Though the process of becoming a yoga teacher involves memorizing sanskrit and learning the roots and traditions of yoga, the best teachers manage to insert their own personality and teaching style into their classes. So when Michelle Ann Thielen founded Northwest Yoga Academy, she designed a teacher training that aims to help budding instructors find that sweet spot between honoring the long tradition of yoga and empowering teachers to develop their own teaching style. The school's instructors lead students through the 200- and 500-hour certification courses, as well as shorter workshops that focus on building solid foundations for a deeper yoga practice. But no matter the training, Michelle and her team work to make sure students find wholeness in mind, body, soul, and spirit.
There are four essential components to The Peoples Trainer: a prominent support group, affordable access to training, guaranteed results, and rewards for achievements. With these elements, the founder outfits clients with the tools and motivation needed to change their bodies. Exercisers of all fitness levels can sign up for The People Trainer’s fitness packages, complete with monthly access to group classes, one-on-one training, accountability calls, and nutritional supplements. Then, if clients meet their goals, The Peoples Trainer will pay them for a job well done.
Owner and black-belt Donna Middendorf of Sumner Taekwondo Academy leads a team of instructors who share their expertise in Korean hand-to-hand combat with kids and adults. And while the classes spend time with the more martial aspects of the art, they're really not about fighting. For Donna and the team, Taekwondo promotes peace through learning self-respect and gaining confidence—it's the heart of the discipline. At the same time, the instructors help students hone their punching and kicking skills and they engage with their peers in safe, supervised sparring sessions and fully-padded staring contests.