When we realized it was our five-year birthday, we asked ourselves “What can we do special to celebrate?” Our focus has always been about supporting and inspiring yoga teachers, and you can see that in our very first article posted way back in January of 2015 titled “Class Preparations: Yoga Sequencing for Success.” So, we wanted to celebrate the yoga teachers who have taken this journey with us by helping them on their journey…give one member of the beYogi tribe $5k for our 5th birthday!
We partnered with 11 sponsors to produce our largest giveaway ever. Over 4,500 teachers from all over the U.S. entered to win!
In 2020, we had two rounds to announce 20 finalists who were chosen to compete for the $5,000 grand prize by posting a video on beYogi social media about why you should be declared the winner. With days of deliberation from the beYogi team, we are happy to announce our winner, Libby Creagh!
Check out our interview with Libby and how she plans to spend the cash prize!
Meet Our Winner!
Libby teaches yoga full time, but part of that is through the Moffitt Cancer Center. Part of her hours working at the Moffitt Cancer Center she offers bedside yoga, meditation, and guided visualization to cancer patients.
"I also share a gentle yoga practice virtually with patients and their caregivers once a week. I’m grateful that Moffitt makes these tools available to their patients at no extra cost. It gives a lot of people greater peace of mind as they navigate the uncertainties and fear that accompany a cancer diagnosis. For many, this introduction to mindfulness and yoga becomes a lifelong practice!"
Let's Dive Into The Interview!
Tell us about your yoga journey? When did you begin? Was it love at first sight?
I experienced my first yoga class early one morning at a weekend music festival. The deep breathing and beautiful day helped me feel great afterwards! I began practicing regularly right away, and even sharing what I was learning with my friends and family. I became certified to teach after 10 years of regular practice, and have been teaching for the past decade.
It’s been amazing! I was lucky enough to fall into managing the studio in Austin where I became certified, and I had access to incredible trainings while I was there. I then spent time traveling and teaching in Central America and West Africa. That really helped me hone my voice and incorporate all 8 limbs of yoga into my practice and what I teach.
What kind of yoga style do you teach? What age group do you teach?
I teach Hatha yoga, strongly influenced by Anusara and Viniyoga. The age group I teach skews 40s-70s.
Tell us more about you. What is the cause you are helping raise awareness for?
Prior to settling in Tampa, I spent a lot of time living and teaching yoga in Central America and West Africa. I lived in some very poor communities where locals survived on wages of $3 per hour or less. I saw the impact of limited access to trustworthy medical care, and it’s why I believe so strongly in Doctors Without Borders. They’re an incredible organization that travels to the far reaches of the globe and offers medical care to people regardless of their religion, background, or ability to pay.
Why did you start a Yoga Teacher Training School?
When I returned to Tampa after traveling, I really missed the yoga community that I was a part of in Austin. There’s nothing quite like it in Tampa, and I wanted to share that yoga is a diverse practice with many voices and many styles.
I give students in my program a strong foundation in how to safely transmit the teachings of yoga as well as information on how to be financially sustainable in their new career. I also meet one-on-one with each new yoga teacher to help them map a path forward into the style of yoga that is unique to them. My goal is to help each person who graduates from Essential You Yoga Teacher Training find their own unique expression of their yoga practice and connect with the community who that resonates with.
How has the Pandemic affected your business?
It completely shut down the training. My partner and I watched the virus wreak havoc on Tampa and we saw very few people brave enough to practice in the studio. When we cancelled the training last year, we took the time to rewrite the course to include weekly virtual session as well as instructions about how to teach online. We initially had a 10 day retreat in Costa Rica built into our training, and we scaled back to include a long weekend retreat here in Florida as our graduation celebration.
You now have $5,000 in cash plus thousands of dollars worth of helpful tools and courses, what do you plan on doing with the grand prize money?
I plan to give it away! I will use the grand prize money to fund two partial scholarships towards yoga teacher training. I want to make yoga teaching more accessible to people with less financial means and to make the practice more diverse. I’m encouraging applicants who are “essential workers,” and come from diverse backgrounds.
What course or prize are you most excited to use outside cash prize.
I am so excited to work with Ari Traverso again! I gained so much benefit the first time that we worked together, and I was a very ungrounded yoga teacher at the time. I’m in a much stronger place now, and I know there’s more I can learn from her.
Where can people find you/your studio and how can we learn more about you/studio?
I work with Jai Dee Yoga and Wellness. We are the oldest studio in Seminole Heights, and can be found at jaideeyoga.com
Final remarks! Go!
Thank you! I’m so grateful to have the opportunity to fund two people’s journey into the world of yoga teaching. I believe that each person who is touched by yoga grows in consciousness, kindness, and compassion. The more people who can find a yoga that works for them, the better this world will be.
beYogi provides yoga articles and inspiration to support yoga teachers at every step of their journey. We are so excited to have connected with so many yoga teachers with this giveaway. beYogi is more than just your go-to source for all things yoga related, it’s a tribe of conscious individuals who collectively contribute to the growth and protection of the yoga community.
Thank You To Our Sponsors!
We could not have been so successful in this giveaway without our wonderful sponsors. Check them out below!