180 weeks of yoga!
Did I ever think I would get to this place? Honestly, if you asked me way back in September 2012, I think I would have said a pretty confident ‘no’! Not that I thought I would be a certified yoga teacher by now but because I wasn’t confident that I would dedicate my energy to yoga for this long.
Well, maybe not. Who am I fooling? I loved yoga then and I’ve really fallen in love with my yoga practice now!
It amazes me how much I’ve learned and that my head is starting to formulate “yoga class lesson plans”. I’m curious how to design a class and think I’ve got a good idea what one could look like. Stay tuned…that may show up on the blog in the near future!
As for this week, I FINALLY got to the class I’ve wanted to attend for a while…
Let me back up…
Almost two years ago, I was fortunate to be sitting at a yoga studio (with my baby Ben in tow) with two certified yoga teachers. Our practice was done and the three of us were the only participants that day. As we were rolling up our mats, I took the opportunity to quiz them about how to pick the best yoga teacher training course. I was ready to hear this studio and that studio but instead what I heard was “take a class with a potential teacher trainer instructor as this will help you decide if they are the right teacher to guide your yoga training”.
Poof - my mind was blown as I never thought of it that way.
Alas, I made it to a class this weekend to a potential teacher trainer instructor. I tried to keep my eagerness in check and not over think the class and this potential instructor. Little did I know, the class paralleled the current teacher training session at the studio and the room filled up with all keen, observant yoga teacher wannabes in-training. The class was packed!
As I started my practice, I let it unfold like any other. Secretly, I took small checks and balances of the instruction and information provided in class. That was hard because my head was trying to get into the “yoga brain” for practice. Nonetheless, I got an excellent hour class and was able to contemplate if this person might be the best first formal yoga teacher trainer instructor.
Drum roll, please…
Yes, he might just be the chosen one!
Other factors are definitely at play as to where I invest (and let me tell you, it is an investment!) in my teacher training. But I would have to agree with the advice provided, I must find an instructor that provides the first training I need (strategic, anyone?).
Am I secure in where my yoga teacherhood is heading? I think so. I’m formulating a plan…stay tuned.
After a great bonus practice, I still hit the mat at home this week with Adriene. Aptly named, I am Secure, the practice was lovely as always. I particularly like the transitions between table top position and downward facing dog. It was smooth, graceful and down right enjoyable. A variation that I haven’t done often.
Using the mantra of, I am Secure, it helped me solidify what I felt after my bonus practice. I am heading in the right direction with my yoga practice and plan for teacher training.
More yoga to come!
Ever got something that you just can’t shake?
On a superficial level, I’m sure you can think of one thing. But if you dive deeper, you likely have many things that no longer serve you.
This week, I’ve got something to shake off…fairly superficial and not life shattering but…
...a stomach bug.
It crept into my house early last week and has worked its way through each member of my family. Even revisiting my youngest’s GI system twice! In my head I’m saying to myself, begone you annoying stomach flu! I’m done with you and leave my family alone!
With that in mind, I picked the video aptly named, “I Release” this week. I wanted to rid my body of illness and get back to my healthy, energetic, and lively self.
Sidebar: interestingly enough, I got some not so good news via text RIGHT before I pressed play on my weekly yoga session. It too was a surface grievance that I would be bettered served to let go…so I release.
What I love about Yoga with Adriene’s recent endeavour, Yoga Camp, is she is merging the physical body and mind through affirmations and mantras for 2016. Check out the full 30 day Yoga Camp in its entirety.
The “I Release” practice was was a nourishing sequence of asanas and fun, playful movements all wrapped up on the mat. What I enjoyed the most was the invitation to focus on the feet and toes. What better way to release things that are no longer serving you but through the feet.
Yoga toes…what’s that?
Well, maybe not that exactly.
It is spreading the toes apart (otherwise known as abduction) . How often do you actually work your toes let alone awaken the muscles of the feet? Adriene cued to raise the legs up while lying on the back (read: like legs up the wall without the legs on a wall). This provided an opportunity to watch the feet in a position that did not put any strain or tension on the feet.
By releasing the toes, it helps awaken and challenges the small muscles of the feet who may have not seen movement in a long time. Maybe not since childhood?!? As Adriene said, “see the feet that you had as a kid”. Interestingly, I find substantial movement in my left toes but struggle with abducting my right pinkie toe. To the point that I had to just release and not push the movement too far.
Yoga Journal had some great insights on releasing the toes:
Of all the new experiences beginning students encounter when they start yoga, moving their toes is arguably the most challenging. After a lifetime of being stuffed into shoes and ignored, their toes feel as inert and dull as the calluses on their heels and elbows. Spreading their toes seems just about as accessible as crossing their ankles behind their heads, and clumsy toes are right up there with tight hamstrings and weak shoulders as a source of frustration for beginners—and for those long past the beginning stage.
This is not my first rodeo with yoga toes. Judy regularly had us practice yoga toes before any balance poses such as tree pose. Makes sense - stretching the toes would increase the surface area of the foot and thus, provide a better platform for balance work. She even had us thread our fingers through our toes to aid in the stretch. Love it!
So by releasing my toes and feet, I was able to let go of many things that are no longer serving me…
Bye, bye Mr. stomach bug,
Welcome to my first blog post of 2016!
My yoga teacher pursuits are still on my "so-called" resolution list - okay, maybe it’s been there for many years already! That’s fine with me because once I’m a teacher, I’ll be sad to be done my blog!
I entered my practice this week with an outlook of adventure and play. The title of my online practice “Expanding Your Horizons” seemed fitting for the first week of January. I was keen for some challenge but what I got was much more! Believe it or not, I enjoyed a couple laughs and falls out of twisty poses.
One such twisty pose was fallen triangle pose.
Wait a minute…what’s fallen triangle?
I was happily surprised to learn a whole new version of trikonasana, triangle pose. Literally, it is triangle pose on its side. Initially, I didn’t really comprehend what I was doing with my body. I entered it via a three-legged downward facing dog and found myself tucking the extended knee in to only extend the leg out from under me to the opposite side. I can say without a doubt, I’ve never done that version before!
The key to proper positioning was in the feet. They needed to rotate outward - back foot into warrior two position and front foot into an inverted/side position. The subtle change of my foot position made all the difference in the world. I felt solid on my foundation and was able to lift my outside arm up to the sky.
It wasn’t until Tracey said what the pose was - fallen triangle - that I was able to put two and two together and see that it was my beloved triangle pose, just on its side!
What I would say is this new version was an excellent core strengthener as well as a chest opener. It likely contributed to the feeling of openness that I had after practice.
What a fun and fantastic way to start 2016’s journey and exploration of yoga! Yet again, Tracey’s asana sequence knocked my socks off!
I may have fallen, but I’ve definitely got up. Ready for what the year has to bring!
Aspiring Yoga Teacher
I've practiced yoga since I was a pre-teen and have always found it to keep me centered. I will be a teacher one day and this is my journey to discover teaching and practice.