Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Swim...then Sink: When Your Day Takes a Nosedive

So it started off as the best day ever. L and I got up early and walked into town for a latte at Daily Coffee. It was a lovely cool morning and even the hike up the hill on the way home wasn't that bad. No dogs bit me and there were no dead animals on the road--yay! And we had an exciting morning of yoga teacher training ahead of us. Today was our first field trip! So after L and I returned from our lattes, we changed into yoga clothes, grabbed our mats, and all eight of us plus our teacher Michelle piled into the van. It was a short drive to the beach, then a quick walk to a big platform overlooking the sea where we could spread our mats!
We did a shorter sequence this morning due to our location, and it was a good thing as I felt like the Princess and the Pea. Even the tiniest pebble under my yoga mat was excruciating when it came in contact with me knee or elbow! We all took turns teaching different parts of our morning sequence, and I did child's pose with arms extended over the back as well as reclining hero pose. All of us are becoming more confident with our teaching--although there's still some cheat notes for Sanskrit names!
A leading the class in joint flexibility exercises
Table top pose
The girls are rocking their camel poses!
My friend Belgian A showing off her shoulder stand!
 And check out that plough pose!
I did a little crow pose by the sea!
And of course a dancer pose
And who doesn't love a good savasana pose in the sun with the sound of the waves?
After an hour of yoga in the sun, we were more than ready for a dip in the sea! The water was cool and beautifully clear and we took full advantage of our morning break!
Bathing beauties J and Aussie A
Tree in the water with my Belgian friend
We're not just good at yoga... check out this synchronized swimming!

But it can't be all play and no work, so we headed back to the guest house and yoga studio for our morning theory component. It was really interesting--ethics of teaching yoga, how to prepare people for hands on adjustments, and how to sequence and plan an entire class. I suddenly felt so much more prepared to teach a class by myself!

After a yummy lunch and restorative nap, it was time for our afternoon sessions with Marita. I'd like to begin by saying that we enjoy Marita tremendously--she is edgy and funny and knows SO much about yoga. She's also very realistic in her approach to eating meat, drinking coffee, and enjoying a beer or glass of wine. I learn a great deal from her every time we have sessions with her.

Today, we spent three hours engaged in asana study (going over the alignment cues and benefits of each pose in excruciating detail). Today's focus was a back strengthening sequence. The two funniest things that Marita said today were, "It's going to get quite wonderful. By the end of the week you will be in love with your spine!" and "Cat and cow pose is like a holiday for your spine!" Shortly after these statements, the hilarity ended, and our swimmingly fun day began to sink. Asana study is very necessary to us learning how to teach, and practice, these yoga poses ourselves. But it can be SO boring. I welcomed a move to the studio two hours later, but that's when things became even more difficult. I was the furthest one away at the door, and as we held pose, Marita adjusted each person in order. I was last each time, so I attempted to hold my pose for as long as I could as I waited for her. This deteriorated into me sneaking looks over my shoulder to see if she could see me, collapsing out of pose, then quickly getting back into it as she headed my way. Bow pose was the real killer, and I never knew my shoulders could go that far back or my legs that high up and I actually squealed out loud. Add to this mosquitoes and flies biting and crawling on us, homework assigned to us due tomorrow morning, and you can see why we left the studio a rather disheartened little group.

Speaking of homework, some things never change. I usually completed my math homework on the bus every morning, copying from one of my smarter friends. My approach to homework at yoga teacher training remains consistent. Thanks Belgian A--the only thing that would make your notes better would be if they were in English instead of Flemish (she translates them out loud for me)! And a shout out to my personal trainer and fitness instructor, Pattie, back home in Canada. Tonight we had to name all the joint movements and spinal rotations in 2-3 different poses each (so no copying) and I was totally confused. I decided it was time to outsource this task and work smarter, not harder. I just know that I'm going to the head of the class tomorrow. Thanks P!

Leonardo's delicious cooking cheered us up tonight, as it always does. Tonight's culinary creation was polenta with his famous tomato sauce, mushrooms, and parmesan. A glass of red wine is the only thing that would have made it better!
Polenta with tomato sauce, mushrooms, and parmesan!
Although this afternoon was hard, I expected yoga teacher training to be hard. And there's going to be moments of frustration as we are pushed by our teachers to learn more, do more, and work in that zone of proximal development (teacher talk for finding your edge). I remain confident in knowing that I chose an outstanding program with really strong teachers.  I will go to bed tonight knowing that, other than copying notes and consulting experts to complete my homework, I did my absolute best today. Good night!  

No comments:

Post a Comment