Haven’t been talking much about my yoga teacher training here. Which surprises me; thought I’d be writing about it a lot more than I have! And here we are, a month from the end and I’m almost qualified (hooray!).
Yet, I feel a little remiss. I could have shared more here. In some ways I’ve wanted to. But much of it has felt so very personal. So interior. Like my body has been drip feeding secrets to my mind. So I haven’t been in a place to share, because I’m still getting it myself.
Huge day today though.
Including a MASSIVE session on inversions. So we can learn how to teach them, as well as checking our progress.
And yeah. We did Every. Inversion. Going.
Or tried to. Couldn’t quite cut it with Scorpion/forearm balance. But it was right at the end, by which time I was pretty zonked.
Excitingly, we learned a new way to teach headstand that allows for a free-standing pose, but with support so it doesn’t seem so freaky. Well, it’s a new teaching method to me, anyway!
The following is a description of what I learned.
But please: if you aren’t familiar with headstand, please don’t try this without a yoga teacher around!
Sit in dandasana with your feet flat against wall. Place a blanket where your knees are, so that its a lower leg distance away. Which means your starting position is near, but not right next to the wall.
Come onto your hands and knees. Elbows are one forearm distance apart (cross your arms to check the distance). Hands are clasped, forming a triangle with your elbows. Both wrists and elbows press firmly into the floor. The crown of the head is cupped by the hands. Walk your feet towards your head, making sure you are balancing on the crown of the head, not too far forward or back.
When you’re ready, kick or raise the feet up to touch the wall. The knees are bent (behind your body). Then practice lifting one leg off the wall at a time, so the leg is vertical and aligned with your body. Keep pressing into the elbows, the head and forearms must bear the weight evenly. Eventually work up to both legs off the wall and above the head, which requires core stability, strength and balance. The good thing is, the wall is always there to keep you safe! Which helps people overcome fear of falling, a limiting factor when attempting headstand.
Cool! And today, using this method I achieved the best headstand I’ve done to date!
Then… my turn to teach a practice class and receive constructive feedback. I’d invited a friend to join us, someone who isn’t as familiar with asana as my fellow students. Gotta make sure I can teach real beginners!
Putting the class program together was kinda dream-like. Actually, part of it did come together in my waking dream! I’ve written a few programs already, and it seems to get easier every time. So at 6am this morning (it’s been a busy week!) I woke, and in my demi-somnambulant state arrived a few visuals. Or perhaps they were thoughts? It’s a little hard to say.
Anyway. Class time. My fellow students and I were pretty exhausted from the inversions so I decided to mellow it up a little. Slow it down. And out it flowed.
Somewhere in there, about three quarters through, maybe in Pigeon pose, ethereal whispers wafted into the room. Like a just out of earshot conversation, but really, addressed to me. No one in the class was talking, that’s not what I mean…
Snippets of comprehension flowed into my body, but not my mind. The gist being something like: THIS is why you’re doing it!
As in, why I’m becoming a yoga teacher. Can’t say I’ve got a handle on that just yet. I didn’t quite plan it this way, yet here I am. And why? I’ve asked myself, but don’t have any honest answers.
I mean, why does the world need yet another yoga teacher? And why me? I was happy enough being a long term student of yoga in all its facets. I’ve never felt a desire to teach before, not really.
My body knows more than I do, though. It’s become the great furnace to process and reduce the dross, outputting refined and gleaming metal. So… guess I’ll find out when my body sees fit to release its secrets.
Its okay, I can wait…
Til then, it’s enough to know my class was enjoyed. That I guided people to a deep state of relaxation. That my friend felt “great” afterwards, compared to how she felt before. It’s a start, right?
And despite my lack of self-confidence for a good three quarters of this year, despite the heavy events that have threatened to sink me to the bottom of the ocean, somehow I am becoming a yoga teacher.
Even if I’m not quite sure how that came to be!