200 YTT – Day 25-30 – Molding Time

I called this whole week “Hoorah Week” because this is the week we practice and apply everything we learned in the last 7 weeks of Yoga Teacher Training. An intensive yoga practice and practice teach for 5 consecutive days. I also consider this week the time we mold ourselves into the teachers we want to be. Of course, this could have already been happening once we signed up for teacher training. Tasha, my yoga teacher and trainer, gradually took us through a training that encouraged us to become who we want to be as yoga teachers. She taught us the Ashtanga practice as a base and fed pieces of different yoga areas; philosophy, yoga for kids, yoga for mommies, and ayurveda. It’s basically a small catalog of areas of interest. And with this catalog we exchanged stories and experiences that made our practice, as well as our teaching, authentic. We were able to find our voice and be who we wanted to be.

It was worth every minute of my time and vacation days. Co-workers have even said, “Wait. You worked over you vacation?”. It’s funny how they might think that, but remember the saying, “choose a job you love and you’ll never work a day in your life”- Confucius? This teacher training did that for me. Yoga was no longer just showing off, but it is a part of me that I feel have given confidence and made me happy. No, I did not do a full career flip to Yoga Teacher, but I want to. And this could just be excuses right now, but I don’t know how it would work right now. I feel like it’s my duty to my husband and my future family to have my current job. My practice will always be there and I have every intention of spreading it in small ways. Hopefully it works out in my favor and I’ll never need to work a day in my life.

200 YTT – Day 20 – Mommy Yogi’s

Yoga is for every body even those who carry an extra body. I am referring to the mommy Yogi’s. Today we had a prenatal teacher training with Hillary Norrell, first an Ashtanga teacher and now a prenatal yoga teacher too. Yoga can help expecting mommies transform or deal with their new bodies as they carry their little bundle of joy.   It could probably help them transform out of their mommy bodies too. That is what intrigues me the most, the idea of a transformation. 

You are transforming your body so that you can bring in new life and one of the things we have to remember is to nurture our body. Nurturing a mommy Yogi is way different from a regular Yogi practitioner. It’s like a different breed of Yogi! Which is of course is completely natural. One day I will be experiencing this body transformation and be challenged with nurturing it. Carrying two people, breathing for two and eating for two. Might not sound all that bad, but once we try to be our regular Yogi self things might feel a little different. And I say that of course not by experience but just what Hillary and the other mommies in the class shared. But it all makes sense when you have to breathe for two with your same regular lungs. It’s not like you grow bigger lungs just so you can breathe for your baby too. No, we just have the same lungs but we have a new kind of breath. Yes, a shorter breath. 

This prenatal workshop reminded me that Yoga can help a Yogi to come into their bodies and the one thing that we have to remember is to just nurture our body. One mantra that my yoga Teacher offered was “everything is temporary.” And I feel like once we decide to have a bundle of joy, that mantra will carry me through the transformation. It helps me to be in the present moment. So, hopefully I remember. And I hope that those of you reading, future mommy yogis, will remember to nurture your body and tell yourself “everything is temporary.”

200 YTT РDay 18-19 -Back in the studio 

The Fourth of July holiday put yoga teacher training to intermission, but not really. I like to see it as a time to refresh by reflecting on what was taught and finding your own words to lead a class in the Ashatnga sequence. I practiced my cues independently and then with family members. I’ll tell you it was not perfect. I would cut the sequence short because I misinterpreted the Sanskrit of shoulder stand to headstand. Caught myself! Realized the memory loss! Then, reviewed those areas I missed. It’s great when you don’t plan to teach, but a family member wants to yoga. So, you just take on the challenge and really apply how much you’ve learned. Your breaks at work end up to be Sankrit translation practices. 

There was a lot to prepare for this week too. The second half of the primary series is a whole knew animal to teach and to practice. I’m still trying to hit the bullseye with balancing on my sit-bones while holding my feet up, then pressing into my head and folding my legs into full lotus. The best part is I get to focus on my body in these poses. Most of the time, at work, my back gets so tight sitting at my desk all day that I wiggle around trying to give my body what it need, but not. Workflow is a little distracted and body suffering persists.  In yoga, when poses get a little more difficult and mentally involved, you are present.  You are in the present moment and in the now, now, now.

Another thing I realized is how much closer I got to my teacher and fellow trainees. I’m comfortable being myself and I accept any silliness or criticism (constructive) from my peers. It definitely would be sad to see the training end, but how cool it would be to see how someone evolved as well as how they’ll evolve the yoga practice. You almost feel special out of all the trainers that has passed through the Yoga4Ewa doors. But, of course, our place of learning will always be special to us and we’re already special for coming to the yoga practice. Let’s hope I have the opportunity to spread the practice. I’m already planting the seed with family and friends.

200 YTT – Day 17 – Being a kid again

Our busy adult lives leave us very little time to be childishly selfish, draw what’s in our hearts and innocently solo dance…and all in front of others. On our morning donut breakfast walk, my husband did not want to practice Joy Breathes with me as we sat in Safeway’s eating area. His words were, “No! Not in public. People are looking”. I was bummed by this because there was no one immediately around us. Who goes to Safeway at 7:30am to eat a donut? No one! I didn’t look behind me to see if there really was anyone around us. I just stopped in disappointment then continued eating my chocolate donut.

