Yoga Teacher Training: Weekend + Goals

Officially six classes in to my yoga teacher training journey! Every Saturday and Sunday, I get to spend 7 hours with 24 amazing people. We usually start off with a morning practice that focuses on stabilization and mobility of the back and core.

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After a 15-minute break, we usually learn about anatomy, kinesiology, and biomechanics and how they relate to different poses. There is a massive emphasis on adapting each pose to suit your body, rather than modifying your body to fit a certain pose.

My favourite time is when we get to explore the postures with our classmates. Here, Jamie and I are discussing different types of shoulder positions in the classic plank pose and how that can be tweaked to fit our personal preferences.

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“Put your hands higher on my butt.” “Come on top of me now.” <– totally normal conversations?!

During the breaks, we have lunch together and sometimes play with acro yoga poses.

Thank you, Instagram, for the inspiration.

Next time, we’re going for the five person plank. 🙂

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Wise words of motivation from my Dad after I sent him these shots! Not quite sure what he’s implying here…

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This week, our homework is to choose a pose that we can ALMOST attain – and take a couple “before” photos, then practice the pose for two weeks. I couldn’t decide which pose to pursue, so I experimented with a couple. This is my crane pose, which is essentially a crow pose with straightened arms. The pose looks fine in the photos, but I want to work on holding this asana (posture) steadily for five breaths. Now, it’s a little really shaky and I can only hold my knees on my triceps for a couple seconds before slipping off or losing my balance.

I’m also working on my headstand. My torso is super long, relative to my shortie legs, which makes it hard for me to “walk” my toes close to my face and lift my hips straight up overtop of my head. In the headstand, I’ve been “bouncing” off the wall and into the position but I want to work on strengthening the forearms and core enough to be able to lift into a headstand directly off the ground.

In the first photo, my back is a little curvy. I want to build up enough strength, balance, and flexibility to straighten up my back and then float my toes from the ground. As for the second photo, you can see that my belly is sticking out and there is a significant curve in my lower back. I want to work on straightening my body in this position, which is tricky without visual feedback.

This pose is called the bird of paradise. My goal for this posture is to hold it, and to slowly work on straightening that bottom leg. Sometimes, I cheat by bending the standing leg! I’m also going to work towards pointing the outstretched leg. Balancing is hard in this pose, without the arms for stabilization. This pose reminds me of an elaborate version of a y-spiral in figure skating.

I can also try to remember to suck in my belly – not only for a better photo, but also because the abdominal “lock” (uddiyana bandha) is great for stability.

And that’s it for today! I’ll keep you guys updated with the “after” shots in a couple of weeks. 🙂