YogaWorks Teacher Training: Week 3

 Photo Credit: Anika Hessdor, a fellow trainee

Photo Credit: Anika Hessdor, a fellow trainee

Can you believe that at this time next week I'll be a 200-RYT?  Yes, a registered yoga teacher!  Like last week, this week flew by.  And despite my struggles with inversions last week, I'm have more faith (I actually got up this week!), and know that with practice they will happen.  

Chrissy said, "Don't think about it.  Just do it," right before we were going up for our first handstand against the wall on Monday morning and guess what, it worked. Throughout the week, I practiced with friends spotting me and on my own. Physically, I can get there (of course once I'm up there are still a thousand alignment points I need to fix), but I can get up.  Mentally, I still freak myself out almost every time.  Like Chrissy said, I have to stop thinking about it so much and calm my crazy!

It’s like I’ve been learning how to do yoga all over again. But really, despite my background of practice, I’m just learning how to intelligently do postures for the first time.

In the beginning of the week I found myself going through an alignment checklist each time I found myself in a new pose:

Is my front knee in line with my second and third toe?  Is my back thigh internally rotated?  Am I pressing down through all four corners of my feet? Am I twisting from my torso or my neck?  Am I knitting my ribs in and spreading my collar bone? How about my arms?  They better be externally rotated.  

My head was literally spinning.  Practicing calming my mind has been a huge challenge, since I have a super anxious, Type A personality.  Learning how to practice and teach skillfully is a passion, but often times I let the thoughts get in my way of actually arriving in poses and maybe most importantly, breathing.  By the end of the week I noticed more clarity in my poses and let those thoughts fade... just a bit.  It's like I've been learning how to do yoga all over again.  But really, despite my background of practice, I'm just learning how to intelligently do postures for the first time.

We focused on backbends and learned several variations to help students (and ourselves) get into them with correct alignment and support.  I found blocks under my wrists super helpful.  Have you ever tried backbends with blocks or maybe a strap around your thighs?  Life changing.

Next week is my last week of training.  It 's bitter sweet, because I truly enjoy seeing everyone in the morning and I'll definitely miss the community.  We work hard together and have been each other's backbones throughout the intensity.  However, I'm excited to move forward and like I mentioned earlier this year, be able to give people what my yoga teachers have given me – a sense of peace, self acceptance, space to breath and skillful movement.  Wish me luck on my exams!