Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Yoga Teacher Training: Week 6

Tuesday

We spent our last Roots of Yoga session discussing and practicing meditation styles. We started by trying to meditate for about 10 minutes. I could not get into it. It turned out some of the other girls couldn't either. First, I couldn’t stop replaying conversations from throughout the day (or thinking about things I should have said). And then it was the music. I loved the songs and kept thinking about how I’d like to Shazam them. But maybe that’s not what meditation music should do. That was probably done to show us how we should try to pick instrumental meditation music. Wordless music helps quiet the mind!

We also did a moving meditation. We were led through a sequence, one breath per movement, that we repeated twice at our own pace with our eyes closed. Closing the eyes makes a big difference. There’s no looking around, no comparing yourself with other students, no looking at yourself in the mirror to check out your alignment. It throws you a little off balance, but that just forces you to move slowly and mindfully. Closing your eyes helps you look inward and let everything else go.

We even practiced guiding each other through meditation. For my part I guided the other girls through a garden, with bees buzzing about from flower to flower, greenery everywhere, butterflies floating throughout. I asked them to visual bright red roses, and that's where I stopped. I felt like I could/should have said more, but that may just be me being hard on myself. I got a few compliments on my part of the meditation, which I appreciated. My yoga sisters are so kind!

Saturday

Before class I met with my sister to give her the first yoga lesson she's ever had. What an honor! She seemed to enjoy her first yoga experience, and I hope she tries it again. She even said she felt sore the next day. Yay!

In our practicum class I noticed a few things the instructor did that I liked. First, the creative transitions. I am not used to going directly from Parsvakonasana to Trikonasana, but it makes sense! All you do is straighten your front leg. I'm used to going from Side Angle to Reverse Triangle and then Triangle. Another nice transition is full splits to Pigeon. I also liked how the instructor greets every person before class, either shaking hands or waving. And I liked how he gave the option to use any mudra you connect with in the initial seated meditation. I love options!

The next four hours were an informal Q&A about teaching in general, music, setting the tone of a class, how to demo at a studio, and sequencing. I took home so many insights and even a few book recommendations. I ordered "Happy Yoga" that night.

Sunday

After our practicum came the four hours of training that many of us seemed a little stressed about. Our homework had been to put together an all-levels sequence. We were told we'd teach a part of class, and it's a little scary not knowing exactly what you'll be asked to do. I ended up leading the class through the initial centering, twists, cat/cows, Balasana, Downward-facing Dog, Forward Folds, and Sun Salutations. I actually wasn't nervous, which was shocking! I felt confident that I knew the cues. I just need to inject more of my personality into it. Easier said than done, but I am proud of how I did. I am proud of how we all did, actually. On my to-do list now: Finalize my first playlist and practice my all-levels flow to it.

And just like that, the first half of our yoga-teacher training is done!

Maybe one day ...