Friday, January 30, 2015

Namaste Y'all: My Teaching Philosophy

"Now is the perfect time to breathe kindness into our personal practice, allow our bodies to be where they are, modify, adapt and  
GROW a little lighter today to wake up and be a little brighter tomorrow."

 Yoga allows us to simply be and grow from where we are. Every breath brings change.

With Breath, yoga brings a warmth to our bodies and an awakening to our minds. Breath encourages kindness and patience to our practice. Bandhas manifest strength and confidence that we can hold ourselves together and up. And, the practice, as a whole, invites us on a journey inward and onward. For every person and every practice, that place will be different, and there is great beauty in that. 

After persistent practice against resistance, when my body seems to magically open up to an asana,.. these moments feed my love and ignite passion for the practice and make my world a little brighter.

I hope to share the warmth and light of yoga with practice free from criticism and complacency and full of encouragement and love.

Be Kind. Modify. Adapt. Practice. Grow. 

Now is our perfect time. 

Namaste Y'all

Monday, January 19, 2015

200 HR Yoga Teacher Training:Week Two

200 HR Yoga Teacher Training:Week Two Intention

Week one was HARD! Humbling and exciting and hard!

This week my Intention is to breath more 
and to be kind to my body.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Yoga Teacher Training: Week 3 Intention

I can not believe tomorrow begins week three of my teachers training. What a whirlwind!

My intention for this week is simple, and I'll word it three different ways:

Enjoy the Moment! 
Enjoy every Moment! Enjoy Now!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

200 HR Yoga Teachers Training: Day Twelve

Hip Hip Parade!
Today was AWESOME!

Our teacher training class attended the Hip Parade workshop with Jen Rene of Ashtanga Dispatch and it was AWESOME. I learned a lot about lotus, and I hope I remember it for one day when my thighs are smaller and Lotus may be available to me. But, I LOVED it! I do not have much else to say about it... mostly because we all hung out in postures that stretched our hips and required lots of attention. Haha. So, all my comments would be about my hips. One day when I am a little lighter or my limbs are a little longer I definitely will attend another workshop with her.

{Picture is a 3B Yoga Ad}

There are so many different teaching personalities. It is so interesting to explore. I wonder what my teaching personality will be like.  I hope I will be giving, kind, soothing and encouraging.

Then after we learned about Fascia in the body and we looked each other and verbally adjusted each other.

Friday, January 16, 2015

200 HR Yoga Teachers Training: Day Eleven

200 HR Yoga Teachers Training: Day Eleven

We are tired! As a class, we are kind of exhausted and I have not even started what is exhausting most people.

Today was good. We continued the standing postures. And, Nicole from 3B workshoped jumping through to sit. And, it sucked. She was awesome! But, I was so envious of myself a year ago. She would have benefited so much, but as I was/am I mostly just got embarrassed. Haha. I love Yoga... but being a chubby yoga is humbling... my body works against itself at times (a lot of times) and my mind is mean, but my heart is earnest and I am working on accepting my limits and loving my body as it is.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

200 HR Yoga Teachers Training: Day Ten

"Yoga is for everyone." 
"Yoga is medicine."

Today I had the most profound happening in training. I know what I want to do. I know I specifically want to teach yoga for healing... and even more specifically I want to focus on PTSD.

At training we had the privilege of hearing from Dr. Vinson, a Neurologist. She was fantastic. She provided us with so much great information. Three things specifically stood out; the benefits of yoga for patients with MS, PTSD and Weight Loss. I know I want to focus on weight loss, as I am currently trying to shed weight, but I am so interested in helping our military men and women who suffer from PTSD and other ailments.

So, when I got home I did quite a bit of research on PTSD and Yoga and I found Yoga Warriors International. And, I am so thrilled with the possibility of getting more training in their supplemental teacher training course.

It would be such an amazing blessing to be able to spend time helping people who have so selflessly served our country. It might even be nice to do couple yoga classes for recently returned military and their spouses.

