Fitness Corner with Kemper Gottshall

Kemper Gottshall is an incoming Honest Yoga teacher training student. Kemper talks about his motivation to become a yoga practitioner, tips for aspiring yogis, and his experience with WeFinance.

Kemper is crowdfunding a loan to cover his tuition for Honest Yoga. You can see his campaign here.

Are you considering a yoga teacher training program but worried about the tuition or living expenses? WeFinance for Yoga is the fastest way to crowdfund a personal loan.

You’re raising funds to do the 500 yoga teacher training. Can you briefly explain what that is, what it covers, and the difference between the 500 hour and 200 hour?

The 500 hour training is actually 300 additional hours to the 200 hour training and it just goes more into the teaching of yoga itself. In the 200 hour we cover the basics of Vinyasa flow, which is the form of yoga that I’ve been learning - we learn the basics in assisting and alignment.

The 500 hour training takes it to the next level by incorporating the philosophy of yoga while also diving into some of the endless amounts of poses and combinations that you can achieve practicing yoga. We’re basically learning more poses and spending more time doing routines so we can find a routine that works for us and exploring the philosophy to it as well which is through the yoga sutras.

What were you doing before/in addition to yoga teacher training?

Before I started yoga, I was an undergrad in school getting my degree in psychology. I downloaded an app on my phone and started doing yoga on my own. The more I looked into it, the more I remember thinking, “this is a lot of fun — I want to check this out more.”

I was working at a TV station because of a previous degree but wasn’t really feeling that anymore and wanted to get more into the public service field helping people. It represented a pretty big shift in my life. Yoga is helping me transition to working with people and giving back rather than just developing my creative interests.

How did you discover yoga?

I had a mentor in college who was very adamant about yoga. I wasn’t in the right place at the time so I didn’t explore it but then I touched base with him after I graduated and he convinced me to try it. I gave it a shot and was hooked.

What gave you the push to do yoga teacher training? Why did you pick Honest Yoga?

I wanted to learn more and to develop experience. After researching a couple centers, I got in touch with Danielle at Honest Yoga and she’s been very helpful. It’s a high - doing yoga, then turning around and teaching other people.

My mentor recommended Honest Yoga and told me that Danielle runs a great program. I talked to Danielle on the phone and I went into the studio to check it out. I also checked out some other studios but Honest Yoga was the best fit for me.

**What are some of the struggles or challenges you faced while going through the training? **

Developing a daily practice with yoga. We would have weekends where we were doing yoga for 4-6 hours a day, for 2-3 days in a row. So, in order to foster that kind of energy, you need to do yoga daily and be very committed and consistent with your routine so that your body gets used to the kind of strain you put on it.

Being aware of my diet and what I was eating was another challenge. If you eat a lot of fatty foods, a bunch of starches and then do yoga the next day, you’re going to be hurting. You’re going to be bloated and you’re going to be sweaty. So staying mindful of what you put in your body, and when in relation to your practice, is important.

Any tips for someone starting yoga teacher training?

Keep an open mind and be willing to learn. Even if you’re in a teacher training to become a teacher, you’re still the student. There’s lots to learn and if you pay attention to those teaching you, who have thousands of hours of yoga under their belt, then you can soak up a lot of information.

You can learn a lot about yourself and your body too. Where your body is at and where you’re at - mentally, physically and spiritually - you begin to be aware how’s it’s all connected together. It’s a great practice.

Do you think there’s a way to introduce yoga to more people who wouldn’t normally consider it?

The internet is becoming a big part of this. Like I said, I downloaded an app for about $5 and it had all these different routines on it. My teacher at Honest Yoga, Danielle, also has classes available online. So there’s a lot of online resources that allows people to do yoga in the comfort of their own home if they’re not comfortable doing with other people yet.

There are studios popping up everywhere now and it’s becoming a little more than a trend at this point I think.

How did you find out about WeFinance?

I found out about WeFinance through Danielle, my yoga instructor at Honest Yoga. She was very excited about the opportunity and told us to check it out if we needed help funding our teacher training, so I gave it a shot and here I am!

What makes you a good investment?

I am very responsible and I am good at paying back my loans. When I pick something, I stick with it. For example, I’m still doing film and I’m still pursuing psychology and I’m going to incorporate yoga into it now too.

When I invest my energy into something, I invest 100%. I’ve been doing yoga everyday now for months so it’s definitely not a fad or something that’s going to pass for me in my life. It’s going to be a solid investment for people to make.

What has your experience been with WeFinance?

It’s been good! I’ve gotten some great endorsements from my friends and family. I’ve also received a lot of support verbally in person — a lot more than I expected!

Regardless of how much money I actually raise, I think it’s been a really positive experience for my life to just see who is willing to or able to support me on my journey.

Any tips on creating a campaign?

Be transparent and honest. Be yourself and you’ll attract the kind of energy you need. If you’re genuine about what you’re pursuing and your heart is in the right place, then you just have to put yourself out there.

Would you consider lending to other yoga practitioners in the future?

Absolutely. I think it’s a great way to give back to the yoga community (while making a good return) and to meet other yogis.

Do you think WeFinance would be a good tool for other yogis looking to do teacher training or retreats?

Definitely! I think it’s a great way to grow your network before you start your teacher training and building support around your network.