Anyways, week 4 workshop was with Yoga ed. with instructor/teacher/yogi/dancer Harmony, who still made it to the workshop even after coming back from China and then preparing to move homes the next day. We learned how to incorporate self-awareness and self-care in our lifestyle and then within K-5 students. I’ve worked at a school and worked with young children for 10 years now and I wish I had this training sooner. Now that I do have them, I hope to pass on this practice. It’s a chair practice that takes into account the space a classroom might have and the essential desk-chair set up classrooms usually have. Makes sense, right? Students have very little guidance and outlets to stay in tune with their bodies during the academic hours of their day. Class, in that sense, is never fun or associated with a good feeling. Instead, it’s stressful, emotionally and physically and mentally. I definitely remember those days sitting in sophomore biology and completely getting lost and just wanting the break period to come sooner. Even my enjoyable classes like photography and graphic design where somewhat stressful because of all the deadlines and the pressure of measuring up with my peers. 

The over-arching theme and goal of the practice is to instill a practice and a lifestyle of self-care and a effective learning environment. It was definitely nice to know my fellow teacher trainees in a childish manner. We drew pictures, danced and stuck out our tongues for lions breathe with each other. And the best part was that I didn’t look around to check if I was going through the practice correctly. We are all equals and we are all winners. I expect to take this with me throughout my days as a wife, as a teacher and eventually as a mother. 

200 YTT – Day 14-17 – Week 4

Week 4 was physically mellow, but mentally stressful. I was unable to practice Ashtanga at the studio because of work and other family events that happen during the week. Training days are when I know I’ll practice, but unfortunately not this week. Despite being bummed out it was good to further the training with hands-on adjustments, practice teach and muscle review. All in order of preference. Hands-on adjustments really get me out of my comfort zone for touching others and others touching me. It’s not really “touching” because it’s adjusting. This allows me to trust in my teacher, fellow yogi-mates and trust myself with others. I’m pretty good at masking the discomfort to by being a “yes man” and pretending I’m someone else, but I’d like it to be a part of me.

Practicing to teach the Ashtanga sequence is fun! I prep by writing down the asanas and instructing an empty living room (sometimes I instruct in my head, so my husband gets concerned, but I assure you I’m just going through the practice in my head visualizing my invisible student(s)). The best practice has been instructing a real person though because that’s what it’s going to be in the end. The only accessible person has been my husband who wishes he wasn’t so accessible. I’m grateful that he’s willing to help me practice. I try to be serious and encouraging as he reluctantly twists into Pariviritta Parsvakonasa or flows through another vinyasa. I reward him with a Rad Roller massage and essential oil treatment. It doesn’t happen every time! The sanskrit is whole ‘nothuh story.

Memorizing muscles and their actions are a big brain teaser. It’s right on my body, but for some reason I still have the hardest time. The hard part is isolating one muscle at a time! I can flex my hip and their are a few muscles that are responsible for the action. Internal and External rotations are another teaser. The muscles seem like it’s being stretched rather than contracted! That’s where feeling the body seems unreliable. The best way to figure out the actions of every muscles is to refer to it’s skeletal origin and insertion. But, even that fails me. Continuous and proper review would be best.

200 YTT – Day 10-13 – Week 3 Complete

Coming into Week 3, I seriously did not want to go back to work. Teacher training for 8 hours was a dream and I was surrounded lovely ladies with good vibes. It was tough to carry-on my teachers mantra this week, “everything is temporary.” I tried to tell myself that work eventually ends…that it’s only temporary. I rode my bike home and went to mat for practice. We have 4 weeks left of practice and I need to figure how to live yoga at work. THINKING CAPS ON!

With 4 weeks left of the training, I have attained sooooo much information. Muscles, sanskrit, directional cues, speaking with clarity, and just started hands-on adjustments. There is just so much to learn and I am loving it!

Day 12 we were introduced to the crystal bowl meditation workshop with Emma Kupu Mitchell. Meditations aren’t as still and focused as I would like to experiments them, but this time the vibrations of the crystal bowls took effect and I had a moment where I felt like floating.  The long mid-tone vibrations softened my ear drums and my body laid still. Unfortunately ,the pressure on my head from laying on the mat kept me from feeling elevated. Though, my body was relaxed.  I actually felt like I was sitting up right while I was simply laying on the ground. My mind was playing games with me as I tried to stay present! 

One of the special parts of this workshop was the practice of the crystal bowl vibrations energizing  our personal items and a bottle of water. Emma offered us to put items in the center of the room on a silk cloth. She mentioned silk heightens the vibrations. I placed my wedding ring and Tahitian pearl, two pieces of jewelry that I wear every day. The bottle of water is another reminder of the experience. In the beginning of class we wrote down an intention or a mantra. I chose to wrote “strength” on my bottle. It took me a long time to find a word to cover the emotional, physical and mental challenges that I’ve been facing and will face. Strength will cover all that. 

Lululemon Wunder Under 1/2 Tight

Love is in the air!

I’m 5’1″ and usually the crops from Lululemon are YOGA pants for me OR just above the ankle to where it shortens my already short body. I got a size 6 since lately the Lulu’s have been a bit tight, but for these I felt like I could’ve stuck with my usual size 4. The Wunder Under Tight still lives up to it’s “hugged” sensation, but just a little more cuddle would make it golden. I went with the “air time white black” print. It’s basically printed on white full-on luxtreme, if that type of thing matters to you. And the 17″ inseam hits about 4 inches below my knee (completely a guess because I didn’t actually measure). 

Performance wise these were top of the class. Just a 10 minute bike stroll didn’t ruin the ride to class or the crops. Probably wouldn’t work for a 30 minute bike ride, though. The leg hem did ride up into my knees, but the fabric is so thin that it didn’t cause any discomfort. During my actual Ashtanga practice the luxtreme lived up to it’s promise and kept me cool and dry throughout the 75-minutes.