Claudine Phillips

How I became an Ashtanga Yoga teacher

My resignation to dreaming was a slow fade. Perhaps it started 16 years ago as I increased the number of my people in my life, I got busy, or maybe I simply lost hope. I found that my dreams began to slip. My dreams were replaced with caring for a family and I began to dream my family’s dreams and loose sight of mine.

I heard of ‘other’ people doing this and was sure it would never happen to me.  About 5 years ago, I was sitting in the audience at a speaking conference and listened to a woman in her 50s share her story of loosing herself. I sat there and felt sorry for her, never thinking that could be me. But it was. I was slowly fading and never noticed.

This year, however, a dream fell off the shelf and got my attention. I suddenly had this burning desire to teach yoga. I wasn’t even practicing regularly at the time, but the desire was burning so bright there was no putting out that fire. I shelved this dream about 11 years ago. I was pregnant with my first child when I fell in love with pre-natal yoga. I had always been a person who chased the workout high. I ran marathons, participated in trialthalons, and taught daily aerobics classes. Yoga was no different. It was a new challenge to embrace and it was super healthy for the baby. The thought of ‘maybe I will teach this one day’ crossed my mind.


I dismissed this dream quickly, however, for various reasons: Not good enough yet, Others have been at it longer, I won’t have the time to teach.  So I shelved this dream. Each time I heard of someone getting certified my heart would slightly tighten with a ting of jealousy. I wanted that to be me, but had convinced myself it was not my time or call.

But now, God knocked this dream off the shelf and shoved me into the hardest 9 months of practice, training, and into such deep humility.  I had to plan, organize, re-arrange, and partner with my husband, friends, and community to make it happen. It was no easy feat. I wanted to quit many times, especially when it came to the teaching part. But I stuck it out, pushed through, and am finally a yoga teacher and am honored to be teaching classes!


I have taught my youngest son a trick. It is between me and him. Every time he sees a particular flashcard with a queen on it he squeals “Queen! Mama!” we both laugh and make fun. But the truth is, I am the daughter of the King and that makes me his princess. It makes me royalty. We all are able to inherit His kingdom and living on this beautiful earth and taking hold of what is in front on us is His gift to us. Opportunity awaits and we must reach for it and believe this is a gift from our daddy, our King. The story in Esther reminds me the responsibility of my royal position. When he calls is when you have come ‘to your royal position for such a time as this…’ (Esther 4:14 ).

I remember sitting with my Dean of Students as my Masters program was coming to an end in 1999, as he said, “You are in the center of opportunity. You can go any direction and know that you will succeed.” He continued, “Do it now. You have got everything going for you.” I indeed agree.  It was at such a time 11 years ago when he placed on my heart to teach yoga and I ignored it in disbelief. I actually regret not teaching sooner as it has been a gift to me to give love, health, and freedom and to receive it back ten fold. I missed out of blessing others and being blessed for 11 years. I beg you to not do the same.

Time to slide those dreams off the dusty shelf and open them up before the Lord. He will empower you. Fear not, my friend. He never leaves nor forsakes, so failing is not an option.


What keeps coming up over and over again with the same “I wish I could…” “Wouldn’t it be amazing if?” Your biggest pain has everything to do with your biggest passions! Maybe that’s for another post, but for now, trust in His ways when he calls, they are always for the good and for His Glory. He blesses others through you. What a joy this is. Receive his joy, my friend. Accept the gift of the call as a queen accepts her duties to serve her King. You won’t be disappointed. I promise.

Namaste. {I bow to you and your Maker, my fellow queen}.