The first part of class we spent scripting to each other, SO HARD! The last part of class we did a short Primary series. I felt overwhelmed... and very not focused. How am I going to teach this whole series! I cant even do most of it! I know I can do it, I know I will do it!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training: Day Six

Chakra Breath and Movement Workshop with LeAnne Tolley

Chakra What?

So, I did not think I was going to enjoy learning about Chakra's. I even set an intention of being positive and approaching the day with non-judgement and a smile. You see, I love yoga. I love the free spirited spiritual side of yoga, but I still have hesitation towards it. And, I had this idea that Chakras were super hippy free spirited quirky-ish something to the 100th degree... (Translation: I do not have a word to express what I thought today would be about, but I didn't think I would like it.) However, shift happens, and after an awesome workshop, I have a little spark for Chakras now.  I am so intrigued! I am so interested! I totally want to to know more.

Chakra- a physical mapping of how emotional energy interacts with our physical bodies. 

I learned sooo much! Too much to write here and too much not to need to spend some time thinking about what was taught today. 

Other things about today:

Children's Yoga: The Warrior and Her Dog

She also took us through a children's yoga routine and gave us a amazing story to share. I can not wait to see my niece and teach her some yoga! It was so fun!

After thinking about this, I definitely want to teach children's yoga! 

Observations, thoughts  and things I loved about today:

I loved no one had to work around my body today. What do I mean? Well, the other students do not know what to do with me. Their bodies are mostly all super lean, so when they are looking at my body to see how it looks for adjustments they don't know what to do with me. So, it felt lovely to have a day where our body's were not the focus. I really did not even think about that until just now, haha.  More importantly, I loved how much I learned from LeAnne.

I loved the way LeAnne taught. I like that she said dude a lot. I enjoyed she had a passion for football. I enjoyed that she made everyone feel comfortable whether they bought into what she was teaching or not she made sure no one felt pressured by what she was teaching.

I loved the idea of having a focus for my teaching. Until today I have not really thought about having a focus other than Ashatanga Yoga for my teaching. I do not know what I want that to be... I do not know exactly what message I want to convey. I do know the reason I want to teach... and that is to help others feel the best parts of themselves.

I loved the idea of having a book of experience. She shared with us her experience becoming a certified teacher through Yoga Alliance 20 years ago. She said teachers had to travel around the country and make a book of experience. I want to make a book of experience! What a wonderful idea! I already felt drawn to that idea. I have been looking up teachers training like crazy the past few days and I was not sure why because I have been enjoying my experience and would necessarily need additional training for the 200 hr YTT.

I loved my moment towards self actualization. When she first started teaching she went over some of the principles of Yoga. She went over Yamas and Niyamas. When she got to Aparigraha (Non-Coveting/Non-Attachment) she asked if we coveted our past selves. Then she said something profound, you can't climb a latter without letting go, and when she said that I felt free. I may not feel so free tomorrow... but I am not that picture I was this time last year, and that is okay! Haha.

I loved more things! But this post is already my longest! And, I want to post about the week as a whole tonight too. So! I will say.... Namaste!

The End! 

Friday, January 9, 2015

200 HR Teacher Training: Day Five

Fresh. Today felt better. I love a fresh start. I went in the middle of the circle. I felt fearless. Literally. I did not hesitate and only in retrospect am I considering my insecurities... and how I over came them by deciding before I entered the studio.

Much later, I addressed my size in a non-judge mental way. I just mentioned difficulty in doing a posture and how I modify because of my size. The instructor actually said my modification made the posture more difficult... For me it doesn't, but I won't recommend it to others.

I hope me being okay with me will allow others to be okay with me. One of the instructors and I talked a little about it later. She called it my love weight. Haha, what a positive way to look at it.

Most noteworthy for me... I had my first teaching experience from my script. It felt hard, but I loved it! It amazes me how different it is to teach than practice. Of course I knew it would be different, but the act is so much different than the idea of the act. I loved it.

