thoughts

Teacher Appreciation

As I have mentioned before, I am in the final stages of my very first Yoga Teacher Training program. Yesterday, I delivered my final practicum: a 60min Flow sequence designed by yours truly.

Despite having taught yoga before in a number of informal contexts, nothing really prepared me for teaching a group of 10 people staring at me wide-eyed and awaiting instruction. I learned something yesterday—teaching yoga is really hard! Harder than I had imagined.

As a teacher, you have to anticipate the mood and abilities of the students in front of you with every step they take. You have to make decisions about what to do next and how, all the while giving instruction aloud and making verbal and physical adjustments.

You have to modify the routine for particular students’ needs and time the class appropriately, which may mean diverting from your very secure, well-planned and typed-up sequence.

The teacher has to make sure that what happens on one side, happens on the other. That what you open, you also soften. That you provide safe and effective guidance, while creating a fun and uplifting atmosphere.

Today, after teaching my sequence and reaching the culmination of many weeks of training, reading and learning, I am thinking of the teachers who brought me to this point. I have had so many brilliant, kind, thoughtful and extremely talented teachers!

I am very excited to be able to give back some of the passion that I have received in my classes. I fully appreciate now that my journey has a teacher has just begun and it’s going to take a lot of hard work!

Source: http://www.google.ca/imgres?q=yoga+teacher&um=1&hl=en&client=firefox-a&sa=N&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&tbm=isch&tbnid=WLp3SqRvYmbo-M:&imgrefurl=http://froglotusyoga.com/events/teachers.htm&docid=8hdpImeyDRTwkM&w=360&h=312&ei=D1AwTt2jOpTXiAKHttAr&zoom=1&biw=1342&bih=716

Sound Journey with Matthew Kocel

This week was brilliant. I finished the second part of my 3-stage yoga teacher training certification. The highlight? After 8 straight days in class, our teacher Dan Clement arranged to have the Vancouver-based sound healer, throat singer and energy worker, Matthew Kocel, spend an afternoon with us before our 2-day break.

It was marvelous.

After a short intro about his journey and his work, Matthew explained that all matter is composed of dense vibrating energy. Combining the pure sounds of a harmonium, crystal and Tibetan singing bowls, conch shells, throat singing and mantra, Matthew creates sound that resonates in our bodies at a very tangible, energetic level.

He then invited us all to lie down on our mats and “go on a sound journey” with him.

Words seem so deficient for explaining the depth of experience we all felt. Without attempting to explain and thus limit the range of sensations my peers and I encountered, it was clear that something wonderful was happening. I was being moved by sound, my whole body was light and vibrating.

Matthew’s website is www.omshaman.com I strongly recommend attending one of his sound journeys – you will be amazed by the effects of sound on your body, mind and spirit.

Matthew trained as a massage therapist and attained his Reiki Master Level while in Colorado. He has delved into other energetic healing practices (see his website for more details, as well as music and events). He performs sound journeys routinely in the Vancouver area, as well as one-on-one healing sessions which combine all of his healing arts.

Matthew Kocel, www.omshaman.com Source: http://omshaman.com/fr_musicforawakening.cfm

Seeing as if for First Time

Shrimp, when his eyes were open but still blind. He is such a cutie!

My mind is abounding with thoughts of yoga teacher training and newborn kittens. Yes, it’s true. All in the same month, I have the joyous fortune of playing with three kittens while undertaking my certification as a Yoga Teacher. Plus, the training takes place in White Rock (beach!!!) in summertime. How could the month get any better really?

I live with my sister and her husband-to-be in a house near Aldergrove. None of us had realized that a 6-month old cat could get pregnant, until she did. Although the actual birth of the kittens was something I will never forget (how slimy and amazing!), the event that most resonated with me was when they opened their eyes for the first time.

Just after their 10th day of life, the kittens’ eyes started to creak open. I had thought they would suddenly come apart, all in one day. In actual fact, it takes a few days for the closed eye slits to gradually peel apart from the sides, until the whole lid is unobstructed. My next shock was finding out that kittens with eyes recently opened, do not actually develop sight for a few days after that!

Inside their comfortable closet-hidden laundry hamper, the kittens developed full sight a few days later. Their retinas developed, pupils responsive to light, they look up at us wide-eyed and intrigued. Literally everyday, these kittens see something they have never seen before. They approach each new vision with playfulness and curiosity.

I can only hope to take some of their playful newness into my teacher training this week. How precious to approach every new day like it’s the first time you’ve seen it, to explore every new lesson with awe, to undertake adventures that you’ve never had before, to learn and live with wonder. I can’t wait for the upcoming month. It’s going to be perfect.

All three kittens, with full sight. Looking and walking around (albeit on wobbly legs).

Everyday Expressions – Yogic Gardening

I frequently find myself talking to people who have never tried yoga and are thinking about it. I repeatedly invite my friends or family to class, or end up talking to strangers about why yoga is SO great. A common question that comes up is, “how will yoga benefit me?”

At times the answer seems so obvious it’s almost hard to answer. At other times, I am at a loss because if you invited someone to play hockey or go swimming, their first response would not be “how would that activity benefit me?” They would just go for the fun of it!

Although I often find myself ruminating about the mystique of yoga that seems to cause so much trepidation to newbies, on the weekend I was slogging away in my sister’s garden when I found myself alternating between yoga poses to ease my weed-pulling discomfort. And a thought jumped into my head – this is a practical application!! This is an example I can cite next time someone wants a measurable, practical explanation of the benefit of yoga!

Source: http://www.christinepredd.com/quiltingontheedge/2010/05/my-bella-yoga-garden-sculpture.html

It seems so obvious, but when you’ve got a million weeds in front of you, Garland Pose is not a bad way to start. Getting sore in the hips? Pop on up to Wide Legged Forward Fold – but the same yogic principles of alignment factor in here: use your core and keep a straight back! Warrior II or Extended Side Angle poses could be used for those hard to reach brambles out to the sides.

Assuredly, some expressions of Cat-Cow or Child’s Pose would work too, but my personal preference is to avoid touching all the worms that my digging provokes! 

Any other yoga poses spring to mind when you’re weeding the garden?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...