Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Yoga Teacher Training, Day 6, Module 1

Today was our last day of yoga teacher training for module one. It was a bittersweet day...six 12-hour days in a row, two-hour practices daily, and not getting enough sleep definitely take their toll. Our lives outside yoga and this training have come to a screeching halt, so from that perspective, it's nice to finally have gotten through it.


We've had so much fun living, eating, and breathing yoga for six straight days! We've had a blast getting to know each other throughout this endeavor. And aside from the yoga, the opportunity to spend so many hours with Dolly—a humble, gifted, and enlightened soul if there ever was—was just such a blessing. If I could clone her, I would. She would likely never accept the label, but she is a guru in her own right. She is a very, very special person, and just so cool. For me, she will always be the yogini against which all others are measured.

Balances and Inversions
Before practicing today, we studied arm balances like Crow, and inversions like Tripod Headstand. Check out this video (Dolly Floats to Crow) of Dolly demonstrating how to go straight from Downward Facing Dog to Crow—she's so steady, so controlled, it's sick. If you don't do yoga, let me just tell you this: this is hard as hell to do! Don't believe me? Try to mimic it!

You can also view photos of our class working balances and inversions.

Our Practice Today
Oh boy...this is the practice we've been dreading since we got our assignments yesterday. Dolly split up a typical 90-minute Power Vinyasa sequence into 15-minute increments focusing on warm-up, Sun Salutations, standing postures, and floorwork (none of us could teach Savasana...damn!) Each person in the class had to sequence and teach their 15-minute segment. Cay and Lauren both have some experience teaching yoga or fitness classes, so I don't think they were are freaked as Marge and me who have zero experience whatsoever. If Greg was worried, he never let on.

A 15-minute sequence?! Crap! I was up til midnight last night working on sequencing Side Angle, Revolved Side Angle, Ardha Chandrasana/Half Moon, Standing Splits, Bird of Paradise, Eagle, and all the transitions required to move people from one asana to the next. And I still ran about two minutes short, but overall, it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. Don't get me wrong...it was very difficult for me, and I forgot to cue breathing for the first bit of the sequence, but overall, I wasn't as nerved up as I thought I'd be. As I pointed out in the discussion after, I'm not sure I would have been able to feel nerves because my heart was already pounding, and I was already sweating bullets because I'd been participating in the practice up until I took over teaching my sequence. I honestly thought I was really going to flounder, but I managed to remember to cue the next posture by name, then give details if needed, and that helped a lot.

Despite little issues here and there, overall, I think our first practice teaching session was really very good. Physically, it was challenging and all the sequences adequately prepared us for the asanas to come. No one totally lost it it or full-on floundered. It felt awesome to see and experience our final product and to know that we all made so many strides in doing it. And when it was over, we were elated to go out for Thai food and call it a week!


PS: Please visit again soon. I may not blog here for the next couple of days—but I will be attending a Rolf Gates weekend workshop February 9-11, 2007, and will definitely be blogging about that. Of course, if the urge hits me I may be back before then.

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