Discoveries in Yoga Teacher Training

I’m enrolled in a yoga teacher training program at the Brentwood Yoga Center.  This is a 300 hour program which takes me to a different level than my initial 200 hour teacher training program. It’s a funny thing about taking a training program like this, the more I learn, the more I realize I don’t know! The assignment I’m working on right now is to pick an energetic idea that I’ve learned in class, practice it at home and teach it to your class.  Sounds pretty easy right? I’ve been teaching for a year and 9 months at this point and I should have this down! But I take the teaching pretty seriously.  There are lots of things to take into consideration when you teach, like knowing your audience (okay that’s really a sales term, but it does really apply here too), injuries or limitations your students might have etc. Then, when I create a sequence or recreate a sequence, I have to make sure it flows well and makes sense.  I also weave Ayurveda into my teachings so I can help my students determine who they really are and how the laws of nature applies to them. Day one in my home practice, I decide to teach the Concave/convex law to my students.  I assisted in a class that Sandy Carmellini, my teacher taught to her class using this law and loved what she did.  Sandy seemed to work the law into every pose she taught.  The difference is that Sandy taught this on her yoga rope walls and while I have a rope wall at home, there are no ropes in the studio where I teach.  I practiced Sandy’s sequence anyway thinking I could work this into a practice without ropes to my students. Day two I practiced the sequence again, loving it and loving the fact that if I follow the concave/convex law, my shoulder is perfectly happy!  But I’ve been ridiculously busy and haven’t found a way to work the concept on all the asana’s (yoga poses) into a sequence since I won’t be using a rope wall and since the class I teach is an hour and a half compared to Sandy’s one hour class.  Time is starting to tick away at this point because I only have the next day to put a sequence together and practice before I teach my class. Day three, yikes, I don’t have time to make a new sequence so I decide to change it all up.  I decide instead to teach Golgi Tendon Organ reflex to my class.  This is a technique used as kind of a short cut to flexibility.  It comes with cautions because you could injure yourself if you push too hard and that’s exactly what you should NOT do in yoga.  I used an older sequence and “re-created” it.  Next, I decided to proceed cautiously with my students.  I explained it in as much detail as I could and then taught the technique in just two asana’s, Paschiomottanasana Pachiomottanasana and  Supta Padangustasana. I felt like I was a better teacher because I was more focused.  I was also off my mat and stayed more engaged during the entire class. I watched my students carefully and mentioned over and over that at any time, if they were tired and wanted to stop to just stop.  There are no requirements to complete my idea.  I also explained that their legs may feel more fatigued using this technique the next day.  That was my experience when I had practiced this technique two weeks prior to teaching, though I practiced the technique with almost every asana in my practice and then went golfing the next day (walked the course of course), and felt like I had rubber legs.  If I can say so myself, that was a total Pitta thing! After class, the students told me they loved it.  They loved the sequence and how it flowed and they loved the technique I taught and they felt like they did get more flexibility and could go a littler further into the pose.  That’s what I was hoping would happen.  Now I just need to take the time for that Concave/convex idea.  I’m sure I can teach that too. And a big shout out to my yoga teacher, Sandy Carmellini!  I’m sure I test your patience when I don’t “get it” in class, but you keep trying to help me.  Blessings to you my wonderful teacher!!

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