Yoga Teacher Training Weekend #5

I’ve been processing, thinking and absorbing this past weekend of yoga teacher training for the last day or so and I still feel like I don’t have the words.  It was a very moving and emotional weekend to say the least…

Saturday was like any other weekend, we were all happy to be back in the studio and reunited.  It had been 3 weeks since our last class and it felt like forever.   We meditated and then spent the morning reviewing class styles; focusing on how to open certain parts of the body in preparation for balance poses, backbends and more.  It was an amazing review and exactly what I needed.  After lunch we reviewed Chapter 1 of the yoga sutras and anatomy of the body.  We closed out the afternoon with a teaching session.  I taught a very active flow with binds and even taught side crow.  It felt so natural and comfortable…likely because of my recent teaching experience.

Side Crow Pose

Sunday, was the most intense day.  The morning started off as normal with David’s public class which had an awesome playlist and great vibe to the class.  I even went from camel to wheel a few times which feels amazing and better and better every time I do it. After class we broke down David’s class, giving our feedback and talking about what we perceived as mistakes.  It was a valuable exercise because what I may dislike someone else could really enjoy.  One thing I took away was that twisting and binds too early in a practice is not welcomed by anyone.

For lunch a few of us went to Franklin Cafe for lunch.  I loved going to brunch, sitting in a restaurant and enjoying a relaxing meal with friends.  It makes the weekend feel more like a weekend.  Plus their Heuvos Rancheros is amazing! 

After lunch we reviewed the yoga sutras and went through anatomy again…repetition is key to learning some of this stuff.  But then we got to the part of the weekend I was most nervous about, the cranial-sacral massage.  For those who aren’t familiar with this work it involved massage of the head.  We focused on the inside mouth, and nose.  Prior to the massage I was FREAKING OUT…I mean someone’s hands in my mouth and nose, massaging me?  No, thanks.  But as much as I didn’t want to do this, I knew I had to because otherwise I’d regret it so much.  Thankfully my partner Kat was so confident in the process and not frightened by my reaction.  I laid down and tried to relax, she calmly began to massage my mouth with her hands, guided by the words of David.  It was surprisingly relaxing and calming…I could feel the tension escape my body and the stress held in my mouth melt away.  After massaging my mouth Kat moved on to my nose…it was easier to keep my eyes closed and focus on my breath.  When the massage was over I felt like I could breath so much clearer.  And then the warm water from the Netti Pot to flush out my nose, was relaxing and calming.  As I sat up post massage, my face felt incredibly different.  Layers and layers of stress just gone.  The skin in my cheeks looked flush, the skin around my mouth fuller and a look of calm and peace graced my face.  I felt as if I had let the stress in my jaw and my nose, below my eyes and in my sinuses disappear. Even today, Michael noticed how much fuller my face looked.  A recognizable difference of the change within my body.

It was then my turn to return the massage to my partner Kat.  I thought I might be grossed out by this process but actually I felt very prepared.  The mother instinct within me kicked in.  Caring and returning the massage with the same loving calmness that Kat had given me was a privilege.  Not to mention that it was also really interesting to learn more about the mouth, tongue, jaw, skull and sinus passageways.  I learned so much, it was really fascinating.

To close the session we shared our experience as a group, some wept, some laughed but most of all we each felt incredible love for each other.  Pure, genuine LOVE. I won’t share the moment here in detail, it’s too precious to share…a moment I’d like to remember just by the way I felt, not marked by words.

Sunday night was very emotional.  Removing the layers and becoming “unmasked”, if you will, is a powerful moment.  I felt confused, vulnerable, raw and so many more emotions I couldn’t even begin to label.  I mostly wanted to just sit…and reflect, which is exactly what I did.  I woke on Monday morning feeling so authentic and genuinely me.  It was incredible.

Have you ever had cranial-sacral massage? Have you ever had such a raw moment before?


10 thoughts on “Yoga Teacher Training Weekend #5

  1. Christine says:

    Love this Whitney. I too would have been so super uncomfortable with the cranial-sacral massage but really proud of you for stepping out of your comfort zone. It’s often experiences like that that yield the most powerful learning, no? And I love that your teaching is feeling so natural.


  2. jobo says:

    Completely blown away by your experiences right now and stepping out of your comfort zone like you are and really experiencing this completely and fully! I would be a bit freaked out too and am not sure I could have done it, so I give you so so much credit for that! And that side crow pose? you are amazing. That looks beautiful and so difficult and you do it with such poise!!


  3. Jess Sutera says:

    WOW. I am blown away by how much more emotional vs. physical YTT has been for you. Totally unreal — I can’t even fathom!! I SO can’t wait to catch up on all of this when we finally meet up which is coming up very soon, woohoo!!


  4. Mary McManus says:

    Love reading your perspective about the experience of YTT. I love how you let everything just be after the profound experience. Congratulations again on teaching your first class. Love how your confidence as a teacher grows! xo


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