When I began yoga teacher training, I had no intention of becoming a yoga teacher. I stepped into teacher training with hopes to deepen my practice and understand myself a little bit better with my relationship to my mind and body. Elaina held a safe space for me, knowing and respecting my intentions; rather than edging me toward teaching yoga by method of intimidation, "pushing me out of my comfort zone," or anything that would stray from empathetic listening, she offered me opportunities to test my comfort zone in other ways that I was more eager to experiment with (sharing vulnerable feelings, experiencing intense sensations in a yoga posture, extended meditation lengths, etc.). I insist that this form of compassionate and loving teaching is why I've found the teacher in myself. There is no better way to describe the teacher and facilitator in Elaina than as a sponge: when she teaches a yoga class or teaches passionate students to become yoga teachers, she comes to that space both empty and porous, ready to feel, absorb and TRULY hold all of the emotions that are sent in all directions. She is a reflective medium. When she has done her work with you, whether that be through a sweaty hour of hot vinyasa or a full 8-hour-long day of yogic lecture, happy tears, frustrated tears, thoughts on thoughts on thoughts; whatever it may be, you feel physically lighter as Elaina has grown by soaking up all that you were given the space to release. The most beautiful thing about this type of healer is that by simply wringing out the sponge of her soul, she can make more space to listen again, absorbing everything but being weighed down by nothing. This encourages her students to not only open their soul and release all that is being felt, but to do the same for others once their own space is so vast and porous. I have found the space to become a teacher, myself, because of the space she has held for me.