Yoga teacher training - weekend five

As hard as this may be to believe, as of last night my classmates and I are 50% done with our 200-hour yoga teacher training. Say whaaaaat?

It is RACING by. It is SCARY, and it is suddenly starting to feel very, very REAL. Because now that it's June, that means I'm supposed to learn all this stuff by next month, and that's only one page away on the calendar!

Honestly, this was a tough weekend for me. Last Tuesday, I had an injection into my hamstring to hopefully help speed up the tendonitis healing process, and the doctor advised me not to do any load-bearing activities for at least the next week.

"You know, like yoga," he said.


So, that sucked.

So three days later, I rolled in to practice on Friday night, and spoke to the teacher. "You don't have to do the physical practice," he told me, and truth be told, I could really feel the weakness in my hamstring and was absolutely terrified of making it worse or tearing it again.

At the same time, I was equally terrified of falling even further behind in yoga training than I already feel like I am. So I did the practice, but basically did the entire thing clumsily on one leg and avoided lots and lots of postures. Note to self: that isn't smart. In yoga you should always work to your weaker side, otherwise you only increase any discrepancy in the body.

So it was really frustrating, and kind of...I don't know, sad. On Sunday morning, especially, when we did a really fun practice with lots of hopping around and weird-ish postures and playtime, and I sort of grudgingly sat back in child's pose for most of it.

Until I had a REVELATION. Because surely, if I do end up teaching or subbing or working with yoga in any way in the future, I'm going to come across people dealing with injuries. And what better way for me to empathize with them or come up with appropriate modifications than because I dealt with one myself, particularly while I was in training? This really felt like a bit of a light bulb moment for me, even if it perhaps sounds very obvious.

So THERE. I am awesome and bad-ass and warrior-ish. And I can't wait to come back stronger than ever, gain back the strength and flexibility I had before my injury, and then keep going!

Because there's soooooo much of a journey in yoga. We had another heavy focus on anatomy this time around (that's where I met my new friend Skeletor here). We also had our usual teaching practice, where we've now built up to teaching each other half-hour segments. And it's really hard!

Right now we're not allowed to use pose names when we teach, so I can't say something like "come into downward dog," or Heaven forbid, "come into Adho Mukha Svanasana" (which is the same thing). Instead I have to concisely describe it, like, "lift the hips up and back, sinking the heels." We also aren't supposed to use words like "try" or "just," or "you," to encourage dissociation with the physical body. So instead of saying, "raise your arms," for example, you'd say, "raise the arms." Oh, and we shouldn't use the word "relax," either, or "gonna," or any extraneous words.

So if I were leading a class and I used the sentence, "So, um, just try to relax your neck"? That would be an example of bad yoga teaching. It'd be FUN, mind you, but still bad yoga teaching.

For the month of June I'm trying to do at least one hour a day of study, in order to hopefully catch up and revise everything I need to know for the exams at the end of July. I'm going to have to ease back into the physical practice, but that will come.

Next week we're starting philosophy. The halfway mark has passed. Let the countdown begin!