Saturday, October 31, 2009

Week one of HTTC done!!

Wow what a week! We were asked, in addition to our few hundred pages of reading, to practice asanas every day as well as to practice breathing exercises every day. We were also requested to find a space in our home dedicated to yoga. This part was easy for me as when we looked at our new house I already knew so I have a beautiful space in our front room with a fire place, candles, my statue of Ganesha and my big front window with our beautiful tree where I practice already.

The space was easy to achieve, I have that! The every day part I was a little afraid of. I am used to practicing about three times a week - which is sometimes a stretch with three children as well as the many part time evening jobs I have and the two small businesses that I am trying to start up. The every day practice was going to take some rearranging in my life to achieve so I had to do some major life re-evaluation to work it out. I have decided to post pone one of the small businesses until next year - it will always be there. I have also decided to quite one of my contracting jobs. Both of the decisions were difficult but necessary for me to focus fully on the teacher training as well as to move forward towards the next phase of this journey. Once I had made these decisions the rest followed.

The asana practice did happen every day. It was not always long nor was it always of the best quality given whatever what happening during the day and how many little people were crawling around me. But I did it. I rolled out my mat and lit my candles every day and practiced. I am very proud as I thought I would not be able to do it. My breathing exercises also happened every day and not always after my asana practice. Usually at night after putting the children to bed or after getting home from work. I would again, light my candles and pull out my zafu (meditation pillow) and breathe for 11 minutes.

I am amazed at the dedication that it took to do this. The first few days I felt as if ugh I have to practice now but by the end of the week I was much more positive, and admittedly a bit sore. I am also realizing the age of my body, I am not as bendy as I was ten years ago before having three children and a car accident and a knee injury and a back injury all of these issues that I am trying to break out of my mental and physical state! Cheers to more yoga and a better way of life.

Oh and I was also able to give up meat for an entire week. I am learning to cook more efficiently so that my husband still has his much loved and much needed meat protein while I enjoy a purely vegetarian diet. I am hoping that this lasts as I know I feel much better as a vegetarian I just find cooking as one with a meat loving husband can sometimes be a challenge. I am also in the process of cutting out dairy, this is mostly for my still breastfed daughter who is having some challenges that I think may be related - but that is for another blog.

Om Shanti,

Sunday, October 25, 2009

End of Week-end 1

Well it was the end of the first week-end. I must say that I am stimulated, overwhelmed, tired, sore and excited.

We learned so much. Since I am not new to yoga some of the information was repetition but that is great! I love to talk about yoga philosophy as well as history of yoga and there was lots of that today and we are told that there will be more. We are learning so much about the 8 limbs of yoga, which I knew a bit on the surface about but it is so amazing to go more in depth about them. We are also talking more and more about the yamas and the niyamas and I can't wait to delve into that even more. We were told today that we will have to give a presentation on some of the yogic sutras over the next few months. This is something that I have not read much about so am intrigued to find out more - it is basically the yogic teachings and from what I understand is similar but not the same as some of the verses in the bible.

Postures postures postures. I mentioned that I was feeling sore! This is actually from sitting not from doing postures. We do have to sit a fair bit but we also have time to delve into postures or asanas if you will. The sitting actually is starting to hurt my back a little bit. We have covered correct sitting postures but still you can only do something for so many hours before it starts to give you sensation. I actually find that working on the postures is something I look forward to, it stretches out the body, makes it feel good so that the sitting doesn't bother me as much - if that makes sense.

Pranayam - breathing. Breath breath breath. I tell my prenatal students about this all the time. I love to sit and do nothing but breath - this is in fact trying to meditate although not always achieving meditation I try. The three part breath is all about breathing into the belly, the ribs and the chest - something most people never do. I love having a review about this because as a prenatal yoga teacher and prenatal teacher I get a little robotic sometimes in how I teach things so it is nice to have a reminder or suggestions on how to do better. Something I am striving to do all the time. If any of you are reading my blog - all two of you. Then just practice your pranayam a couple of times per day if you can remember, then it will become more automatic.

