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Diaries of a Yoga Student: Week 9

Anatomy, Ayurveda, and yoga…oh my! This weekend was filled with so much valuable information my brain might explode, in a good way, of course. Since we’ve finished learning queues for the sequence, there has been a huge shift to have us all teaching which leaves me excited and eager for the weekends.

There’s something so empowering about teaching. Maybe it’s the clarity you see people come to when flowing through a class or the way everyone’s bodies move to the sound of your voice. Whatever it is, it’s addicting and incredibly satisfying. It’s a beautiful balance between improving someone else’s day through movement and electrifying your own.

Learning Outside Asana

Our homework this week ties back to the Eight Limbs of Yoga which we began to learn about on Friday evening. Starting with the Yamas and Niyamas, Jill led an open discussion for us to share our experiences and understanding of each and how it ties into being a yoga teacher.

The Yamas are the moral, ethical and societal guidelines that one should follow. There is a total of five and each should be practiced to cultivate an abundant and true life. The Niyamas, on the other hand, are composed of behaviors and habits that one should develop within.

We were tasked with choosing either a Yama or Niyama to focus on for the week. I chose the Niyama,Santosa, which is the practice of contentment. I found this Niyama to be most intriguing as it asks that we practice being at peace within ourselves and our situations.

Neuroplasticity

On Saturday, Ashley Segal joined us for Part 2 of Anatomy and boy, did we learn some cool stuff. I was never much of a STEM kid in school, so most of this information was news to me. Namely, neuroplasticity, which is just about the raddest thing I’ve learned about the brain.

Neuroplasticity is the brain’s ability to change and evolve based on our experiences with our environment. It is what shapes our personality and develops are habits. It’s what we can use to form new, healthy habits – unhealthy ones, too. The neurons in the brain are constantly finding each other, connecting, and forming new bridges proving that if we try hard enough or want something bad enough, we can make it happen.

That’s incredible, right?!

Ayurveda with Josh Blatter

As Sunday rolled around, the class was excited to learn about Ayurveda and its connection to yoga. Similar to yoga, Ayurveda is a lens in which we look through to assess and respond to life. Both practices encourage us to think clearly and find balance in our true selves.

Specifically, Ayurveda is a system of Indian medicine that looks at how we relate to the world around us. It looks at our interconnectedness to the universe and the environment around us. Throughout our lives, we are affected and influenced by the universe developing our Vikriti. With Ayurveda, we work to bring our body and mind into balance and find our way back to Prakriti, which is our constitution when we were born.

While living a life following strict Ayurvedic principles is difficult to do, I was intrigued and interested in starting to develop a routine that can help to balance me and bring me closer to Prakriti.

Both Anatomy and Ayurveda had a mouthful of information, but each tidbit is more intriguing than the next which deepens my love of holistic wellness knowledge. As a teacher, it is incredibly meaningful to be able to introduce these things to students and I am so excited to be able to do so!

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