Gaia Flow Yoga Instructor - Michael CounterI am a United States Air Force veteran, writer and performer. I started “doing” yoga around 2005 or 2006. I was studying dance and it was part of my fitness regimen. However, I started “practicing” yoga in 2011 to relieve stress and ease back into civilian life after an Honorable Discharge from the military. The physical benefits are what initially kept my attention, but as time passed I desired more than to be left in a puddle of sweat after 90 minutes in a hot room.

I began browsing and reading about yogic philosophy and techniques, and upon my move to Dallas I met a fellow dancer who practiced and taught at Gaia Flow. She invited me to take one of the most challenging—and memorable—classes I had experienced at the time. After a heartbreaking (and heart-opening!) Shavasana, the teacher met me in the back of the room where I sat defeated and embarrassed on my mat. She spoke words that would change the course of my life: “You should teach.” That teacher was Chrystal Rae.

She suggested that I take teacher training and I thought she was just being sweet to help my poor ego. I left the city for the summer to study abroad in Europe, but often when I thought of returning home I envisioned myself completing teacher training. When I returned home, I met Andres on the mat and he assured me that it was indeed time for me to train, learn and grow at Gaia Flow.

I’ve completed both the 200 and 300-hour Gaia Flow Yoga Teacher Training programs. The trainings awakened me to the strength, compassion and power of my nurturing and unique grounding energy. I’ve not only gained a deeper personal practice and an ever-growing reverence for the tradition of yoga, I have been gifted the opportunity to share my joy for helping others cultivate a love for themselves on and off the mat.

200-hour Teacher Training taught me how to teach. 300-hour Teacher Training taught me why. Love is why. While my classes incorporate my background in performance studies—creative movement, dance, and Pilates—they are rooted in the love-based tenets of Gaia Flow Yoga.

To the light in you—namaste.