We got our home work for the week and I must say I am afraid. We have been asked to practice yoga postures every day on our own. This is something that I must admit I do not do. I practice about three times a week and sometimes this is a struggle for me. My first reaction to this request was fear/shock/ oh my god how am I going to do this. Then I thought wait a minute. I can fit this in between running my business, taking care of my kids, taking care of my home and starting another business venture - right...??? I still don't know if I can but I am willing to try. We have also been asked to meditate or try to meditate for about 10 minutes per day. Again this is something that I rarely do. I have three kids and a husband and lots of distractions in my house, but again something that I am willing to try. We also have something like 200 pages of reading to do. Funny this task did not at all scare me, I read all the time. This simply means switching my reading focus from fiction or birth books to yoga - good, bring it on I thought.

I am hoping that through the asana practice and the pranayam practice as well as through the reading that I will notice some slight changes in my body and in my mind over the next couple of weeks. After all that is the goal right!

Here is to another 51/2 months of yoga teacher training. Bring it on!!!!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Wow well the second day was certainly full. We covered some postures in depth, what they are good for the correct/incorrect ways to do them. Who should/shouldn't do them. What chakra's they covered and what the benefits were. I am surprised to hear that so many postures are useful for sexual energy - has to do with celibacy.

We covered basic sun salutations and then we also talked about the Ashtanga Sun salutation. Being an Ashtanga teacher already I was really focused on this. I can see for some of the people in the group that these two practices would get confusing and I saw and heard a lot of confused questions and people in the group trying to wrap their heads around the differences. For you if you are reading my blog - the classic sun salutation is more about breath and lengthening the spine where as the Ashtanga Sun salutation is about heat and strength - just and FYI.

I have learned to come to class a little bit early I was there about 10 minutes before class today and the only spaces left were right in front of the window. Good for Ashtanga hot and sweaty practice, not good for sitting and learning. Ottawa is cold and rainy right now and it is common practice at the center to keep the windows open all the time - even just a crack. Being right beneath the window - was chilly and I am so glad the center has blankets!

Lunch was also interesting. There is a room that they let us use for lunch. A bunch of us brown baggers were sitting in there and no one was talking. I thought at first that this was because we were all starving but then I realized that this is a big group of people (we are 40) and there are few who know each other. You could see that getting closer to the end of lunch people were starting to chat a little bit and open up if only on the surface.

My body is already going through some interesting changes in this process. I have been practicing for about 18 years. Which makes me seem old I know, but basically I was first introduced in high school and loved it and I used to practice with this local T.V. show - "Yoga with Joy". Joy if you are out there you totally inspired me. I then took Yoga at this gym in Orleans when I was in my last year of high school, continued through university and haven't looked back. There have been of course times in my life where I have lost my way but yoga has always been there for me when I needed it. Anyways I was recently in a car accident and was rear ended, my entire right side has been affected by this. I am tight and find a simple forward bend to be a challenge. I have been practicing at home through this and it has been getting better and better which is great. I don't have time for physio and massage and all the other therapies so yoga is the best thing I can do. Anyways after all the sun salutations that we did today I was starting to notice that the tightness in my shoulders and neck as well as my right hip were feeling better and better by end of the day and I don't know how many surynamaskara's later! It is AWESOME!!!

More tomorrow and here's looking forward to even less and less tight shoulders and hips for me!


Friday, October 23, 2009

Hatha TC Starts

So the first night of Hatha Yoga Teacher Training was this evening. Only 2 hours. I was nervous as hell. One thing I need to work on, especially encompassing the whole yogic philosophy is that not everyone is out to judge. I was afraid I was too old, that I wasn't practiced enough that I would stand out. No no no! I am just the right age, I have practiced enough and I blend just nicely thank you.

It was a nice way to warm up and just what I expected. We met, we introduced, we did a little practice, we chatted about logistics. Good good good. I am looking forward to the next 6 months being a lot of hard work and I am soooo up for it! Can't wait to learn from everyone.

Stay tuned.