After the holidays and not one but TWO yoga training weekends in January, I feel like I haven’t had a second to sit down and write about everything I learned in the month of January. Since we had two weekends of training this month, I figured it was easier to combine them into this one blog. So, the two weekends that we committed our lives to were January 6-8 and then January 20-22. It’s kinda amazing to know that we are half way through now. I’m always excited to go to these training weekends, no matter what else is on my plate, or how tired I am. I just have such a sense that “this is right” and it’s so encouraging to know that I am on the right path for myself J
The first weekend had more anatomy (ugh, why do humans have so many bones and muscles?). It can be seriously overwhelming when looking at everything that is involved just to raise your arm, or turn your head, or even just type out this blog! It gives me a bit of anxiety and I want to retain everything so I don’t injure a student J. However as Mandee has said and June repeated “there is no right or wrong way to do yoga, there is only safe and unsafe.” This is SO TRUE! Proper alignment is everything, and with all our practice I am seeing where the alignments should be (yay progress!!!) my yoga practice has been enhanced with my new-found mindfulness on the proper alignment of my body during yoga class.
We also got into backbends and twisting postures which is more complicated in some ways, but it also makes me comfortable with the standing and laying postures we have been working with. And we have also been working up to meditation practice (which I think should be a mandatory thing for all humans). We have also delved quite heavily into relaxation techniques and I’m pretty sure that I have fallen asleep at least once per “session”.
Moving onto weekend number two. This was a kinda weird weekend, I mean there were only 2 weeks between the two weekends and it felt like we just zoomed through everything. Not that I’m complaining, every time I get to hang out with the other teachers in training, I feel such a connection. We are all kindred spirits working towards the same goal for different reasons and everyone has new ways of looking at what we are learning. On top of this I really feel like I am clicking with the teaching portion of our training. I was never really all that nervous before, just inexperienced. And with all the practice we have had teaching one another, my confidence has really increased. This weekend allowed us to interact with another woman from the previous class who had to finish up a few things. It was cool to have another perspective introduced and hear her thoughts on our collective group as well.
This weekend we moved into forward bends and more relaxation and meditation techniques. We also got started with Pranayama practice. If you don’t know what pranayama is, I will explain. Pranayama is the practice of regulating or expanding prana (life force) by manipulating your breath. We got into three different pranayama techniques and practiced teaching them all (lots of tissues were needed this weekend). I now know how to energize myself without having to reach for the red bull or coffee (although these are fun to drink). I also know how to calm down through the pranayama Nadi Shodhanam which involved alternating your breathing through each nostril.
Wow, trying to write down a weekends worth of value into a few paragraphs is quite the challenge. I don’t want to give it all away because I feel there is so much value in experiencing things with no expectations, but I also think that sharing my experience can help others decide to take the necessary steps towards their level 1 yoga teaching certification. My personal goal is to get certified for aerial yoga because I feel like I was meant for the circus. However, I don’t think that I expected the level of personal growth that comes with immersing yourself in the philosophy and practice of yoga. I have such a better appreciation for my teachers as well as I have a small understanding of what they had to go through. I feel grateful every day that I was given this opportunity to grow in a way I never have before.