Thursday, September 17, 2015

Misalignments, Mantra, and Metamorphic Technique

Today was a bit of a flat day. Belgian A left early this morning, and her absence has left a hole in our little group. Instead of eight, we are now seven, and it feels like we are missing a whole bunch of people instead of one!

The highlight of my morning was L's scrambled eggs. Eggs aren't provided here for our breakfast, so L bought some in the supermarket yesterday. She whipped up some delicious scrambled eggs on homemade whole wheat toast for us. I really felt the lack of ketchup, but that condiment with all its sugar and preservatives is definitely on the naughty list.

We are gradually teaching more and more each day. Every day we lead a sun or moon salutation and teach a few poses. Today I actually taught quite a few poses--tadasana, triyaka tadasana, warriors I and II, triangle (trikonasana) and intense side stretch. It went reasonably well although I think I demonstrated both right and left sides on my left side both times. I thought that I was turning to face the class but just kept using the same leg. Oops.

After our asana practice, it was my turn for a one on one talk for Michelle. She meets with each of us individually to find out how we are doing physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, and provides suggestions for how to move forward on our yogic path, Based on what we discussed, Michelle strongly recommended that I work hard on pranayama (breath), mantra, and meditation. I love mantra, I'm okay with the breathing thing, but meditation is definitely the Achilles' heel of my yoga practice (as in I'm terrible at it). But I'm making a daily commitment to practice and improve.
This is me except with meditation
I was still feeling drained from too much sun, or detoxing, or too much yoga, or whatever so I had a great nap after lunch. The kind when you fall so soundly asleep that you drool and think it's the next morning when the alarm goes off. I got it together with a cup of black tea (yay caffeine) and made myself ready for our afternoon session with Marita. Today was really interesting. It was all about yoga therapy and how we can analyze people's posture and select yoga poses that fix the issues they are experiencing For example, I have scoliosis which is an S curve in my spine. There are a number of yoga poses I can do to strengthen the muscles on both sides of my spine that will correct or lessen the severity of this imbalance. Marita knows how to grab our attention too--she introduced her topic by saying, "Let's talk about spinal imbalances today. We all have them and it's really quite fun." Fun was a strong word but it was definitely really interesting. We also measured each other's legs and feet to determine if we had imbalances on each side of our bodies. Our homework is to analyze each other's posture which will probably be hard but better than asana study!
One of the best parts about yoga teacher training is the people you meet here. I've already learned so much from my yoga friends, and tonight J offered to do a quick workshop on metamorphic technique. We had her talk about this therapeutic practice and we were interested to learn more. It's a technique of light hand, feet, and head massage that can have a lot of benefits. Find out more on her website here.
A doing metamorphic technique on my head
It was really relaxing learning the technique on each other, and we decided to end the night with some mantra practice. I joked that this is the crazy kind of stuff that yogis do when they get together--forget BYOB, it's bring your own mantra! And it really was bring your own mantra. A number of us had a mantra to share and took turns leading us in singing the mantra. It was a really tranquil ending to another day at yoga teacher training!  

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