Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Week One, Day 3 Recap

At the start of the session on Sunday, Rebecca had us go around the room and offer three words about how we were feeling about ourselves and the program. I began Sunday: Optimistic! Excited! Energized! By the time I crawled into bed around 10:30 I was: Whiny. Zombified. Overtired.
It was a tough but awesome Day Three.

We spent most of the first half of the day discussing how to arrange your class sequence around a specific intention. So, if you set an intention of courage, you might sequence in balancing poses since it requires some courage to execute them without down dogging your face into the floor, bleeding out your nose, and needing a medic to whisk your broken ass away from class, never to show your shamed, shattered face again.

We also talked about keeping students safe in class and the importance of helping the student feel successful.

We discussed how to lead up to different "Peak Poses" (the tougher ones) in a sequence so that the flow accommodates the tough pose, and prepares the student strength-wise for what is coming next. Then someone mentioned the "Bird of Paradise." Well what in the world is that pose I asked? A couple of my fellow trainees jumped right up to demonstrate this:
Basically, you move from a side angle, to a full bind, and then, oh la di dah you just raise up the bound leg over your head with the hands still bound. NO BIGGIE. Try it. Let me know how it goes. I was able to get my leg up about waist high before bursting out laughing. Then we broke into groups and came up with our own short sequence leading to a peak pose. Yay! First official sequence written!

At lunch time I realized that I need to get some more variety into my food over the weekend. I basically spent three days eating home made trail mix which, while delicious and nutritious, makes my tummy not so happy. No one wants peanut barf on their yoga mat.
When I got home I started transcribing the seemingly endless pages of notes I'd once again taken, got up to the "Bird of Paradise" bit and basically had a teensy weensy ever so small mental breakdown. I watched some Battlestar Galactica and went to sleep.
Think she does yoga?

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Week One, Day 2 Recap

Today I took notes.
 and lots,

of notes. As the apprentice, (Insert Donald Trump Joke Here) part of my job is to diligently take notes during class, and transcribe them later to be circulated to the group. Thus, I posses an epic trifecta of learning. First I listen to the information being taught, then I write it down, and lastly I re-read and type it into a Word Document. Choose which learning style you like most. I get all three. Which incidentally was something we learned about today. So I guess I am an audial, tactile AND visual learner. When I was younger I believe it was called ADD.

Most importantly though, I TAUGHT MY FIRST SEQUENCE TODAY! Ah yes, the lovely and vital Sun Salutation A. I'm not quite off book yet, due to lack of Sanskrit memorization, but it is a fantastic feeling to have my first instructional experience completed. As a group, we cycled through Sun A about fifteen times, instructed first by the two teachers, and then by each student chosen at random by Marc.

Throughout class we demonstrated and dissected twenty poses, (I got to demonstrate Down Dog, and Pyramid Pose) offering suggestions of modifications and adjustments. I won't lie, learning the Sanskrit is tough business. There are Danda's and Uttana's and Bhujanga's! Parsva's sound like Parshva's and Shiv sounds are Shav's! I don't know if I'm Virabhadrassana-ing or shiving someone. Am I preparing myself for unifying serenity or prison fights?

During lunch break a few of us walked to Downtown Crossing by way of new Ryan Reynolds movie set. Yeah, no big deal, we just hung out and watched them film a car chase for a minute before we were allowed to cross the street. Then at DTXing one of my fellow students who doesn't live in the city gave a bum two bucks when he begged her as she was getting change back from lunch. He explained he was starving and needed food. She gave him a dollar, and then he said well how about two dollars, so she forked it over. He immediately turned around to the convenience stand beside us and purchased a two dollar scratch ticket. Another concept we discussed today was balance and wholeness. With abundance, there is also barrenness. With innocence, must also come depravity. It was jarring to see it so closely juxtaposed within such a short time-frame.

To end practice Rebecca had us each choose a colorful card from a deck she offered up to the group. She told us we would pull the card that we needed to have, that we should reflect on it, and then bring it back tomorrow. My card is about forgiveness.  
Jeez is she using The Force on us or what? This is something I've been thinking about all summer long. As humans, we sometimes put ourselves through a lot of needless crap in order to...Well, honestly I'm not sure why we do it. We carry other peoples bullshit drama around, and allow ourselves to be marginalized by those that aren't even deserving of our time. Often, we feel there isn't much we can do to change things, if those involved are family, friends, or coworkers for example. Forgiving those who treat us poorly, and forgiving ourselves for allowing ourselves to be treated poorly may not change the treatment, but it can change our outlook and reactions to it. Am I getting too airy fairy here? Maybe I should crack a beer or something. For realz though, I'm finished worrying about the perceptions of others. If someone is treating me like I am an asshole, it is probably because they themselves are assholes. I mean, I'm pretty sure I'm an awesome person and not someone of the asshole persuasion. So, that is their deal. Negativity is no longer my cross to bear. That door is closed. That door is closed because I took a chance and chose to step through it while it was open. And I think, for me, that is what this whole thing is all about.
There was a beautiful sunset tonight.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Week One, Day 1 Recap

Last night we kicked off training with a light meditation, and basically a meet and greet. There are 13 of us in the group, all ladies plus the two instructors Rebecca and Marc. It's already evident that there are some amazing people here. Lots of us are on a career change path, leaving office jobs from all sectors. There is a wide range of ages, personalities and yoga skill levels which is refreshing. Nothing about the group is stereotypical. (Save for the fact that it's all female maybe)

Today will begin more of the in depth training and teaching now that the logistical stuff is out of the way. This program is no joke! Each student is required to complete an additional 40 hours of class time outside of the intensive weekend training sessions. The 40 hours is broken down into three components; 20 hours of taking a yoga class, 10 hours of observing and taking notes in classes, and 10 hours of assisting a student partner in a class. Looks like we will all be getting to know each other pretty well!

The Training Manual!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Zentrification Begins

Today I begin a ten week training program through Pure Yoga teacher training at the Equinox club in downtown Boston.  I've been practicing yoga for about four years now but only recently started a more intensive practice. When the opportunity presented itself to join a teacher training program, I went for it. I've joined as an "Apprentice" rather than just a straight up trainee, this means I work closer with the instructors, demonstrate poses in class, and help with set up and clean up of the room. In exchange for extra work, I pay half the tuition for the program. Sweet deal!

While I'm super excited to start, I really don't know what to expect. Will the trainees want to go for a beer to rehash class? Or will it be more of a chia seed, spirulina crowd, horrified by my pizza eating, cocktail having ways? It sort of feels like a "first day of school" for me. Will I be the oldest in the class? The youngest? Biggest? Smallest? Will they all be more advanced than me? Will I be able to typecast everyone just like in high school? WHAT WILL HAPPEN ZOMG!
Look it's me! JK, this is TOTALLY not me! (yet...?)

If I'm not too sore to type, I'll let you know all the details from now until just before Christmas.
~Yours in Comfy Yoga Clothes