Yoga Teacher Training Weekend #7

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I love marathons, I love training for them and the excitement building up to them….until about a month from race day.  That’s usually about the point where I just want race day to come, finish another marathon and get my weekends back.  I’ve reached that point with teacher training.  I’m ready to be a certified yoga instructor, to take a break from self-reflection and I’m so ready to have my weekends back.

Needless to say when Saturday morning rolled around I wasn’t thrilled to be heading to the studio.  We started with pranayama (breath work) before diving right into our practice.  I was all up in my head and really struggling to connect with my breath and settle in.  As we shifted to our practice David came over to adjust me, he took one look at me and was like, “what’s going on? I can tell you are all in your head.  You need to shift into your body”.  I told him I couldn’t because if I did it would be a bad day.  Note to self: that is not right the thing to say.  Then David made me repeat after him, “If I move into my body, today will be a good day.  If I stay in my mind, today will be a bad day.” I repeated after him and as I did the tears streamed down my face.  Yep, I’d been feeling emotions and struggling with them all week.  I knew they’d break lose in teacher training and I was trying my hardest to keep that from happening.  

As soon as I shifted into my body I began to connect with my breath.  The practice felt more natural and less forced.  We moved slowly through a hip opening practice and it actually seemed easier than it had in the past.  When we finally came down into savasana I was happy to be connected to the mat and grateful for my open hips.

Janusirsasana

After class we came together in a circle to share where we are.  So many of my fellow trainees felt like they were in a good place, feeling grounded and grateful for the experience.  Many were making peace with their challenges and some had even found it.  I on the other hand felt like I was struggling with the changes happening.  I’ve been so overwhelmed lately.  Work, training, the holidays, it’s all piled up on me and when I look at the calendar I don’t see a break.  In October and early November I felt as if I’d found my stride.  Enough activities to keep me happy and busy but never too busy.  There always seemed to be a little me time.  But now, that’s not the case.  And with so much going on, I’ve even managed to overwhelm Michael.  I KNOW the right choice is to slow down, to enjoy the moments life gives me.  The right choice is to make time to enjoy the simple things in life; a nice meal, a good conversation with a friend, a good book and time to just be.  To-do lists, and goals don’t always make you happy.  Even though I know I’m making the right choice I couldn’t help but feel that I was losing part of myself.  I’ve always been this Type A person, who says yes to everything.  I’ve always been the person who takes on too much but always succeeds.  Saying no and slowing down is HARD- I was feeling like if I did I’d never accomplish my goals and dreams.  And with so much happening right now I felt torn between my old habits and my new habits.  A huge part of me just wants to Type A everything and figure out a way to get it all done to the best of my ability but then the new habits kick in, they remind me to slow down, pace myself and do what I can just not everything.  I’ve been feeling stuck.  But David reminded me that I am making the right choice and that doesn’t mean I won’t accomplish my hopes and dreams.  It just means I’ll just get there a little slower, it means I’ll enjoy the process and journey more.  It was the reminder I needed and the words I needed to hear to move out of the in-between.

After lunch we reviewed the poses.  When we do this we go through the sanskrit names, the adjustments and cueing for each pose.  Then we continued on with our review of yoga in preparation for our upcoming exams.  We closed out the afternoon by teaching.  I taught abs, and struggled through them.  Teaching abs is hard!  Thankfully, Tim (our instructor) stepped in with some advice.  As soon as I had a better idea of how to teach them it was much better.  Then I moved on to teaching backbends, something I’m far more familiar with and did well if I do say so myself.

Adjusting!

Adjusting!

Instead of taking David’s class on Sunday morning I assisted.  Part of me was bummed to miss out on the practice but assisting some classes is part of our training and I knew it would be good for me.  As soon as the class started I realized that assisting wasn’t so bad.  I was a part of the class and was able to help practitioners deepen their practice.  Assisting is not easy and I learned that sometimes the best assist is to just to witness the class.

We continued our review of the poses to close out the morning.  David switched it up today and we demoed the poses.  I was able to demo dandasana prep, a pose I’ve been working on since August.  I even kicked up into handstand! I seriously love getting into challenging poses!

After we broke for lunch we continued on with our review. We covered anatomy.  We went through the muscles of the arms and hands.  We’ve finally reviewed the whole body and I definitely need to spend some time studying before our exam.

We closed the weekend by teaching our final class as a group.  We each taught for 5 minutes and adjusted for 10 minutes.  It was a challenging class but filled with some amazing restorative poses to close out the practice.  Our group of trainees is incredible, everyone is really an amazing teacher!

We have 2 more weekends to go before we are done with training.  Next time we will take our exams and prepare to teach our public classes.  Our final weekend we teach a public class before we graduate! It is hard to believe I’m almost at the end of this journey!

Have you ever been stuck between old and new habits? What are your favorite challenging poses to get into? 

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10 responses »

  1. Ahh! I LOVE the idea of shifting into your body…which menas shifting OUT of your mind and letting your body do the work, your mind feeling free and clear. It is SO SO SO hard to shift that focus, isn’t it? Especially as a Type-A-er. I am loving, loving, loving reading about your journey — can’t say it ENOUGH. And when things calm down for both of us? Can’t WAIT to catch up on it all over a glass of wine. :)

  2. I can really sympathize with this post. I had that same feeling during marathon training and it’s my biggest fear with teacher training (I start in January). My favorite challenging pose is headstand!

    Best of luck this week and hope things flow a little easier for you moving forward

  3. I totally identified with your post today, right from the first sentence! I am running a marathon in a month and really can not wait for it to be here, and I am also right at the same point as you with my yoga teacher training…we have our practical test this week and written the following week – SO much to review and study!

    Recently my favorite challenging poses have been arm balances…I am so lacking in upper body strength, but in the past few months of YTT I’ve really seen a difference in my ability to do arm balances and it’s exciting!

    • I can’t imagine training for a marathon right now! Props to you!! Isn’t there SO much to study? I have about 3 weeks to review and I’m trying to do a little bit each day. I LOVE arm balances, they are definitely my favorite!

  4. All the time Whitney – all the time but it does get easier and easier and I so admire you for taking on the challenge, doing the work at 25. My favorite challenge pose – you know it girl – Handstand! Rock on and hope this week is easier for you. So much love to you xoxo

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