The journey of becoming a yoga teacher.
It was great to see Sean Haleen again, as he talked about Vedic Philosophy and the Yoga Sutras. We learned about the five kleshas, which include dvesha, (aversion). This relates to our physical yoga practice as it reminds us not to avoid asanas that are difficult or bring us discomfort, but to keep practicing them with presence.
We also talked about ways to start and theme our classes, to create an energetic flow and to help us connect with our students.
It was also our last weekend learning and reviewing Anatomy with the expertise of Harvey Deutsch, before we took our test. I think most of us were intimidated by Anatomy when we first started this teacher training. But with Harvey’s clear explanations and demonstrations, coupled with learning so much about alignment from Sean, we gained confidence. I am glad that Anatomy is such an integral component of this teacher training; it will help us immensely in helping our students.
My biggest takeaway from this last weekend of Anatomy was discovering that I have been over-flexing my feet, probably from all my ballet training. Harvey emphasized the importance of pushing out with the heels, which automatically flexes the feet, rather than focusing so much on flexing through the balls of the feet. This was a huge “Aha” moment for me, and one that I can incorporate into my yoga practice right away.
The ability to take free classes at all of Yoga Tree’s locations continues to be a blessing. In fact, there are so many choices, it can be overwhelming at times. Every week, my egoic mind plots out 10 or 15 yoga classes it would like to take. While there’s no way my muscles can handle this amount, I was grateful to get to one of Lauren Slater’s last Pilates classes at the Potrero studio this week.
Pilates has always been something I’ve wanted to try, but never got around to actually trying. As a former dancer, I knew it would be great for my core and overall alignment. But what I didn’t know — how difficult it was! Even though there were barely any standing poses, the floor work really gave my core a workout.
Some great things about the class: because there were only four of us there that day we got a lot of individual attention. Lauren is such a great teacher that she makes things easy to understand and fun, even when you have no idea what you’re doing. One of the most important things she taught me during this Pilates class is how to relate my breath to the core-work, by exhaling when I’m rolling up, to get myself all the way up.
While it’s unfortunate that the Pilates Flow classes that Lauren has been offering three times a week since October have not gained traction, she said she will continue to offer Pilates in some form at some studio in the future, which I am looking forward to. It works so synergistically with yoga by strengthening the core, elongating the spine and incorporating breathwork.