Interestingly enough, what has helped me to remain grounded and present during this third week of intensive training has been…more yoga. Calling upon my own practice for balance, understanding, and acceptance has helped me to integrate all the information and emotions of the past three weeks. While we explore the science of sequencing, break down the body’s detailed anatomy, and delve into yoga’s history, my personal practice has not lost its magic. We’ve examined the details of downward dog alignment and cueing every day, coming into the pose what feels like hundreds of times each week. Still, the first and last down dogs of each personal practice are curious, new, and opening. It’s been wonderful to recognize that yoga is never something to be “figured out,” rather always growing and changing. All of the valuable information we’ve learned simply leads us to ask better questions.
This week, we met the talented Darcy Lyon, both psychotherapist and yoga instructor, who is helping us tie everything together with knowledge and practice in sequencing. All of the moving parts that before seemed so difficult to juggle are now beginning to come together in such an exciting way. We are drawing from Jason’s alignment and cueing, Harvey’s complex anatomy lessons, Darren’s philosophy and history that give the practice meaning, and David’s artful physical assists. Under Darcy’s guidance, we are finally learning how to integrate all of this into a sequence of meaningful and powerful poses. I love this aspect of teaching, because despite some helpful guidelines, the process through which you create a sequence is such a personal and creative one.
Practice teaching both during Darcy’s sessions and before class has taken this experience to a challenging and exciting level. It’s so inspiring to wake up early with classmates and share the teaching of our morning practice. It doesn’t feel like a disjointed effort simply to cue the correct pose anymore; each future teacher is finding his or her own voice, has a beautiful and unique angle, and the morning practices have been such an empowering flow to start the day. Darcy has challenged us in her sequencing classes to shift our focus in multiple ways when both planning and teaching our poses, which has been a fun and eye-opening challenge. It’s already apparent that, although we are all receiving the same information and training, everyone’s style will have a unique strength – I’m already looking forward to taking classes from the future teachers in the room!
In this final week, I’m challenging myself to attend every morning teaching session, and (if energy allows) each evening practice. Part of what makes this intensive training so incredible is the ability to fully live yoga for the month. I don’t want to miss a minute with my fellow students, or an opportunity to learn something that could help me grow as a future teacher.
My intention for my most recent practices has been “gratitude.” The set of circumstances that has allowed us all to be here is extremely fortunate, and I’m confident that we will have even more to reflect upon in appreciation during this final week!