While many of you were soaking up the final days of summer at the beach and at barbecues I was in the yoga studio soaking up every minute of this journey that I am on. Friday night I spent the night relaxing and getting bed early…I knew that two days in the studio would be tiring and I wanted to be my best self. I went to bed early, but spent the night tossing and turning, fighting the excitement and anticipation of being back in teacher training. I felt like a kid the night before vacation!
I got to the studio early Saturday morning and was greeted with hugs and smiles of 15 people who were just as excited to be there as me! We started our day with meditation, which admittedly I struggled through. My thoughts were spinning wild in my mind and I spent the entire time focused on them. The readings and words of wisdom David spoke were lost on me, drowned out my the noise of my own thoughts. We moved to the yoga practice and started by working with lacrosse balls. Let me tell you, the massage and muscle relief you can get from lacrosse balls is amazing. We released the muscles along our spines, our glutes and hamstrings and our feet. Our practice was filled with forward folds, twists and deep poses. It was centering and just what I needed mentally and physically.
After our practice we spent some time as a group sharing our experiences with life since our 9 day intensive. I personally had a few changes and exciting things to share with everyone (now you are curious aren’t you?? I’ll share with you all soon! promise.) but it was interesting to hear how others were incorporating the training into their lives. The most inspiring stories to me, were the ones from those who were struggling. When one girl was prompted as to what would make her feel better she simply replied “dancing”. And right there in the yoga studio at 11:30AM we danced it out. If you know me in real life, you know this is not something I like or have fun doing but no one in that room knew (or cared for that matter) that I am a horrible dancer, with absolutely no rhythm. So I danced. And laughed. I felt free and happy. I love that 15 people can break it down at 11:30AM just to make someone feel better and simultaneously put a smile on everyone’s face. It’s even better that the song was “Finally Found You” by Enrique Iglesias & Sammy Adams…look it up, you’ll thank me!
We broke for lunch and came back to review. It seemed fitting to review the anatomy and sutras we’d learned over the 9 day intensive. That afternoon we taught, each for 2 minutes each but this time we created the flow instead of having it given to us. I taught a series of wheels and backbends. I thought I might be nervous to teach again but I wasn’t. I felt confident and as if I was starting to come into my own as an instructor. We closed out the afternoon by singing chants (in an effort to learn them). I don’t think I’m a great singer but I’d love to be confident enough to lead my classes through song. It’s moving, calming and really completes the practice for me. To help me find my “voice” I’m going to start singing in the shower. Life is about challenging ourselves right?
Sunday morning started with David’s public class. His playlist was AMAZING. Seriously, there is nothing more moving and inspiring to spend an hour and half in a room with 100 yogis chanting, flowing and breathing. I love his classes and the creativity, laughter and thought he puts in to each class. After class we spent time reviewing and learning adjustments. This part of teaching is something I’m excited but nervous about. I certainly don’t want to hurt anyone or adjust someone who doesn’t enjoy this. I hope the more we do them it will become second nature to teaching. After lunch we had a big afternoon planned. We spent some time studying the work of Byron Katie. This involves dealing with negative thoughts and how we make everything about us. I tend to do this, make everything about me, so it’s important for me to step back and ask myself if these questions:
1. Is it true?
2. Am I sure?
3. Who am I with these thoughts?
4. Who would I be without these thoughts?
When we stop and think about this, we can stop ourselves from overreacting to people’s actions and situations. The most interesting part of this conversation for me was about dealing with negative feedback. Many times when someone provides you with negative feedback they are seeing something they dislike about themselves in you and project that on to you. While there are times when we should listen to negative feedback, there are also times where we should say thanks you for the feedback and be confident in who we are and let that feedback roll off of us. At times I can be a people pleaser and I don’t often like to know that someone dislikes me and take the criticism to heart, it felt good for someone to tell me that sometimes it’s ok to disregard it. I mean, how empowering is that? I love having someone to tell me that if someone dislikes something about me that I love, I should just let it go. I needed to hear that.
Instead of teaching that afternoon we had a photo shoot! David likes to provide us with some professional photos to use as we try to advertise ourselves as yoga instructors. They are nice to have for use in posters, business cards, websites, etc. He really does think of everything doesn’t he?!
The rest of the day was spent learning the pose names and when to use them, learning sanskrit and more chanting. Chanting and singing was the perfect way to close the weekend!
Teacher training only continues to get more amazing. I feel so blessed to be learning from David and the 14 other inspiring, talented trainees. The support and love we all have for each other is incredible! As I was re-reading this post before hitting publish I couldn’t help but notice how many times I said amazing, incredible and inspiring. Even those words can’t do this experience justice, so maybe if I say them a 1,000 times it will help to convey what I feel. Editing them out just doesn’t feel right. I seriously cannot wait to be back in the studio in 2 weeks!