The Hot Room Leadership Institute provides opportunities for dedicated practitioners to be trained to teach the modalities offered at The Hot Room, gain a deeper understanding of their personal yoga practice and cultivate the skills to be a powerful leader in their community. The Hot Room Leadership Institute Scholarship for People of  Color is a full-tuition scholarship opportunity that is open to any self-identified POC who would like to deepen their yoga practice and gain the skills necessary to lead inspiring and powerful classes in their community.

Below you can read the essay Marquese wrote on why he applied for the scholarship.

Yoga for me means a lot. It has transformed how I treat and see not only my body, but EVERYTHING related to it. This starts with how I workout and falls deeper into how I see myself. I also go deeper into how I feel, and connect on a deeper lever in my relationships. I find myself stretching all the way out to the stranger passing by me or connecting to the earth we all stand on. It’s been the practice to take concepts we all hold as virtues and bring them into a daily practice and reminder on how to go about my day.

I initially started my practice at The Hot Room due to being bruised and battered from playing football, and I was  looking for a place to to stretch. Now I’m looking to do a teacher training to better understand the fundamental relationship to help improve all aspects of my life. I have heard many buzzwords around the teacher training, but the one that stuck the most is LEADERSHIP. That word I have always heard but never quite understood until recently. I realized that leadership really starts with me being able to lead myself, It starts with being an example, and helping those that ask, but only after actually knowing how to help myself.

Yoga has forced me to see how much I don’t know about the concepts and virtues I was taught growing up. I thought I knew patience, I thought I knew perseverance, I thought I knew focus. Hell, I thought I knew how to breathe. Yoga is the only thing out there that has slowed me down enough to actually put these concepts into practice. To me everything that happens outside of class is a test, and without yoga, where do you practice? Where do you take the time to “review your answers”.  Yoga has taught me that everyday really is different. I feel it in my practice, and that forced me to focus and see how it is in my life. How my energy can be different, my initial focus, how my “patience” could just need work from the get-go. I am legitimately excited for mornings because I realize the pallet is fresh, I could be better than I was yesterday and that’s a win.

Going through the leadership training could help me a step further into all of what I am discovering and having fun practicing. I have fears, I have things I say I understand but couldn’t really as I don’t practice it on the daily. I don’t know everything. In fact, I know very little. The more I sit with that and understand it, the more hungry I am to improve to change and elevate my current standing. With all of this I believe the part of training that will give back to me the most is the community service aspect. I say that from a selfless place and in a selfish way because I believe that an area where I can always grow and improve is how I treat those around me. Especially how I give and what I give to those around me.