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Diaries of a Yoga Student: Week 8

Is it okay to request that teacher training never end? The people, the activities, the knowledge we’re all learning…it’s remarkable. When I signed up for this I knew it would be a fun journey, but I never imagined it would be so filled with everlasting memories and individuals I’d give an arm and a leg for. But, here we are and this weekend provided another outlet for learning, deepening my practice, and growing as a person.

Yin Yoga

As the sun went down and our mats rolled out, we had a very special guest join us to start the weekend. To my excitement, Nikki Bose arrived Friday evening for an extended yin class. As someone who practices yin on a weekly basis, this was the perfect way to ease into the weekend.

Unlike Vinyasa and Hatha yoga, yin offers a gentler approach to the body and allows us to go deeper into the physical and mental. With yin, we target the ligaments and fascia rather than our muscles. If you’ve been following along with our journey, you know that fascia is connected to our emotional patterns so practicing yin is the perfect way to break through old patterns and let go of emotional ties.

Each pose is held for three, to five, to even seven minutes in order to really get into the body and surrender our minds. The postures are all seated, however, it can be incredibly challenging to surrender for that long of time. With a focus on the breath, we are able to create space both mentally and physically.

Pushed Into Greatness

I think it’s safe to say on Saturday a group of us were pushed to face our fears of teaching through a little game called Round Robin. Since we have completed learning individuals queues for the sequence, it was time for us to start putting our knowledge in action by teaching and adjusting the whole class. Yep, twenty-something people to teach.

As each of us made our way into child’s pose, we waited for Fallon’s queues to start teaching. She’d call one name and we’d jump quickly into teacher-mode, making our awareness heightened and, for some, stress levels high.

I’m not sure why I’m still surprised at how talented we all, including myself, but everyone showed up and nailed it. We flawlessly transitioned from pose to pose, person to person, and made our way through the sequence. I was called to teach the end of Sun B series and a portion of our Balancing series. Of course, I was doe-eyed and rosy-cheeked when I was called upon, but once I stood up it felt effortless.

Teaching felt so good.

Prenatal Yoga

prenatal-yogaAs more and more women are being referred to practice yoga during their pregnancy, it was only appropriate that we were joined by Laura Munkholm on Sunday to learn about prenatal yoga as a practice and how to accommodate the pregnant goddesses you may come across while teaching.

With blown-up balloons under our shirts (I made the mistake of wearing a tight crop top, of course), we experienced a Vinyasa flow curated for a prenatal class. Through giggles and only one popped balloon, the class was empowering and uplifting for all of us “mamas.”

As a teacher accommodating a woman during their pregnancy, there are a variety of modifications and postures that allow the woman to feel strength and support while moving her baby through a fluid sequence. It’s a time to listen to the body and connect with intuition. While we may not be directly teaching prenatal classes, it’s such an essential skill to being a well-rounded teacher.

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