Walter Pappas Student Story
Walter Pappas is a scholarship recipient where he is currently studying the 200-hour Immersion Yoga Teacher Training Program.
Walter came from Ohio, USA to take the program during his summer break from Miami University where he is half way through studying the Public Health program.
I sat down with Walter to hear his perspective on yoga and to find out how his studies were going so far.
How and why did you get into Yoga?
I got really into yoga because it got me through a lot of hard times in my life. It helped me to get to that centre of light that we all have that sometimes our society doesn’t emphasise. I have done a lot of yoga classes in the last two years and before that I did a lot of energy work in tai chi.
What are you learning in the immersion program right now?
One thing I’ve learned from the program is that a yoga pose can either be healing or poisonous. The vast majority of the people doing yoga don’t have proper alignment and a lot of teachers don’t emphasise proper alignment or don’t know what it is themselves, which is kind of scary!
Right now, the program is helping me to get the perfect, proper alignment with each posture. When you’re in the right alignment the postures do the work and it’s easier to bring your mind to a steady place. Since starting, I’ve noticed my meditation game has stepped up a lot; I can drop into the meditation state a lot faster. The program is helping me with my own personal practise and I know down the track it’s going to help my future students.
What do you want to do when you graduate?
I’m interested in helping raising people their levels of consciousness and mind body connection. I think every problem in our world right now, whether it be environmental or societal, all stems from a lack of conscious awareness. When there is a lack of conscious awareness, people disconnect themselves from everybody else around them and from the environment in which they live.
I want to start my own practice and become a yoga teacher. I would like to teach power-flow styles of yoga classes, which emphasise breath work and alignment. I’m looking forward to putting my own spin on it. I’d also like to do further study and combine yoga therapy and massage. So if somebody comes in with an injury you can start bodywork on them and when they start to heal and progress you can give them exercises to do at home to help them heal. I’m a firm believer that health is our biggest gift and I want to empower people with physical and mental health.
What is the YTT 200 hour program like?
The program is 9am-5pm everyday and it’s very condensed. You learn a lot of information every day, which can be full-on mentally and physically. It’s really fun stuff though and every day I don’t want the clock to hit 5pm. It’s the best schooling and education I’ve had.
All of our instructors are incredibly passionate, knowledgeable and good at what they do. Our class is small and close and everybody is interested in learning. It’s an amazing environment.
What do you love about Yoga?
Yoga has helped me so much find my centre. To work on my anger, anxiety and come to that place where I can find the answers for myself, to listen to my own judgement and truly be myself.