At a time when the state of our economy and morale feel awfully dim, it’s wonderful that a bright light like Diane Kovanda has decided now is the perfect time to open her Kind Yoga School. If there was ever a moment when the world needed to take a breath and slow down, this is it.
Training to become a yoga teacher is a commitment, but it’s very doable. The certification process through Kind Yoga takes exactly five months. It is 200 hours – every Tuesday night at Centerville Wellness and Yoga Center and one weekend a month at the Cape Codder Resort and Spa in Hyannis. Kind Yoga School is a National Yoga Alliance Registered program.
“We give people a great education in the foundations of Hatha yoga and its therapeutic applications like yoga for anxiety, insomnia, post-traumatic stress disorder and other challenges. Our teachers teach without judging, it’s all about being kind. We teach to beginners, we teach to safety and we teach to compassion. It’s also about being kind to and not judging yourself. It’s a whole attitude.”
Kind Yoga operates from the Centerville Yoga and Wellness Center which is owned by Annika Iliadis.
“It’s only appropriate for this extensive teacher training program to be held here at the Center,” says Annika. “We have high standards for the yoga teachers that teach here. They are all required to have completed at least 200 hours of a Yoga Alliance approved teacher training school. Also, here at the Center we have a diverse group of healers, yoga teachers, and clients, and now a diverse group of people that are blooming into yoga teachers who will take what they learn – from the curriculum of Kind Yoga, Diane and the rest of the staff of the training program – and help heal individuals.”
The Kind Yoga Teacher Training program runs twice a year, beginning in September and March. Diane Kovanda has assembled a team of teachers that gives students who sign up for her program an extremely well-rounded education to take out into the world and be the best teachers and leaders they can be.
“Our own brain, our own heart is our temple;
the philosophy is kindness.”
The faculty of Kind Yoga is diverse and teaches students not just yoga, but physiology, nutrition, breathing techniques, meditation, anatomy and much more. There are over 15 teachers including Dr. Kumara Sidhartha, Linda Harmon, Dr. C. Patricia Fater, Jack Adams, Lori Martin, Dana Moore and Olivia Miller.
Registered yoga teacher Linda Harmon states the philosophy of the school well: “Yoga is really about helping people inhabit their body and find their own authority about what works for them. This is the essence of ahimsa or kindness towards oneself.”
Diane Kovanda’s intention is to give people a great education in the foundation of Hatha yoga and its therapeutic applications. Her school is attracting many people (there was a waiting list for the fall session) from all walks of life and of all ages.
Margie Huggard owns a very successful home décor business in Osterville, Margo’s, but was looking for a new challenge, and at almost 61, she has found it studying to become a yoga teacher at Kind Yoga School.
“Last year I went to one of Diane’s classes, and then I went to Yoga on the Beach. I had been doing it for a while, but didn’t consider myself a practitioner, I thought I really didn’t do yoga that much,” she says. “Then a friend of my daughter, who was doing the training, saw me outside the store one day, and said, ‘If you want to give yourself the most amazing gift, do this training.’”
Margie says she kept thinking about it, weighing and measuring taking on the commitment when she was already a very busy person.
“I had to clear it with my husband, would he be on board? And I had to balance being able to be in the store, with clients, going off-Cape for work, but I wanted to do it,” she says.
And she says it’s worth all the juggling. “I’m calmer, so much calmer and I am able to let things be, rather than react. I can see the distinction, I can almost see myself reacting and observe it, and make a shift. I feel like I can’t get enough! This is more than just signing up for a course, it’s life changing.”
Diane Kovanda is committed to turning out the best teachers she can, and to that end has an application process that all those interested are required to complete.
“I want to know things like, do they have any experience or love of yoga, and what has set their feet on this journey,” Diane says. “Everyone who goes through our program has a deep love of yoga. The very quick success of the Kind Yoga School speaks to a great thirst among us to learn and share that knowledge with others.”
“When people go through this program they feel better from the inside out,” she says. “There’s an incredible connection people make with each other during the training where they develop beautiful friendships and bonds, and there’s something so lovely about that. Some people take this for their own wellness, with about half doing it for their own knowledge with no intention of teaching, but as an investment in their wellness. It’s all about having a set of attitudes and tools, and knowing your true self. Yoga is a life long journey. This [Kind Yoga School] provides the foundational practice and understanding of how much you will need to learn in your lifetime of learning yoga.” cha
Kind Yoga School
10 Main Street, Cotuit, MA 02635
Written by Candace Hammond
Photography by Diane Kovanda