Yoga Teacher Training: Weekend Two

Where weekend one was physically demanding with all the many Surya Namaskars, weekend two was mentally taxing with all the many notes. We broke down standing poses and it was hours upon hours of note taking and discussion over each part of the body in various standing poses. I think I left feeling even more fried this weekend than the previous if possible. I think sitting on a yoga studio floor for that many hours, hunched over a notebook, and just writing period, was a lot to take.

But, I’m really getting ahead of myself because Friday night we started with a quick practice and then lecture around home practice. It encompassed the importance of setting one up, the different methods of approaching setting up a home practice, goal setting, writing vision statements for our home practice and finally an exercise to help us set poses for that practice by using the first method of approach. In the exercise we picked 5 favorite poses, added a warm up pose, child’s pose and savasana and tried to see if these things could all work together to form a coherent sequence.

I’ll just tell you that in my case, no, not at all. I tend to gravitate to binds, balance poses and more folded poses by nature (you get INSTANT feedback about the state of your body when you unfurl from a bind) and trying to connect mostly floor poses with one standing pose without adding all the transitions I wanted was problematic for me. So I decided to table it and see what came up later on in the weekend, if anything, that might help me.

The next morning we had a pretty intense practice, which a lot of people were surprised about because the instructor leading is most known for her gentle classes, gentle this was not. After class we were quizzed on what we thought the energetics of the practice might be, what the end goal was. The class was primarily laterals, lots of open poses but any back bending was gentle and not extreme. The energetics/goal: grounded energy.

We did one small bit of practice teaching but they switched it up and allowed us to just partner with whomever we were next to, it was a nice change and my new partner and I complement each other well, he is very precision alignment driven and I am very modification listen to your body driven.

At the end of this day a different instructor lead us through one of the inquiries of the seven movement principles in Donna Farhi’s book Yoga Mind Body & Spirit and our homework this night was to pick one of the three bodies she covers and try covering an inquiry as part of our home practice. So the next morning before the final day of school for the weekend I decided to revisit my tabled “favorites home practice” and add it to this and see what came out of it. It was a challenge for me to break out of my usual habit of starting practice by lighting my candle and saying my mantras for loved ones and instead trying to meditate first straight out of the gate with full “monkey mind”. I gave it a full ten minutes of concentrated effort before rolling into a practice that was to be focused on the “glandular body” which I translated to chakras because of their correlation and my own knowledge and comfort level. I ran through a somewhat freeform progression but with the 5 favorites incorporated and kept a focus on the chakra relevant to the pose, making sure my breath was present at all times. When I hit savasana I also made it a point to just lightly tap each chakra point and take a full inhale and exhale before moving to the next one.

I am still working on writing this all out because like a dummy I didn’t immediately journal it and my mind is a mess with all the info being flooded into it right now. One of my home practice goals is having a journal on my altar that I will write in immediately prior to and after practice to keep track of what is working for me and what isn’t. I think it would be really helpful for me to gain that point of clarity.

Sunday was more of the same with the break down of poses and thankfully we were given a reprieve on the group teach, but I know I probably shouldn’t think that way because the longer it gets put off the more nervous I will be the next time. But UGH. UGH. I would like to feel more confident the next time, like this isn’t all moving too fast for me or my brain.

After class I once again attended the least restorative restorative class ever and this week she really wanted us to get into supta varjasana (supported) because of all the benefits but to get there you really have to do a lot of quad stretching and hip flexor work and THAT ISN’T RESTORATIVE. So we were stretching our quads against the wall and doing standing varjasana and holy moly. It’s awesome going to this class because she’s going to be our anatomy teacher and if I decide to get my 85 hrs toward pre/post natal qualification with The Yoga Alliance she’ll be my instructor and she is a WEALTH of knowledge but I am not considering it restorative anymore. It’s just PROP BASED HATHA. That’s it.

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