really into tai chi, and he put the video on and I think, because the reaction of the other people in the room, they started to giggle and laugh a little bit, kind of like, what is this? What is this person doing? Because the person was moving so slow. And so I feel like my first impression got formed by the reaction of the others around me. I was intrigued. I thought, well, that looks really interesting? But I remember that everyone else is wanting to make fun so it didn’t let me form my own first initial experience. Then my second chance getting to come across Tai Chi, was in Thailand. I was studying Thai massage and my Thai massage teacher would go and teach Tai Chi. Really early in the morning in Chiang Mai, Thailand.  I remember going to a big soccer field. And more than 100 people would show up to practice. And I was blown away by the energy.   I thought it looked so easy, but then to try to actually follow was another story. I remember people saying, Wow, that guy, he’s a real Tai Chi master. Like he really knows what he’s doing. And so I’d sit back and just kind of watch him and but I still didn’t have that eye yet for being able to detect who the master at the art was. 

Can you? When you watch people practice? Is there something that you pick up on? When you watch their practice that gives you that indication? Obviously, you study it, and you teach it. So you have some understanding of these nuances. But can you clue me in a little bit as to what you look for?

You can listen to the full episode for free here: https://nativeyogacenter.buzzsprout.com

Thanks for reading this blog post from this YouTube video. Check out: 👇
Native Yoga Teacher Training – In Studio and Livestream – for info delivered to your email click this link here: https://info.nativeyogacenter.com/native-yoga-teacher-training-2023/

https://info.nativeyogacenter.com/native-yoga-teacher-training-2023/

New Student Livestream Special ~ Try 2 Weeks of Free Unlimited Livestream Yoga Classes  at Native Yoga Center. Sign into the classes you would like to take and you will receive an email 30 minutes prior to join on Zoom. The class is recorded and uploaded to nativeyogaonline.com ~ Click Here to join.

New Student FREE 30 Minute Yoga Meet & Greet ~ Are you new to Native Yoga Center and have questions that you would like us to address? Whether you are coming to In Studio, Livestream or Online Recorded Classes we offer a one time complimentary 30 minute zoom meeting to answer any questions you may have. Schedule a time that is convenient for you. Click Here

Native Yoga website: nativeyogacenter.com
Online Yoga Class Library: nativeyogaonline.com
Thai Massage info: palmbeachthaimassage.com
Native Yoga Blog: toddasanayoga.com
Instagram: @nativeyoga
YouTube channel: Native Yoga Center

Listen to the podcast here on our Podcast website: Native Yoga Toddcast

Please email special requests and feedback to info@nativeyogacenter.com