For my blog readers who live in the Twin Cities area, here’s an opportunity to get 50% off early-bird registration for my first actual yoga class that is open to the public. It is part of my certification requirement to teach a 5-hour series over a period of time so I can watch an average of 6 “bodies” make progress over time.
I set up my registration info right after I finished my last yoga weekend. All of my YTT-200 teachers will have access to the discount as well, as I truly would love feedback on my teaching. I will need a consistent group so I am pricing this series as a package.
I humbly appreciate it if you spread the word to anyone you know who could benefit from such an opportunity. The sign-up link is here. Use the coupon code TULA50 to get half off the registration by September 15th.
If you cannot commit just yet, there is another coupon code listed in the brochure for signing up by the 25th of this month. Most of the fee goes to overhead for the lovely space and rental of regular yoga props gratefully furnished by Tula Yoga & Wellness.
Thank you for helping me become a better teacher through this experience!
Yesterday I got an idea for a 5-session yoga series I want to offer as part of my YTT internship hours in October.
My mind found this particular idea irresistible, and I had a hard time NOT thinking about it. Ironically enough it is a course on “yoga for over-thinkers.” It seems a perfect offering for myself as well, so the irony was not lost on me.
Richard Bach said that “you teach best what you most want to learn.” Before now, I had been aware of the phrase, but not the attribution. So I was compelled to look up a little more about Bach, since I had heard of one of his books.
More than that, the idea of teaching in order to fully master a topic is something that has been present for much of my life in various opportunities.
Over-thinking is common to a lot of our lives and it’s a theme I was seeing in my coaching clients as well as others I have mentored on their careers as well.
So I will embrace this idea, and walk fully into it with the vulnerability and with the attention that this course requires. May I share some learning with my students, and more fully embrace the lessons as well.
On Saturday I will teach my first one hour soma yoga practicum to a several members of my YTT-200 class. I am a little nervous but mostly excited. Originally I was scheduled to teach on Sunday but I swapped with a classmate who needed to make a switch.
Good for me, I am getting it done soon! Wish me some good vibes. I will likely be done by the time you’re reading this but I don’t believe time is always linear, so I’ll accept your wishes before or after Saturday. 😉
And needless to say, I had no time to select a Saturday share post, so that feature will be back next week.
The other morning I opted for a home yoga practice using the audio from a Yoga Teacher Training class that had been recorded for our use.
The first practice called for a small sandbag to lay across our belly as we lay on our mat, to provide some sensory input to feel our diaphragmatic breath. I had no sandbag at home, so I used a small pillow to simulate at least the shape of a sandbag on my abdomen.
As I was considering whether I should place an order for such a thing, my big sandbag of a cat (Calvin) came up and draped himself across my belly, negating the need for that.
It’s hard to know why my cats find me so appealing when I practice yoga. I often think they like it when I am on the floor, practicing poses that get me closer to them. They also seem to understand that, after I practice yoga, my body seems to emit blissful energy and calm.
I realize that is probably fairly anthropomorphic for me to interpret their behavior in that way. There is something about those long inhales and exhales, those full belly breaths that get me into a state of ease. So many of us get used to breath-holding in our daily lives, bracing against stress, or simply holding ourselves in with uncomfortable clothing, belts, braces or even neckties.
What if we learned to embrace that full belly breath and to stop “sucking it in”? Our bellies are made to expand during the inhale. When we only allow for chest breathing, we end up with tightness and muscle tension in our shoulders and our neck. Shallowness in our breath can result in confused and disoriented states of mind.
It took me not very long on a therapeutic spinal strip to realize there was a lot of chronically held tension held in my back and shoulders. Indeed I have to consciously bring my shoulders down when I notice the slight scrunch that seems to happen subtly or when I am at a keyboard, mentally focused and working.
I am dismantling some of these patterns, and actively reminding myself in meditation and yoga to breathe fully. At the same I am learning to notice and slow down at more points throughout my day when I find my thoughts racing (and then usually notice the breath has followed). Then I consciously take in a few long inhales and exhales, bring myself back to the present and realize that my mind was caught up in a story about the future, or perhaps a regret about the past.
So simple, and yet so radical. Thank you, Calvin, for helping me sense and feel that breath deep into the belly. I know you do not struggle with this, and I appreciate re-learning this skill that we all master as infants and then forget.