Day 6 began like all the others. We recited the yoga sutras and settled in to meditation. I’ll be honest, I was exhausted at this point so I’m not sure if I went to some deep place or just fell asleep but I was loving meditation. After meditation we set up to start our practice. Two hours of the exact.same.hip.openers. I promptly responded with, “is he serious?!” The idea of spending two hours in the exact same poses that made me cry the day before was terrifying. Much to my surprise though, the practice was amazing. The hip openers felt incredible and I was able to get in to some challenging arm balances and poses. It was so gratifying to experience the practice with a clear mind.
We discussed how we deal with negative thoughts and David recommended we ask ourselves 3 questions:
1. Is it true?
2. How do you feel when you believe the thought?
3. Who would you be without the thought?
Ultimately without the negative thoughts we would just be our natural selves. I love that. How often throughout the day do you listen to the negative thoughts you have? Maybe your boss tells you, you aren’t good at something. Or your significant other criticizes you or you feel like you aren’t a good runner or as thin as you should be or as pretty as you want to be. If you go around listening to these thoughts eventually you believe them. Stop, ask yourselves the questions above and realize that without them you’d just be authentically you. Isn’t that what we are all trying to be anyway? Just trying to be ourselves?
That afternoon we each taught for 4 minutes. I was assigned balancing poses and taught one of my favorite standing sequences. It felt amazing and natural. Every time I teach it gets easier and easier. I feel like I am coming in to my own leading a class and it has been 6 days. Ahhh, that makes me so happy. Imagine how I will feel teaching a class in 6 months?
We ended the day like we normally do with our homework assignments. I’m just going to let this Facebook post I put up moments after completing the assignment do all the talking….
Day 7, Thursday. At this point, days and days of practicing yoga in a 90+ degree studio with no relief was starting to wear on me. I was so cranky and tired. Getting on the mat and practicing yoga was a challenge to say the least. Thursday was backbend day and David put on some music to raise everyone’s spirits. We were all laughing, commiserating in the heat and exhaustion our bodies were feeling. Somehow I was feeling incredibly inspired by the flow. The collective sound of 30 teacher trainees releasing after an ab exercise just makes me smile. I loved how hard we were all working, how much we were challenging ourselves.
Throughout the backbend practice we stretched and strengthened our shoulders, opened our chests and started to build our backbends from cobra on up. Mid flow, this came on…
My friend Christine and I looked at each other and were like, “I love this song!” with big smiles on our faces. Just another reason why I love music during my flow and South Boston Yoga. The highlight of day 7 was challenging my body both mentally and physically to overcome my fear of backbends. Not only did I finally find comfort and strength in wheel- I went from wheel to standing and back down!! It felt amazing, so different from what I expected!
What I’m learning (in just 7 short days) is that I am as stronger than I thought and that so much of yoga is learning how to correctly utilize your strength. In teacher training we spend so much more time understanding the mechanics of poses and building the strength to get into them. It’s made such a difference. The other half of these poses is overcoming your fears. For me, it’s fears of being upside down and not trusting myself to hold me up. The reality though, is I have all the strength in the world to hold myself up. I just need to figure out how to use my strength to make that happen. And that could be said of my strength both mentally and physically.
What I am loving about this journey is how much I am learning. As Michael says I’m learning how to practice what I preach or as I like to say, Walk the Walk. I love it and can’t get enough!