The are starting to take down the Christmas lights in the shopping area outside the studio, so I snapped a picture. :) 

I have so many notes in my journal, but I must be back at the studio in the morning since it will be Saturday. So, Namaste!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training: Day Three

200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training: Day Three in sections

Today felt amazing. During Primary series on Monday not a lot of postures were very open to me. This is knew to me in my practice. In the past most all postures have been wide open! So, I felt very insecure about how I moved, and how I looked when I moved.  Especially since it embarrasses me that I gained so much weight. Gaining weight is usually seen as something so controllable by outsiders, but from the inside it is a whirlwind. But, the whirlwind definitely left my thoughts today as we began breaking down Suryanamaskara A, or the first sun salutation for Primary series.My body reacted so nicely. I felt light, I felt free... and with the extra weight on my body, free is not often felt. But, I did not need to modify. Which really makes me question my experience on Monday. I thought my body was holding me back, but maybe it is partly my mind?

Suryanamaskara A

Suryanamaskara A sets the practice up, and learning to teach it first has definitely brought comfort and quietness to my mind... just as doing it first in the Primary series brings rhythm, clarity and unity to the practice.

The Circle

We have a circle. Day three and the breakdown of postures means everyone gets to experience being in the middle of the circle. When you go to the middle of the circle everyone watches you do the posture. This allows everyone to learn in so many ways... but I have such fear of the circle. Thankfully the circle countdown did not reach me, but I am petrified. I did not let myself dwell on it to much during class, but on the way home I told my husband all about my fears and how much I do not want to be in the circle and his response was so simple, "as a teacher you are always in the middle of the circle... you really want to be there in a way."

The Only One

When you are active and love fitness but are overweight... I often find myself the only one... and it is so easy to wall up... being the only one... but the reality is everyone has some insecurities that make them feel like they may be singled out. And the truth is not following our passions or limiting what we do because of our bodies or more importantly how we fear our bodies may be viewed is not living... it is not life at all. And it feels good to let that go... to let go "inwardly of outward influence," and just be.

Teaching Yoga

Teaching yoga definitely requires a new way of thinking... sharing is hard! Haha, especially when you are sharing something that needs to be so personalized... it is hard to be open and direct without the risk of either being too vague or too constricting. It is also hard to express in words feelings... and to me Yoga is mostly feeling... I love to do what feels good and lose my thoughts...

My husband has been my student for the past three days, and I love it! Tonight I took him through Suryanamaskara A and it was so hard! Haha. He did beautifully, especially since I do not know how to modify some of the postures for him. But, it was fun.

Monday, January 5, 2015

200 HR Teacher Training: First Day, First Day Intention and Excitement

Today, I start my journey to become a Yoga Instructor! 

I am soooo excited about Yoga Teachers Training this evening. It was the first thing on my mind as my eyes popped opened this morning. Truly, I have been dreaming of this experience for years.

I began my yoga journey in July 2011. I had just lost 100 pounds and one of the specific reasons I listed for losing weight was that I wanted to practice Yoga. I was heavy, but so fit. And, I fell in love with yoga and how in touch it put me with my body. (Click here for my Weight Story.)

Before I moved to Utah, I researched yoga studios and when I found the Web site for 3B Yoga, I knew I had found a place for my practice. I maintained my practice for over two years at this studio. I learned so much as a patron, and I can not wait to grow more as I work to get my practice back and start healing my body from this recent relapse.

I am only 50 pounds away from being back at my starting weight when I made that wish list back in October 2010. And, this has affected my confidence greatly. I am so scared of going to back to the studio I just left in May.  I fear the way people will look at me and how I will feel. I fear my own thoughts and interpretations. I fear my body's limitations. But, fear nor my weight will ruin this experience for me. 

My intention for this first day is to not let fear of not being accepted or negative thoughts control my openness and to focus on and appreciate the beauty in myself and those around me. 

I was beautiful in this picture from last year, and 

I am still beautiful today. It does not matter that today I look and feel different.