It’s been a month since the last teacher training weekend and there has been lots of practice teach, reading, homework and even a little online test.
Most of us have managed to see each other at the studio and we have stayed connected thanks to our fb group. But the thought of being reunited with my yogi tribe, has got me over excited in the past couple of weeks.
Before the week end:
I had planned a quiet Friday night, constituted of a Yin practice, some meal prep and who knows, a ginger tea if I was feeling really adventurous. I wanted to be well rested so I could be on top form for the week end. However, a dear friend I hadn’t seen in years was in London, and asked if she could stay over. I didn’t think about it twice, yet a small part of me was uncomfortable with the change of plans. I often make a conscious effort to change my habits, I take different routes to work, practice yoga in a different spot, use a different cereal brand – all pretty crazy stuff – but it’s all on my terms. Anyway, you’ll be glad to hear that we had a great alcohol free catch up dinner and we were in bed by 11 so I still got my 8 hours sleep and I was on top form for the week end.
But I’m digressing!
As I woke up 30 minutes before my alarm rang (6.30am), I jumped out of bed to start my morning pre training routine. I meditated 15 minutes, which felt like 3 days as I just wanted to start the day, but I stayed in my meditation until I was literally saved by the ‘gong’ (meditation app on my phone).
I went on, to get my ‘blend on’, Kale, banana, excessive amounts of cinnamon, a BIG spoonful of peanut butter and almond milk – blending before 7am on a Sat, I must be the worst housemate Ever…
I was surprised by my lack of appetite and realised the little discomfort in my belly was actually a mix of excitement and fear. As I entered the studio my anxiety eased off and was replaced by joy, as I smelled the blend of tea tree oil and coffee and I saw everyone’s smiley faces.
We opened the day by sharing our thoughts of the past few weeks. Followed by a short practice teach, during which 4 brave yogis volunteered to teach a part of the sequence to the rest of us. We’d taught each other before, but never the whole group. They were great!!
We did a 75 minute Vinyasa flow followed by a ‘working lunch’. I love the course itself but the breaks are so fun. We get to try each other’s home-made super salads, while we debate whether all vegans abstain from eating honey and about the reasons why alcohol has become so ingrained in socialising in our society. We know we won’t change the world, but we believe we can have an impact in our world.
In the afternoon we watched half of ‘Yoga Unveiled’ – strongly recommend it if you want to know more about the history of yoga, yes, all 5,000 years!
Then we taught, we then taught some more, and some more, and… some more! until our loud voices from the morning and the strong downward dogs turned into slurred pose descriptions and sloppy dogs, but we had fun, and the sequence which seemed so long at first, slowly started to register in our memory.
As the day came to an end, most of us stayed back, just a bit longer, to take in the energy we created together.
The first part of the day was a perfect blend of sharing and practicing.
We meditated in pairs and talked about what it means to open our hearts, amongst other philosophical and more spiritual topics.
Some of the quieter yogis have now started to speak up and it’s great to have everyone’s input in the conversations that we are having.
Our break out work was to do ‘something’ mindfully. Eating, taking a walk, or anything we had time for during our break, so I decided to take a mindful shower. The warm water wasn’t doing it, as I caught myself drifting off, so I decided to bring the temperature down and take a quick but mindful shower. I was astonished by how present I was in that moment as I could hardly ignore the freezing droplets of water landing on my skin. Despite the discomfort it caused, I was definitely very MINDFUL.
The afternoon started with more knowledge intake and I felt grateful for all the yogis who made this ancient practice accessible to ‘all’.
This was followed by some fun practice teach.
At the beginning of the week end, one of the facilitators said that this week end we should want to ‘get messy’ – not as in: drinking too much and doing things you regret the next day; in this case it is referred to as ‘slipping’, as we don’t use the word mistake. If you can’t imagine how a yoga teacher could ‘slip’, imagine them giving instructions to put body parts in places they don’t belong, practically asking you to levitate. I laughed it off, while my ego whispered ‘yeah, right’; getting messy is not something I am comfortable with, I like doing things well.
Almost 48 hours after having this internal dialogue, I am pleased and proud to say that I did get messy; I mixed up my left and my right, forgot the names of body parts, and even made up a couple of poses, and that’s ok, even better, it’s great!
We closed the week end with some deep self inquiry. I won’t go into detail, but I’ll mention that we talked about the masks that we all wear. I strongly recommend that everyone reads the thought provoking poem by Charles C. Finn – Please hear what I’m not saying, available here: http://poetrybycharlescfinn.com/pages/please-hear-what-im-not-saying