I have been a bit remiss in posting some of my YTT class reviews on the blog per our homework so this morning I decided to go through my notes and post some of the interesting things I have learned in the last couple of weeks.
We had a very nice class about Ayurveda, the so-called "sister" of yoga. It is one of the ways to balance our life, in foods, herbs & spices, scents, actions. Key phrase: "Prana trumps all". Again, the breath! It is a complicated topic that I will be looking into more.
We have learned a lot more about pranayama (breathing) techniques. I think for me the best thing is that I am now a lot more aware of my breath in other situations too. The other day I was in a jam on the freeway and I just sat there, breathing in and out slowly, calmly and that lessened my annoyance. And I think it helps my sleep more to focus on breathing and relaxation before I sleep.
There has been a lot of teaching practice and scurying around about the teaching and I had a revelation about WHY I am in the teacher training and what it means to me. AND... the realization that really I do not want to be a yoga teacher. Yes, I know... then why am I taking this long expensive training? Well.. for me. I started out wanting to take it to deepen my own practice and learn more about yoga and myself. Then I got caught up in the buzz around teaching for a few weeks and thought yeah sure, I can teach this. Then as I was sort of panicking about the "final" and finding students and all the talk about the business of teaching I stopped. And took a breath. And told myself... this is not what you wanted. And took another breath, it was getting lighter... and thought again about why I had signed up for this in the first place. And came through the other side with the INTENSE realization that I no longer wanted to teach, I just wanted to BE. To be with yoga, as a practice, in my life. And I realized how much more there had been to this course than just to prepare us for teaching. It had really been an exploration of ourselves and our own journeys. And for me, that was good enough. More than good.
Part of my thoughts above also hinged on the fact that I really enjoy GOING to yoga class/practice.I have found a few classes that I enjoy, that bring me peace and comfort, and then there are also workshops I sign up for that introduce me to new things. Next month I am trying the handstands workshop -- not so much to do a handstand, but to maybe face my fears of not being strong enough, not being good enough, thin enough, limber enough... and to learn how to make it work for me.
We also had classes on prenatal yoga (Wenke), the buz of yoga (Tami) and Bhakti (bringing devotion to your practice) with Alicia. Of these the bhaki one resonated most with me possibly because of it's musical side. We did some chanting and then movement, with chanting which I loved. I found it almost folk-dance like in its simplicity and joy, and it also made me really want to go folk dancing again. I know, a leap from yoga, but not really. Yoga is not just a class you go to and then it is over. Anything can be a meditative yogic practice if done with that intention, even folding towels or doing dishes. Ok, yes I would rather be doing downward facing dog than doing dishes but just sayin'...