Thursday, April 23, 2015

Yoga Teacher Training Weekend Three

Our third weekend of yoga teacher training kicked off on Friday night at a slightly earlier time. Naturally I got an email mid-afternoon that my engagement ring was ready to be picked up after 15 days off of my finger. I somehow managed to book it to the jeweler and get to the studio, get changed, and sneak in with a minute to spare.

When we arrived to class in the dance studio, the space was set up for the dance recital later that night. And it was the most amazing space for our yoga practice! It was my first time practicing kundalini yoga with Carole Westerman from Lotus House of Yoga.


Kundalini Yoga is called the Yoga of Awareness. It is a dynamic, powerful tool that is designed to give you an experience of your soul.
In Kundalini Yoga we harness the mental, physical, and nervous energies of the body and put them under the domain of the will, which is the instrument of the soul. This technology precisely and consciously combines breath, mudra, eye-focus, mantra, body locks, and postures to balance the glandular system, strengthen the nervous system, expand lung capacity, and purifiy the blood. It brings balance to the body, mind, and soul.

We did a lot of breath of fire in the practice, which is incredibly difficult for me. A lot of the movements seemed really basic, but were incredibly hard. Many of the movements and breath work made me feel ridiculous, but a lot of the practice was done with our eyes closed, so it was nbd. If you ever have the opportunity to try kundalini, definitely do, but go into it with an open mind!

After our practice, we headed back to the studio to learn about prenatal yoga. It made me realize how little I know about pregnancy! It was a great eye opener and I left with many dos and don'ts as well as many modifications for the future preggos that attend my classes!

Saturday we started the day with a flow based on the five elements. It was awesome and hard and a great way to kick off the day of class. Saturday's classroom focus was Ayurveda. For those unfamiliar with ayurveda, it can be defined as: The ancient Hindu science of health and medicine, based on maintaining balance among the five elements earth, air, fire, water, and ether.

Hence the morning's flow inspiration, eh? :) Carole is a smart yogi.

We each took a quiz to determine our ayurvedic constitutions and learned a ton of things throughout the day to be mindful of, careful of, etc. etc. based on our results. As part of our class curriculum, we were required to purchase Ayurveda: The Science of Self Healing: A Practical Guide. I haven't made my way through it completely, but it's a pretty fascinating read so far, and would be a great place to start if you're interested.
 Also, the tests we took are here and here.

My dosha results are strongly pitta with some equal parts of vada and kappa.

To end the day, we did a yin yoga practice which I had never experienced before (a weekend of many firsts if you're also noticing the trend!). We learned that yin yoga is the yin to vinyasa yoga's yang (see what I did there?). We also learned the difference between restorative and yin yoga, as they are commonly used interchangably. Per our lecture, restorative yoga focuses on relaxation of the muscles and body, utilizing props to aid in the process. Where as yin yoga is concerend with stretching and joint health and working on the fascia and connected tissue. The analogy Carole used that resonated with me is that "Yin yoga is similar to braces aligning teeth." Very cool.

Sunday we started the day by doing an amazing restorative class. I was incredibly sore, so it was much needed and much appreciated. It also reminded me that I need to get back to restorative classes more frequently! They've taken the back seat since I haven't been destroying my legs by running all the time.

I could've stayed in this forever. Optimal levels of comfy.

After the practice, we split into duos to practice our assists during restorative positions. Heaven.

Then we split into groups to work on our portion of the master flow series that we were to teach to the group. We practiced our section, over and over and over with different students taking the lead on teaching and eventually took a break for lunch. After lunch, we had a new group with each individual knowing a different section of the flow and we practiced and practiced and practiced. By the end of the day, we split into two full groups and each of us took a turn instructing the full class during a 90 minute flow. I was certain my arms would fall off if I was required to do another chaturanga.

When we were all done, Carole treated us to a 25 minute nidra yoga session. It is said that 20 minutes of nidra yoga makes the body feel like you've taken a two hour nap, so I was all in with a late flight to Vegas just a few short hours away! It was really interesting, and I definitely fell asleep during it, as did many others. I must say, I was up until 4:30am that night, so maybe there's some truth to it!

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