On July 1st I am slated to submit my paperwork to the Yoga Association of Alberta for my 500 hour Hatha yoga teacher certificate. I started my yoga teacher training back in 2017 and had the goal of completing it before the end of this year. (ok- by the time I turn 40!)
Truth be told, my actual goal was to have my 300 hour certificate not my 500 hour!
Interesting how what you think you can do is not always accurate. In this case, I exceeded my expectations!
Now with Covid-19, I'm not sure if this deadline will be reached.
Training has been modified and I might not have all my hours (maybe 10 hours short) by the end of June.
Big deal, not really. (More on that below…)
Now as promised, here are my three hatha yoga tips that I am currently implementing on (and off) my mat.
1. What is your foundation?
For years I have listened to Adriene (from the Yoga with Adriene fame) cue about your foundation. Yet, it wasn't until I really listened to my senior teacher, Melanie, as we deconstruct each pose or asana that I have really heard AND implemented the focus on foundation.
So, what IS the foundation?
It is whatever is supporting your body on the floor. From hands to thighs and head to feet, any body part that is on the ground, in any pose.
My laser focus is on my feet, particularly when I am standing. It has made a significant difference to how I practice on my mat but also in day to day life. Have you given your feet a second thought lately?
2. Have you done a side bend today?
When building a good lesson plan, a yoga teacher must include certain types of movements (I'll save most of them for another day!) Side bends are movements that our body typically doesn't do in a day. We love to move forward and sometimes backward but not often side to side.
Connecting breath and side bending has been one of my favourite things to do. Opening up through the ribs and side abdominal muscles is a release like no other.
So if your day doesn't include a side bend, on the mat or not, I encourage you to move your body in that direction today! Just think arms up overhead like a morning stretch. Allow the torso to shift the arms from side to side (don't forget to hold to one side for a second before switching to the other side).
Photo credit: Kenzie Checknita @chekenzie
Ahhh…feel the sweet release. ✨
3. What is the outcome in your yoga practice or to a specific yoga pose?
I might need to say that again.
Nothing, nothing, nothing.
One of the main learnings of yoga is to let go. Yes, in a flexibility sense. But also let go of the OUTCOME. It doesn't matter.
Looping back to my earlier statement, you can now see that my attitude and perspective about wrapping this whole accreditation up in July 2020 isn't a big deal. It's not the point. It's not the destination (tell my 2017 self that!)
Yes, one day I will have my 500 hour certification but I hope to have the 750 hour and 1000 hour and yoga therapist designation too.
All in good time.
Right now I can focus on my foundation and feet, my side bends and not worrying about what happens in the next minute or month.
I hope you'll give these tips a try too.
Be sure to reply to this email to let me know which of the three yoga tools you are going to use right now!
Stay well and happy moving, Lisa