Journey Into Love: An Interview with Michelle Scott-Soth
How did you begin your path as a Yoga Teacher?
My path as a Yoga Teacher began when I attended my very first Yoga Nidra class in 2016. Though, I had been practicing Yoga since 2000, it wasn't until that meditation journey that I knew teaching Yoga and Yoga Nidra was what I wanted to do. That meditation class was the very first time that I watched and witnessed. When I awoke, it all just clicked together. I spent the entire year of 2017 in training after training. First to become a Reiki Master Teacher. I had been a level II practitioner since 2010 and felt it was time to take the leap. After RMT training, I took Yoga Nidra Healer training and then completed the year with the icing on the cake, Yoga Teacher Training.
You often combine your love of Yoga Nidra and Reiki in your classes. What is this significance and does it help the healing process?
I bring Reiki into all of my classes. I bring Reiki into all that I do. It's a significant energy that is constantly flowing through me. Healing touch is so comforting and soothing and very similar to the feeling you get in my Yoga Nidra classes. Evoking comfort, safety and all-consuming positive energy is my intention. They are great tools to pair together because of their gentle yet transformative healing powers. Reiki has the ability to balance and align the energetic cells as well as the Chakras as well. Combining Reiki with Yoga Nidra classes and workshops is a powerful way to balance and restore while quieting the ego and allowing the subconscious to shine. Both modalities help completely relax the body and mind, but on a deeper level, they help you connect to your oneness. Your inner path. Your truth. They both are pretty magical medicines. Safe and judgement free.
How does Yoga Nidra differ from other more vigorous forms of Yoga asana? How do I incorporate both in my practice?
Yoga Nidra differs greatly from most physical Yoga practices. While it is often paired with some releasing body movement like gentle yoga asana, most of the practice is done lying down in Savasana. Yoga Nidra is a form of guided meditation and Tantra Yoga and its purpose is to tap into the parasympathetic nervous system and stimulate our rest and digest function. In my classes, we begin by gently moving our bodies to prepare for the longform savasana meditation. It is important to move the body and work out the stale air and energy first, but we don't want to exhaust the body and end up falling asleep. The goal in Yoga Nidra is to stay awake and aware. Moving the body in a gentle and releasing way will help make the extended time spent in Savasana more restful and comfortable. Both can definitely be incorporated into one’s Yoga practice. I personally practice all forms of Yoga asana. Using the more vigorous classes to reach the ability to connect to the breath and cultivate strength in the body, and Yoga Nidra to rest, relax and restore while also connecting to my inner wisdom and desires. During Yoga Nidra practice I have learned answers to questions that I didn't even know I had. Yoga Nidra can also help to release limiting beliefs that hold you back. That alone can add some strength to a more vigorous practice. Helping to release the fear and self-doubt to achieve the depth of a more challenging pose.
Talk to us about your upcoming workshop Journey Into Love: An Evening of Self-Love + Yoga Nidra. What can we expect, especially if we have never practiced Yoga Nidra before?
My upcoming Yoga Nidra workshop at Sojourn Healing Collective is all about LOVE. My favorite word. My favorite feeling. Not partner love or soul mate love but the most important love. Self-love! It's something that is not easy to do and I wanted to design a Yoga Nidra around just that. Sending a little more love out to the world, sending a little more love out to each other and sending a little more love to ourselves. The workshop is for ALL levels. Beginner to advanced practitioners. We will start the night releasing and letting go to make more room in our hearts for more LOVE. There will be hands on Reiki as I guide us through a gentle heart opening Yoga practice and then the Journey Into Love will begin. I don't want to give too much of the magic away, but you will receive a message from the Universe and your own crystal to take home. Charged with all the energy of LOVE. It will be a very special night. Bring a friend or come alone. ALL are welcome!
What do you enjoy off the mat? What are some of your other life activities?
Most of my time spent off of the mat is spent out on the trails. I love getting lost in the mountains and connecting with nature. I am a Hiker Babes ambassador and host monthly hikes here in Southern California. I'll be hiking the John Muir Trail it's entirety later this summer/fall. There is bound to be incredible Yoga Nidra writing inspiration coming fresh off that trail. Being outdoors and with nature often calls me and I answer. You can also find me jamming on my Ukulele, Luana. I've really taken to playing her this last year and many days just can't seem to put her down. She'll be joining me on saunter this summer.
Music, photography and food are all passions of mine off that mat as well. I also make Reiki infused dream catchers, candles, and crystal charms for my store The Zen Den. I'm a wife, a Mom, and an ordained minister! My goal in this life is to spread the love and light in all the different modalities that I can. On and off the mat.
Join Michelle for her upcoming workshop: Journey Into Love: An Evening of Self-Love and Yoga Nidra, Friday, February 15, 2019 from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm. These events do sell out, so sign-up ahead of time to reserve your space!
Michelle was first introduced to Reiki back in 2001 and has been practicing Usui Reiki since 2010. She had the true honor to study Reiki Level I & II under Reiki Master Teacher Sandra Teran of Grace Center in Chicago. She studied her Mastership under Reiki Master Teacher Vicky Luna of Heart Expansion Reiki in San Diego. Yoga has been a pretty big part of her life since 2000. The joy and strength it has brought her has been life changing. She loves to share it with others. She was so blessed to receive her 200 HR, Yoga Alliance Certified Gentle, Hatha, and Vinyasa Yoga Teacher Training in 2017 with the lovely Nita Mehta of Yoga Jai Ma in San Diego. The training opened her eyes and doors to a new way of living and a new way of thinking. In 2017 she had the honor of studying Yoga Nidra under Katya Lovejoy of Lovejoy Wellness in San Diego. It was such a blessing. She is an Angel of light and the ability to carry on her teachings is an honor she will always cherish. Yoga Nidra is such a beautiful "secret". and she enjoys spreading the light it brings.
Her classes offer strength, compassion, and fluidity of breath and body. Shes uses Reiki for hands on adjustments that bring your Shavasana to true bliss.
Interview by Taina Berardi