Is it okay to request that teacher training never end? The people, the activities, the knowledge we’re all learning…it’s remarkable. When I signed up for this I knew it would be a fun journey, but I never imagined it would be so filled with everlasting memories and individuals I’d give an arm and a leg for. But, here we are and this weekend provided another outlet for learning, deepening my practice, and growing as a person.
As the sun went down and our mats rolled out, we had a very special guest join us to start the weekend. To my excitement, Nikki Bose arrived Friday evening for an extended yin class. As someone who practices yin on a weekly basis, this was the perfect way to ease into the weekend.
Unlike Vinyasa and Hatha yoga, yin offers a gentler approach to the body and allows us to go deeper into the physical and mental. With yin, we target the ligaments and fascia rather than our muscles. If you’ve been following along...
“What’s one word to describe your experience with teacher training so far?”
As we all shared our one-word description of teacher training, I felt each descriptor embody me and a rush of emotion flooded through my body. While we still have weeks to go, we’ve come so far from that first Friday night. As a group of doe-eyed yogis, I’m sure none of us would have been able to put a word to our experience from the start.
There’s been ups and downs throughout the past two months. There’s been breathwork, kundalini, and belly laughing circles to the tune of Boyz II Men. It’s been a life-changing catalyst of intensity and opening thus far filled to the brim with love.
I can’t speak for other teacher trainings as this is the only experience I have, but there’s something special about this place and these people. There’s an alchemical quality...
It’s finally Friday and I find myself skipping to class, yoga mat in hand with my Fallon-inspired crop top and giddy like I’m going to Disneyland for the first time. Fallon has us to herself this weekend and judging by the memo to bring essential oils to class, I was ready to dive deep into the world of adjustments.
Adjustments, also known as the time you spend making your students love you, are now one of my favorite ways to connect to students. It’s a one-on-one transfer of love from one being to another and makes you feel oh-so special. Seriously, it’s like getting picked first in gym.
With loving intentions set, each of us dove hands first, sans creepy fingers, into adjustments. Being that this is such an intimate part of teaching yoga, we spent quite a bit of time learning proper adjustments for postures throughout our series and practicing on each other with the help of China Gel and Lemongrass essential oils – my...
You know that feeling you get on the first day of school that has your heart beating out of your chest and your palms sweaty with excitement? It’s the one that lasts until you have your first homework assignment but quickly fades when reality sets in. Except, in this case, we’re in Week Five of teacher training and that excitement is still as fresh as it was on day one. We’ve had a week off now and it’s apparent that everyone was desperately aching to get back to each other.
I once read a blog that described Kundalini Yoga as the best form of exercise for a Scorpio, so you can imagine my excitement when Jill announced our Friday would be spent practicing Kundalini led by Thomas Fessler.
This style of yoga originates from Raj yoga, or Royal Yoga, meaning it was first a practice only taught to the royals to help them achieve spiritual enlightenment. It combines all 22 schools of yoga and is commonly known as the Yoga of...
Week four, wow, you have come and gone so fast. We’re already a third of the way through, yet I feel like the knowledge I’m learning could continue on the rest of my life. It was Friday evening when I realized that we had already completed a substantial chunk of the training and suddenly, I felt a sadness wash over me. I don’t want it to be over in 8 weeks, I want to keep learning!
As if he read my mind, we were greeted by Luke Wientzen, a Virginia native that had migrated out to San Diego in the 80’s. A lifelong student, Luke joined us at Indie Yoga to share a journey of growth through his practice. Much like many of us, Luke was skeptical when he was first invited to take a surf flow vinyasa class at Bird Rock Yoga.
As a surfer, Luke kept in great shape, but when he experienced his first flow he had an awakening of a much greater reality: a reality that the universe is inside each and every one of us. We just need to continue to search for it.
“Yoga does not remove us from the reality or responsibilities of everyday life but rather places our feet firmly and resolutely in the practical ground of existence. We don’t transcend our lives; we return to the life we left behind in the hopes of something better.” – Donna Farhi
We often look at yoga and exercising as a way to destress and decompress inward while making our outer appearance smokin’ hot. I mean, who doesn’t have the confidence of Beyonce after four or more classes in a week? On the surface, our fitness routine, be it yoga or running, is meant to benefit ourselves. However, when we dig a bit deeper it is clear to see that the effects of yoga spread outward and touch the people in our lives and community.
You may say, “How can this be?! I’m taking the time for myself,” which is absolutely fair. You deserve this hour of inward focus for yourself. You deserve all the adjustments in the world...
Vulnerability, authenticity, and balance. Three things you don’t see very often in your daily life, right?
When I think of the word vulnerable, I often associate imagery of an open wound allowing outside forces to see every essence of its brutality. It’s a bit scary and intimidating so it’s no surprise you don’t see vulnerable people walking down the street with their heart on their sleeve. We stop ourselves from openly showing our wounds because we fear outside assumption and judgment. We fear rejection. We have an innate need to feel love and acceptance, we’re only human after all.
On Friday night, we were joined by Blake Spencer for a two-part breath work workshop and John Beck, accompanied by his hypnotizing crystal singing bowls. We were given permission to be vulnerable and to show up with our authentic selves. For some like myself, being vulnerable in a group this large was a first. I could feel...
“Attitude is everything,” is one of those overused sayings that we’ve all had jammed into our conscious. But, how does it become everything? Where does it start and where does take over? We wake up every morning with an attitude - good or bad - and from there we go about our day. It controls how we communicate with others, ourselves, and how we approach our yoga practice. Attitude can make or break you. It’s the one thing illuminating or clouding your path.
Baron Baptiste, the founder of Baptiste Institute, wrote in his book, Perfectly Imperfect, the two ways that we can show up to our yoga mat and life. We either show up as a yes or as a no. This concept may seem black and white. You may say, “What about all the other emotions you can feel, it’s not that straightforward,” but it is.
The attitude of yes and no carry two very different energies and within the energies is where we find growth or resistance. Yes gives us room for opportunity...
Finally, Friday arrived after a dragged out week of excitement and anticipation for our return to the studio. The moon was full and causing all sorts of trouble, but the second I rolled out my mat, the outside world dissolved. It’s not typical that I’d still be excited for school by the second week (I admit, traditional school isn’t my favorite), but there is something so different about yoga teacher training that has me anxiously waiting to learn more from Fallon, Jill, and the 23 beautiful faces I am blessed to spend my weekends with.
Friday was the first instance of a guest workshop, as we were joined by Brian Eremita to walk us through breath work techniques. I must say, breath work in a group setting is so incredibly powerful and blows my mind in a way that a solo sesh just can’t compare to. Some students had months to years of experience with different techniques, others had no experience at all. Brian walked through the...
As you’re queued into half pigeon, you let out a lion’s breath of release. Sweet, sweet savasana - also known as the moment you’ve been waiting for all class - is coming soon. In just a few minutes, you’ll be lying on your mat, a corpse, examining every drop of sweat that trickles down the side of your face.
You hear your teacher switch the music to, what sounds like, a sultry acoustic version of Grease’s You’re The One That I Want and allow your ujjayi breath to come to an end. You’ve made it, savasana.
Now, let me start with a disclosure. Savasana is my all-time favorite pose, and not just because I get lazy after sixty minutes of inverting my body and holding the dreaded Warrior series. No, no, this pose is so much more than that. Savasana is a saving grace, a period of observation and of absorption. It “seals the deal” on your yoga practice and should never, ever be skipped. (Seriously, how do you walk out before savasana?!)...
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