Bali Yoga Teacher Training: Day 6: rest, strength, grace, love

It’s amazing what some good sleep can do. I didn’t sleep well the night before and my yoga practice yesterday was like moving through sand. I could barely lift my leg. Today, however, I got a good amount of sleep and I felt strong and way more able to participate in the entire 2.5 hour class. It’s amazing what a day can make! It’s such a good reminder to give ourselves grace and that tomorrow is a new day. Some of the biggest ideas we are discussing here in our Yoga Teacher Training is to enjoy the present moment, be in the right here, right now; notice what is, what we each feel, notice the truth about ourselves and surroundings, but not to let these things ruin us, not to let these feels/truths/etc. dictate how we respond or behave. My yoga practice yesterday is a good example of that: I enjoyed where I was even though my yoga practice wasn’t much to speak of. I took a lot of child’s poses and/or watched our instructor adjust and cue the other students in the the class as I rested. There were a few moments where a lie tried to creep into my head saying I should feel shameful or inadequate because I wasn’t doing what all the other students were and that I wasn’t good enough, but I consciously chose to not believe it. I consciously chose to give myself grace and take breaks and actually make use of that time and learn, instead of pouting in child’s pose the whole time. (Believe me, I have done that in the past, but I have chosen to not be so selfish anymore.) It feels good to be so present, so able to enjoy the right here, right now. It’s good to be here!!

Happy Thanksgiving by the way!! Nothing too out of the ordinary happened here because of the holiday, there are a lot of non USA students here (actually maybe even most are not American even!) But one of the girl’s, Kate, a lovely new friend from England, made cards for a few of us where she actually drew out typical Thanksgiving images. It was so sweet and cute! I got an incredibly cute turkey wearing cowboy boots, SO American! 🙂

I hope you enjoy this video. This is part 1 of the movie “I Am” which we watched last night. It’s a documentary about the director of the movie “Ace Ventura,” among others, and how his life changed after he had a serious injury. Here’s what the Youtube write up says about it: “We have created a world based on the notion that we are all separate. Fundamentally, there is no separation.” What is cool about this movie is that it interviews some 10+ people of all different walks of life, faith, and beliefs, and shows scientifically how we are all literally connected. This movie shows the power of thought, speech, and how we are shaping our future through it; we are not victims to the world going to hell, we are the ones steering the boat. It’s a powerful movie and I hope you enjoy it!

May you enjoy the moments. May you realize that you are stronger than you think you are. May you know when to say no and be confident in that decision. May you experience deep rest. May you know you are loved.

Namaste!

What is my heart for my yoga classes and my students?

Image

I have had people ask ‘What are your yoga classes like? What is your vision? What makes you different?’ These have been great questions for me to think about and work on formulating into understandable points, not only for others but for myself. As with all instructors, I have a particular style and way of teaching but there is power in knowing where you are, right here, right now. It allows for assessment and thus helps direct the future, it lines up like-minded and passionate people, and gives a person confidence and/or fuel for change. I teach and lead my students in this activity in my classes, now, it’s time for me to do the same.

My heart is for people to walk away from my classes more than just strengthened. My hope is that my students also walk away different: more relaxed, peaceful, while at the same time stronger and more confident. I want my students to feel and be equipped, more able to face life and decisions, confident yet humble, restful yet strong; a humble and valiant warrior enjoying each moment. I want my students to en-joy life, no matter the circumstances! In my flow classes we open and build up to more complex poses while I encourage and adjust them as necessary. We take breaks after difficult poses because I want them to regain the deep breathing if they lost it; I want them to visualize themselves strong, confident, and joyful in the pose again; I want them to check in with their body’s to see if they are pushing themselves too far, or not far enough. I have my students take a moment or two to recover because in life we do that each and every night we go to sleep. Our muscles (including our brain!) cannot repair, rebuild, or grow stronger if we do not take a break. Most people I come across don’t have a problem barreling and pushing through poses or asanas or even life for that matter and comparing themselves with their neighbor in a “I want to keep up with the Joneses” sort of way. Most people need to actually stop comparing and listen to what the Creator is whispering to them through their body, their mind, and their spirit. I create and allow space for this in my yoga classes. I allow time to reflect, in a safe and peaceful place, as I encourage my students into trying new things that deep down they may not believe they can actually accomplish. Most people I come across don’t believe in themselves and feel quite hopeless in one area or another. It is my passion to change that and I get to every time I teach a yoga class.

How do I do this? For starters, I have had to work on believing in myself, believing in a powerful, loving, and joyful God that wants to see all people live full and happy lives, trusting that I have what it takes, and stepping out, over and over again, even if I feel like I have no idea what I’m doing. In my classes, I do this through the encouragement of smiles in hard poses, deep breathes in twists and holds, and steady but soft gazes in balance asanas. I allow time for my students to visualize themselves in poses that they want to master, imagining what they smell, how they feel, what their body is doing, what the mat or SUP board feels like under their feet, hands, belly, etc. I am a teacher and as such it is my responsibility to create an atmosphere of practical application of principles that most of us have heard for years. My yoga classes are where you can put theory into practice and have some fun doing it!

Thankfully time and time again I hear my students say that this is what they receive. It’s encouraging to me that I am making a difference through something that some would say is inconsequential: a yoga or SUP yoga class. I hope you can experience this for yourself too, whether it be in one of my classes or not: a peaceful strength as you courageously live this life fully alive, joyful, present, strong. May my life be a challenge and example of what is possible to those who believe and may the world never be the same because of it, practically through your life, your neighbor’s, and mine.

Namaste!