Wednesday, October 13, 2010

day 2 of intensive yoga teacher training - tulum, mexico

The hip bones connected to the knee bone, the knee bones connected to the ankle bone...

That could have been a big part of day two of intensive yoga teacher training here in Tulum, Mexico. The theme for asana (poses) today was standing postures.

We started at 6:30 in the morning just as the sun was rising. Did a practice focusing on sun salutes from previous day and added in 8 standing postures. We did a group meditation from 8:00 - 9:00.

We spend another 2.5 hours breaking down, and reconstructing these poses from the ground up. Discussing how to cue them, observe them, assist them, sequence them (in terms of internal and external hip rotation).

There was much talk of alignment of the feet, especially for the ever controversial warrior I and II. We talked of the uber importance of lining the foot up first, then lining the knee up with the foot for these poses with the leg bent.

Students continue to amaze me with how quickly they are picking this up. How quickly they are taking to the teaching role. It's not easy coming to a place, leaving your family for two weeks, practicing with a new teacher (who does things a little or a lot differently then what they are used to), learning how to be a teacher, and dealing with our fears, doubts, insecurities all at the same time.

We explored linking the breath with asana. We explored the breathing patterns for various postures. We analyzed the breathing cues for sun salutations and discussed how using the breath is really important for stabilizing some poses and how the breath can go either was for other postures or flows.

We explored different types of assisting. And the intention behind assisting. We talked about how we are to enter mindfully into any students yoga space. All believing that the yoga mat becomes a sacred space for most students. We as teachers need to honor and respect that. We talked about getting permission before assisting (if we need to do this everytime or not). Giving assists that are relative to the amount of trust we have built with the student (thank you Michael Porter for giving this bit of biz info that has translated this way).

Questions we can ask ourselves before assiting: is the student in danger of hurting themselves, do I feel confident giving the assist, is there a verbal cue I can use for the whole group, and so on.

We spent time discussing the four major forms of yoga, karma, bhakti, jnana, and raja yoga. Here we are focusing on raja yoga, the path outlined by the great sage Patanjali. We started on the 8 limbs of yoga and only made it to the yama's before we had to move on. Time goes so very quickly! But of course, we'll be back the the juiciness of the 8 limbs. So much wisdom here. Amazing.

Miss Antamony Goddess hereself, Tracy spent anothe three hours with the group lecturing about the spine (cervical, thoracic, lumbar, sacrum), and doing lab with the students in asana. This is so brilliant. And so very helpful for students.

As always I'm learning thorughout this process from my students. Jewels for the day:
**A student loving the assisting part because you get to help which is cool, but even better is celebrating them in their pose. Love. That.

**Touch is all relative. What is a light touch to me could be a very physical touch for another. As always, communication is key.

**Was super inspired by a students deep love and connection to her husband, who she refers to as her soulmate. Her story was so sweet and endearing. It immediately made me miss Andy. And appreciate him too.

We conclude at 6:30 as the sun is setting. It's been a long and rewarding day. More to come!

PS - Clearly I'm off on days. I'm trying to stay committed to blogging daily, but finding the time is hard! So I may be off on days but fully intend to present it.

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