Here we are. I am 4 days into the 9 day intensive of yoga teacher training and am loving every minute of it. I’m not sure where to start except by saying that the word intensive means just that, intense. We are learning so much physically, intellectually and emotionally that by 9PM I’m exhausted and ready for bed. Our studio also has no air conditioning and the last few days have been HOT and HUMID in Boston. The heat is exhausting and I’ve never been so sick of sweating in my life! To give you a sense of my day here’s a brief breakdown:
- 6:55am- Catch the commuter rail train to Boston.
- 7:50am- Get to the studio, set up my mat and props, get water and settle in.
- 8:00am- The day begins with a few announcements, thoughts or issues and then we recite and learn the yoga sutras.
- 8:30am- We begin our meditation practice. We have been trying different types of meditation involving readings, chanting and sounds.
- 9-11am- Vinyasa Flow.
- 11-11:15am- Break.
- 11:15- 12:30pm- Alignments and Adjustments. We go over the alignments of three or four poses and learn how to properly adjust students to help them deepen the pose or align correctly. Our instructor demonstrates and then we pair up and work together to try it ourselves.
- 12:15 -1:45pm- Lunch.
- 1:45pm -2:45pm- We discuss the nightly readings we are required to do and also spend time-sharing and working together to release emotions and find freedom from them and rewrite past experiences.
- 2:45-4:15pm Second practice of the day. The students teach this class, we are each given about a 2 minute sequence of the flow to teach.
- 4:15-5:30pm- Anatomy and Bodywork. The bodywork includes massage, stretching, body readings, etc.
- 5:30pm- Head home!
As you can tell, it is a long day. The physical aspect of the training is as hard as I anticipated. We are encouraged to listen to our bodies and apply about 50% effort to each practice. I find this really hard since I tend to be the type to give everything 100% but I am learning there is something to be said about coming down into child’s pose when you need a rest. I pinched a muscle in my back from doing too many handstands and forearm stands and when I surrendered to a restorative practice and took it easy I immediately began to feel better. The heat is also a challenge, I constantly am reminding myself to drink enough water and stay hydrate. Fuel is also very important as it’s easy to not be as hungry because of the heat but it is absolutely necessary. Running all those marathons in 85 degree weather has me prepared for the heat!
I feel like I am learning and absorbing so much. I’m thankful to have my personal trainer’s certification and some understanding of the body, bones and muscles. It makes the anatomy and bodywork session make more sense and I am able to grasp those topics really easily. I love that we practice adjustments and alignment and are slowly working through them pose by pose. I feel like I will have the tools and resources to be an incredible yoga teacher. Having confidence to adjust students and position them with props and modifications so they are truly having the best practice for their body is something I take very seriously. I’m not only learning how to physically do that but also how to approach students so they will be comfortable with the feedback and adjustment. Since we have already started teaching I am starting to understand my voice and figure out who I am as a yoga teacher so my classes will always feel authentic and inspiring.
Beyond the practice itself we are spending a lot of time focusing on the emotional side of yoga. Yoga can release a lot of emotions within the practitioner, these can be triggered from the pose itself (like hip openers) or from a reading or chant that the instructor may lead them through. We are working with the other students in the class to begin a journey. The journey is really about emotional freedom and control, it’s about rewriting those negative experiences and emotions so we see them in a more positive light. It’s about learning to live without drama and find clarity in our lives and to make room for the life we want. I’m really enjoying this part of the process, I’ve been thinking a lot about my life and my emotions and how and when they make me feel trapped or like a prisoner. I am learning to embrace those emotions, and think differently about them. I’m seeing things about myself that I’d like to change and realizing that I can change them, starting today. Life is a process, not a destination and I’m ready to embrace that.
It feels amazing to be immersed in this training and process. To be tuned out of the world and focused on myself is calming and freeing. The best part is this is just the beginning!
Ok, I’m off to get some rest and prepare for hip opener day (from what I hear, this is an emotional day)! I leave you with one of my favorite songs from our morning practice…